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WSSAAA News WSSAAA News - June 2017
President's Message
Relax! August Will Be Here Soon Enough
Scott Nordi, CAA
Lakes High School
As we wrap up another school year and begin the preparations for the next I hope you find some time this summer for family and friends. August will be upon us all too fast, so do take some time for yourself, reconnect with family and friends, get out and see some of our great state and most of all RELAX!

This year has been very full and fast paced for me with the planning and implementation of the 2017 WSSAAA conference this past April and the changes we are striving to make in regard to the conference and the involvement from our membership. In looking back at the progress the WSSAAA Board has made in putting together a great conference it is obvious that our membership is all in, and supportive of what the Board has provided in terms of professional development. Our conference attendance continues to climb and we once again hit record numbers in attendance at this past year’s conference.

Lacey London has put together a great group of representatives from across the State to assist with the planning of the next conference. This is a change from years past and the Board feels that this will only enhance what we are already doing in regard to the conference. Lacey’s committee met for the first time in Spokane at the end of the conference and discussed several topics and are preparing to look at the overall conference format so that we can better address the needs and wants of the membership. There will be much more to come from Lacey in the coming months.

As the incoming WSSAAA Board President it is my goal to continue the fine work that those that have gone before me have done. I want to continue to grow the overall organization and will seek to involve more of our members in the planning and organization of WSSAAA activities. There are many areas in which you can become involved with WSSAAA and the growth of the organization.

Our mentoring program has been a huge success and has contributed to the professional growth of our membership. Each of you has something to offer this program and we will be reaching out and asking for presenters and topics to be covered in our mentoring webinars.

Robert Polk is also looking for fresh voices to teach the many LTI offerings and if you have taken LTI 790 you are able to teach any course that you have already completed. These are just a few of the ways in which you can continue to expand your involvement with WSSAAA.

So, as you wrap up another year, take time to reflect on the successes of your programs and celebrate them with your students and community. Find time this summer to relax and spend time with family and friends. Take time to do something for yourself. August will be upon us before you know it, and we will all be back in the trenches serving our students and communities.

I am looking forward to continuing to serve you as the 2017 – 2018 WSSAAA Board President.

Scott Nordi, CAA
2017-2018 WSSAAA Board President

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WSSAAA News WSSAAA News - June 2017
Executive Director's Report
Well Done, Good and Faithful Servants
Dave Tikker
WSSAAA Executive Director
I would like to take a moment and say thank you to many who have served over the years in a leadership capacity on our board who are retiring at the end of this year.

First of all a big thank you to Tom Doyle and Jim Piccolo for being in charge of our mentoring program these last two years. They have done an outstanding job of helping new AD’s get acclimated into their new positions. This last year we had 48 new AD’s come to our conference. I believe the mentoring program, led by Tom and Jim was the biggest reason for the increase in attendance. We are going to miss them as both of them are stepping away from the mentoring program. They have laid the foundation and we will continue to move forward because of their efforts.

Before being the WSSAAA mentors both Tom and Jim served a very long tenure on the WSSAAA Board. Jim Piccolo served 28 years on the WSSAAA Board, was conference chair, President, and started the LTI program in our state. Tom was on the board for 20 years as well as volunteered his time to be the association treasurer for many of those years. Tom was instrumental in the transition of leadership when we went to the executive director model in our state. Both Tom and Jim were LTI Instructors and Presidents of our Association.

Ty Morris will also be retiring from our board this year after 23 years on the WSSAAA Board and 38 years as a WSSAAA member. Ty and Jim Piccolo were instrumental in getting Washington involved with leadership at the NIAAA. We owe much of our progress to their push for our involvement years ago. Ty was also an LTI Instructor, on the budget committee, conference chair and WSSAAA President.

Dave Cullen will be retiring this year from the WSSAAA Board after 19 years of service. Dave was the conference chair, President, LTI Instructor, on the constitution committee, the budget committee, and tracked the history of our membership these last few years.

Mike Mckee will be stepping off the WSSAAA Board after 10 years of service. Mike was our past conference chair, President, LTI Instructor, and was the chair of our budget committee for the last 5 years.

Please join me in extending our sincere thanks to the many thousands of hours these men have dedicated to the WSSAAA Board and Education Based Athletics. Their legacy will follow them forever.

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servants! We will miss you!

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WSSAAA News WSSAAA News - June 2017
2017 Spring Conference
Honoring Our Own Part of Spring Conference
WSSAAA Release
The 2017 Spring Conference in Spokane drew a record number of athletic directors from around the state for education courses, workshops, inspirational keynote speakers, vendor interaction and networking. It also was an opportunity for WSSAAA to recognize outstanding performances of its members.

WSSAAA Athletic Directors of the Year

Don Dalziel, Shoreline School District – Dist 1
Scott Nordi, Lakes High School – Dist 3

Hall of Fame
Bob Dowding, Seattle Lutheran

District Athletic Directors of the Year

District 1
Don Dalziel
Shoreline School District

District 2
Carrie Burr
Ballard High School

District 3
Scott Nordi
Lakes High School

District 4
Jerry Striegel
Rochester High School

District 5
John Cazier
Chiawana High School

District 6
Russ Waterman
Eastmont High School

District 7
Jeff Pietz
Lakeside High School

District 8
Brad Cossette
Shaw Middle School

District 9
Ken Lindgren
Oakesdale High School

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WSSAAA News WSSAAA News - June 2017
Preparing for Playing Time Conversations
Loren Sandhop, CAA
Moses Lake School District
As a working Athletic Director, our position allows for opportunities to interact with parents. Those interactions can happen before, during or after a team contest. Those interactions can be both positive and negative and we need to remember that these may be the only times a parent may interact with school personnel. When those conversations revolve around their child’s playing time, they can become heated and emotionally charged, and in my experience, they should not happen right after a contest in front of other people, especially where other children may hear the conversation.

