Conference Promotes Coaching Education, Celebrates National Sportsmanship Day

Mar 1, 2012

In an effort to prepare coaches for the multifaceted challenges facing today’s athletic instructors and administrators managing high school programs, The University of Scranton will host a conference entitled “Schools Shaping the Culture of Sport” on Tuesday, March 6, and Wednesday, March 7, at the DeNaples Center on campus. The conference will provide very useful information and tools for the many University of Scranton employees who are parents and/or coaches of young athletes. A person may attend one session, a few segments, or the entire conference.

The conference, presented by PIAA District II and The University of Scranton Bochicchio Sport Character Initiative, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association, includes Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) interactive workshops and discussions for coaches, athletes and parents, as well as an award dinner Wednesday night. The two-day event coincides with the celebration of the 22nd annual National Sportsmanship Day.

The conference kicks off on March 6 at 1:30 p.m. with “Becoming a Triple Impact Competitor,” a workshop for student-athletes in District II examining how they can improve themselves, their teammates, and the game. Kelly Kratz, a veteran PCA trainer, will lead the interactive workshop.  Kratz, a graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has coached basketball and lacrosse at the youth, high school and college levels. Steve Vacendak, Scranton Prep alumnus and Duke University basketball great; Colleen Murphy, Scranton’s women’s soccer head coach and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee advisor; and Dick Dull, former University of Maryland athletic director, will lead a discussion addressing the importance of student-athlete leadership.

At 7:30 p.m., a workshop for parents, entitled “The Second Goal Parent: Developing Winners in Life Through Sports,” explores the role of a parent in a high school setting, ensuring their student-athlete’s experience yields healthy, developmental outcomes that will serve them far beyond the playing field. The session will include a question and answer segment with Toby Lovecchio, athletic director at The University of Scranton, University coaches, Dull and Vacendak. The panel will discuss the qualities and characteristics sought by college coaches in recruiting.

Both Tuesday sessions are free, though registration is required.

On March 7, the conference resumes with a welcome from District II chairman Frank Majikes, which leads into a series of coach-oriented workshops, beginning with “Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons” at 8 a.m. The session introduces the Positive Coaching Alliance Double Coach model (“Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons”) and presents research from experts in coaching, education and sports psychology. Tomm Evans, a PCA trainer who was a very successful head swimming coach at the University and a member of the Bochicchio Initiative Committee, will lead the workshop. A post-workshop discussion will follow.

At 10:15 a.m., the workshop “Culture, Practices and Games” addresses how great coaches build a culture that brings out the best in people, encouraging student-athletes to strive for excellence. Kratz will lead the workshop, assisted by Evans.

At noon, the conference hosts a special 45-minute session led by Rev. Rick Malloy, S.J., vice-president for university mission and ministry at The University of Scranton and a member of the Bochicchio Initiative Committee, who will discuss how sport has been a cultural force for good in our society and in our personal lives. The session is titled “From Jackie Robinson and Billie Jean King to Mia Hamm and Tim Tebow: The Deeper Meaning of Our Game: Sports and Transformation.”

The coaching clinics resume at 2 p.m. with “Developing Competitors,” a workshop designed for high school level coaches who are determined to help athletes make the journey from sports “participant” to become a “Triple Impact Competitor.” The session will explore more than a dozen exercises for coaches to help student-athletes improve themselves, their teammates, and the game.

The afternoon continues with a 4 p.m. panel discussion, “Athletics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” presented by Vacendak, Dull and District II officials, who will discuss the current status of high school athletics.

The conference concludes with a dinner, followed by the presentation of the second annual Bochicchio Award for the Promotion of Character through Sport, presented for exemplary development of character and sportsmanship. The award is funded by the American Sport Education Program.

While the conference’s Tuesday events are free, there are fees for the coaching sessions on Wednesday, including a $25 charge for those who wish to attend the dinner.

The Bochicchio Sport Character Initiative’s programs honor the memory of the late Joe Bochicchio, a University of Scranton coach who has inspired much of the University’s work to promote sportsmanship and coaching education.

The two-day conference is open to all coaches and athletic directors in school districts in PIAA District II, as well as youth sport leaders and coaches and sport educators at the collegiate level.

District II coaches, athletic directors and students interested in attending the workshop must register with Mike Ognosky, superintendent of Montrose Area Schools and District II secretary, by mail to Montrose Area School District, 273 Meteor Way, Montrose, Pa. 18801 or by fax to (570) 278-2426.

For additional information, contact Jack O’Malley, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology and chair of the steering committee of Bochicchio Sport Character Initiative, at 941-4269 or at 

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