A Fresh Start

August 29, 2017

Luke Mertens is the new Head Football Coach for Lake Zurich (Ill.) High School, and he is promising that winning games will not be the team's sole focus.

According to the Daily Herald, Lake Zurich football experienced a hazing scandal last November, which resulted in the resignations of the school's athletic director, head coach, assistant coach and other officials. Mertens believes that teaching personal character is more important than athletic success.

"That's always been my approach,” Mertens said. “I can't tell you what my record is. I don't care what my record is. It has never mattered to me. I can't guarantee wins; I can't guarantee playing time; I can't guarantee them anything other than the fact that you will be a better person from being part of the program."

At a meeting with parents, Mertens explained his goals: making his players better people, having fun and building relationships.

"I'm challenging these parents to stop judging me by what the score is on Friday," Mertens said. "Judge me by what type of human I am and am I a good role model for your son. Don't judge me by wins or by if your son plays, because that's all what's wrong with sports right now."

Acting on their lawyers' recommendations, Lake Zurich's administrators implemented a 13-point plan, which includes points such as having adult supervision for players and ensuring that those in the athletic department "give careful consideration to culture." The athletic department also came up with a list of 15 values that were important for its student-athletes, and respect was considered the most important of them.

"I think that word would solve so many problems in our entire world, if we just learn to respect people," Mertens said. "We don't have to like everyone, (but if) we learn to understand that person and respect that person and walk a day in his or her shoes, I truly believe that would solve so many issues in our world today."

From New World Of Coaching
Long-time crew coach and athletic administrator Mike Davenport explains one of the methods he uses to improve as a coach: A Coach in Improvement Action List. You can A refer to this list in times of doubt or struggle.
SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

A Rebounder With Versatility

Medicine ball exercises are a staple of many workout routines. Whether the goal is performance enhancement by strengthening the core or helping an athlete rehab from an injury, medicine balls are versatile piece of equipment that can get the job done. But most strength coaches and athletic trainers don’t have enough time available to catch … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Author and Strength Coach Mike Mejia Praises VersaClimber

“Over the course of the past twenty years I’ve trained hundreds of clients that run the gamut from average Joe’s to professional athletes and in all that time, I’ve never come across a cardio piece that comes anywhere near the Versa Climber!” says Mike Mejia M.S., CSCS, author of The Men’s Heath Better Body Blueprint, … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Indoor Pool Surface Solution

Mateflex has indoor pool surfacing that is safer and more enjoyable to walk on than concrete. Mateflex offers perforated tiles to allow water to drain through that can cover up old, unsightly concrete or just spruce up a new area with a colorful design. The interlocking tiles dry quickly while keeping your feet out of … CLICK TO READ MORE...

The Evolution of the Lifting Platform

The days of the above ground weightlifting platform may be a thing of the past. More and more high schools, colleges, and professional strength and conditioning facilities who are either building a new facility or renovating an existing facility are going away from the traditional above ground lifting platform and choosing the inlaid platform, which … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Teaching Principles: Neck Rotation

Coach Bill ‘Jake’ Jacobs goes back to the basic teaching principles with Neck Rotation. View his demonstration.  CLICK TO READ MORE...

VIEW MORE ARTICLES

Stay at the Top of Your Game!
x
Receive articles like this by signing up for our newsletters