At any InSideOut Initiative training or event, you’ll hear a resounding theme. This work is not possible without the dedication and commitment of partners—partners who share in our deeply-held belief that athletics experiences should put student-athletes’ health and well-being at the center of our activities, and that sports in high schools should be education-based.
A shining example of a committed partner is the California Interscholastic Federation—or the CIF—which is the governing body for high school sports in California. When a state is as large and has the geographical spread of California, it can be difficult for work like that of the Initiative to take hold—but the CIF makes it possible.
After launching in Los Angeles with the Chargers and the Rams in late 2017, as well as conducting myriad statewide trainings at events like the CSADA Conference, InSideOut was proud to launch in partnership with the 49ers and California’s central and northern regions last week.
Jody Redman and AD Partner Russ Reetz hosted two days of training in Sacramento. The first was a gathering of educational leaders—superintendents, principals, and other leadership from area schools, who came together to learn about what it means to commit their school communities to this transformational work. The second was with School Implementation Teams; made up of athletic administrators, male and female coaches of influence and school administrators—to have in-depth discussions about what transformational sports culture can look like, and how they can begin to instill it in their school communities.
Jody and Russ guided the conversations around the importance of having an aligned community and the value of belonging, about the mental health crisis, and about how the InSideOut System and InSideOut Philosophy are the foundation to a transformational school culture. Attendees reflected on their experiences as student-athletes and the messages they received. One educational leader said, “When I’m struggling, even today, I still hear things that my coaches said to me. It still resonates with me today.”
Leaders had the opportunity to reflect on what it truly means to be a leader. They shared examples such as:
- A leader is someone who provides vision and resources to their community in order to meet objectives based on the community’s values.
- A leader is someone who empowers and inspires others to courageously and authentically engage in the game of life.
- A leader is someone who influences others to be the best they can be and helps to develop character traits that allow them to be successful in life.
When we think of leadership—our partners in California are an incredible embodiment of these traits—and we’re honored to be on this journey with them. Thank you to the CIF and NFL Foundation for making this work possible.