Recent News

Sometimes We Win, Sometimes We Lose

At the beginning of each sports season, teams identify their goals for the upcoming year. These goals keep them focused, working hard and on a quest to win conference titles, and ultimately state championships. Goals help prepare our students to win games…but what happens when they don’t? With the score tied, the goalie readies himself…

The Wright Way to Play

You may not have heard the name Lefty Wright. Yes, you heard me right—Lefty Wright. I met Lefty in 1999 when I was the Assistant Athletic Administrator at Hopkins High School and was assigned to manage the Section 6AA Track and Field Meet—a daunting task for someone who had never previously organized a meet. Lefty…

Teaching Student Athletes: Why A Sport Is More Than A Sport

Student athletes in the Minnesota State High School League Valley Conference are taking part in a different kind of practice, learning how to apply the skills from their sports to school and beyond their athletic career. Often the focus in high school sports is the score at the end, but it can be about a…

Daring Greatly by Embracing Failure

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs…

Spring Update from Joe Ehrmann

Spring has sprung. We hope you are enjoying the transition to the planting seasons. We have been incredibly busy this spring preparing the soil, nurturing new perennials and preparing for new InSideOut seeds yet to be planted. The InSideOut Initiative and the NFL Foundation are making plans with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals to return…

Q&A: Rhonda Blanford-Green talks becoming CHSAA commissioner, plans for the future

Rhonda Blanford-Green is ready for the challenges in front of her. But don’t expect, as she says, a “change agent.” On March 15, CHSAA’s Board of Directors hired Blanford-Green to be the Association’s next commissioner. She will succeed Paul Angelico, a mentor and close friend, to become the ninth CHSAA commissioner. Blanford-Green worked at CHSAA…

Creating a Place of Belonging

At the end of the eight-hour school day, students walk through the doors and gates of our gyms, rinks, pools, courts and fields to be a part of the high school sports experience. They show up with a backpack of “stuff” they have acquired throughout their day: stuff that includes friends, popularity, comparison, teachers, being…

Just Fine or All In—The Choice Makes a Difference

Sports are a valued part of our culture. We value sports because we believe the students who are involved acquire something meaningful through their participation. But have we ever looked closely at how they benefit? What do the students who participate in our programs actually get? When the game is over and the score is…

Why We Play

WHY DO WE PLAY? For many in our sports culture, there is only one answer to this question—we play to WIN. I am going to suggest that there is some value in this answer. Do we play so a high school student can develop physical skills, score 1,000 points, and get a college scholarship? Yes….

The Benefits of Purpose-based Participation are Vast and Powerful

Sports are a valued part of our culture. We value sports because we believe the students that are involved acquire something through their participation. But have we ever looked closely at how they benefit? What do the students who participate in our programs actually get and what is the purpose of education-based sports? In a…