Members of the SR Athletic Department attend Aspen Institute event to stay on the cutting edge of student development through sports.
Earlier this month, several members of the Stone Ridge Department of Athletics attended a Future of Coaching series event hosted by the Aspen Institute. The event entitled "Calls for Coaches to Support Emotional and Social Skills" presented research and released materials for coaches to best educate and develop the whole student through sports. Featuring several panels comprised of collegiate and youth coaches, professional and youth athletes, as well as former US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, the event focused on the best practices for coaches in an effort to make widespread the methods and characteristics of coaches that will be most effective for student-athlete development in today's world.
Stone Ridge Director of Athletics and Physical Education, Jason McGhee, jumped at the chance to have SR Athletics participate and be represented at such a critical and timely event. Commenting on the decision to attend the event, Mr. McGhee stated, "The vision for SR Athletics is to be a model interscholastic athletics and physical education program that focuses on the whole child. Our goal in the athletic department remains to pursue how SR Athletics can continue to compliment the school mission and remain positioned to best serve the students through the platform of athletics and physical education."
Virtually attending the event through live stream, 2019 All-Met Ice Hockey Coach-of-the-Year Mary Carpenter found the event to dovetail nicely with Stone Ridge's commitment to the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), noting that it "provided a reminder that SR coaches have a tremendous responsibility to and for our athletes." About her takeaways from the event, Carpenter summarized, "I loved that they took what is often an abstract idea–teaching life lessons through sport– and identified ways that coaches could actually make that happen. Most of us recognize the potential for sports to foster social and emotional development beyond the playing field, but the Aspen Institute's Calls for Coaches creates a practical roadmap by outlining seven key ways to become a "transformative" vs "transactional" leader. Focusing on the whole athlete, creating a supportive culture, and emphasizing the process over the outcome, the transformative coach is one who inspires their athletes to love the game and be their best selves."
In reflecting on the recommendations from the event and the current practices of coaches at Stone Ridge, SR Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Training, Dr. Andrew Maguire noted that although Calls for Coaches may seem like a daunting task for some, Stone Ridge is already a leader in several areas that contribute to the overall development of students through sport. Citing the school's mission to develop the whole child in line with Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria, Maguire commented, "All of our SR Coaches for the nearly 60 SR Middle School and Upper School teams strive for and emulate several of the Calls for Coaches on a regular basis, including being role models and creating supportive team cultures." Maguire also noted that the Aspen Institute event, "reinforced that the work of SR coaches has been industry leading, however, that SR must continue to pursue each of the seven Calls for Coaches to best serve each girl and remain a leader in athletic and whole-child development programming for years to come."