In 2012, the InSideOut Initiative’s now-co-founder Jody Redman read InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives, by co-founder Joe Ehrmann. After a series of book discussions, she and other Minnesota athletic administrators conceived WHY WE PLAY—an initiative to promote the educational purpose of sports. In 2013 the Minnesota State High School League began training Minnesota school communities.  WHY WE PLAY strategies have been successfully replicated in states who are now implementing the InSideOut Initiative and who have joined the movement to reclaim the educational purpose of sports.

Last year, a professional learning community (PLC) of Minnesota high school athletic administrators made a year-long commitment to growth as part of a collaborative partnership with the MSHSL and the InSideOut Initiative. Charlie Campbell, a participate had this to say, “This PLC has created an opportunity to develop personally and professionally and to reconnect with what is in our hearts. It provides us with a common language and platform to speak about the issues we are all facin—there’s great power and growth in that. It has revitalized the way I interact with my coaches and how we intentionally impact students.  This experience has been truly transformational.”

Today, over 500 high school athletic administrators receive annual training on the purpose of education-based athletics.

More than 25,000 Minnesota coaches have undergone training which results in the development of a Transformational Purpose Statement.

The League’s board of directors enacted a policy requiring statewide school board training on the purpose of education-based athletics prior to signing the league’s membership resolution.

WHY WE PLAY is the national model that has been replicated and utilized to help successfully launch the InSideOut Initiative and its purpose to reclaim the educational purpose of sports.

Special thanks to Dave Stead, Executive Director of the Minnesota State High School League and the League’s Board of Directors for supporting the development of WHY WE PLAY which inspired the creation of the InSideOut Initiative.

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Minnesota Testimonials

The sharing of my personal story and guiding principals in the opening InSideOut Character lesson was helpful to start a conversation about the reason I coach and the reasons my students play.

Patrick Nolan

“I lead to help student-athletes achieve mastery and live a life of growth and giving.”

Troy Urdahl, Ed. D, Director of Athletics, Activities, and Facilities, St. Anthony – New Brighton Schools