Coaches need to understand it can be trying for parents to come to contests and not see their son or daughter competing on the field or court. Coaches need to communicate that lessons of high school athletics can and are learned not just on the competition floor, but the whole time a student/athlete is participating in athletics. Good coaches find a way to honor those who try, who strive to be better and succeed. Research says the top 3 reasons students play HS sports are: 1) to have fun 2) to stay in shape and 3) to get exercise. Coaches can make sure parents understand that their child’s experience will include these pieces, whether they start or sit next to them on the bench on game days.

My experience tells me parents want more than that however. As AD’s, we know many parents are looking for the college scholarship, the recognition, and the attention that their child gets from playing sports. We can reiterate that they learn something about themselves and their relationships with others. Athletes can challenge themselves to be better, to improve daily, whether they play or not. Athletes learn to push themselves when they really don't feel like doing a job. It is an admirable quality to give of themselves even when someone else can benefit. We should all be thrilled when kids are participating in high school sports. They are occupying time, learning, and staying out of other troubles. They are a part of something much bigger than themselves. They are making friends, learning about themselves, learning to cooperate with peers, and learning to deal with a "boss," both when that boss is positive and when the boss is negative.

So, when parents approach a coach or A.D. regarding playing time, they are showing they are proud of their kids. If nothing else, when they express frustration about playing time, it’s only because they care about their kid and want them to feel good. They sometimes forget that they will learn to stick something out which is a commendable character trait. Whether they believe it or not, growing in character is a high priority in educational based athletics. As a parent, coming to contests, they support their child’s character growth, whether their kid plays or not. Coaches should spend considerable time talking about individual and team goals, and trying to help them reach those goals.

The purpose of extra-curricular programs should be to provide experiences in which individuals are able to grow and improve the team and their individual characteristics. Student/Athletes should expect to:

  • Participate in a positive growth experience.

  • Compete in a healthy and safe environment.

  • Participate in an environment that is fair, consistent, and free from intimidation.

  • Grow in both self-concept and skill development.

  • Be afforded appropriate opportunities to compete or perform.

  • That last bulleted point is where things can become sticky. What is appropriate and who decides that level of participation, at least on game days? The successful coach understands that communication is the key to a successful program, typically identifying roles of players and communicating to them those roles; as well as having a pre-season meeting or notebook to deal with the process and policies of specific situations should they arise. If players have a problem or a concern, it is important to get all parties on the same page with the direction of the program.

    At times, it may be difficult for parents to accept the fact that their son/daughter is not playing as much as they would like. Coaches are professionals who make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be the best for the team and all involved. It is important to understand that there may also be times when things do not go the way a parent or athlete wishes. At these times, discussion with the coach may be the quickest and most effective way to clear up the issue and avoid any misunderstanding. The conference should be between the coach, the athlete and the parent. It is very typical that the parent doesn’t want the student/athlete present, but I think it is vital, because what is happening at practice or on the team should not just come from the coach, but with the player’s perspective as well. It is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other person’s role and position. When these conferences are necessary, the following procedure should be followed to help promote a resolution to the issue of concern.

    We suggest that players first discuss playing time with their coach privately. Coaches usually like to win, so they will play the players they think will help the team achieve that. Tough questions deserve honest straight answers. Players usually understand when someone is better than they are, or if someone works harder than them. When parents ask their son or daughter at home why they don’t play, the response may not be the same at home as it is in front of their coach who knows the reality of their work ethic or ability level. To avoid the confrontation at or immediately after a game, the coach should request that their son/daughter should first talk with the coach about his/her concern privately.

    Parents need to be reminded to not approach a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach. Meetings at these times usually do not work well for the coach, the parent or the player. Set-up a private meeting including the parent if the private coach-player meeting does not resolve the situation.

    Coaches should thank parents for taking the time to care about their athlete and the support of the program. Parents need to hear that coaches are saddened that a player would go through their program and have them or their parents (and family) feel we did not look out for the best interest of their student/athlete. Coaches would love for every student/athlete to have equal playing time and have every team win the league title. The reality is, not all players are equal physically, emotionally, or with their work ethic and behavior, and the teams we compete against are trying to win too. It is my belief that playing time is a student/athlete-coach issue, not a parent-coach issue. Coaches and Athletic Directors should be able to express their philosophy; such as that we want to MOVE ALL KIDS FROM POINT A to POINT B in all applicable skills: Leadership, Teamwork, Dedication, Responsibility, Self-Discipline, Work Ethic, Time Management and Sportsmanship.

    These can be talking points and points of emphasis with the parent when the only thing on their mind is playing time. For example, reminding them that employers want these characteristics, not necessarily an ex-state champion or a "starter" on the team. These skills are developed by being part of a program over many weeks and should not be judged by the amount of time on the playing field or court when the uniform is worn. Yes, it would be nice to have them all play, and it is key to express that coaches have a responsibility to try and compete and never give-up. A simple reflective question at the end of each year can be, regardless of how many minutes an athlete played in, did they move forward in any of those intangible areas?

    If parents or fans disagree with who plays, the adults need to make sure they first understand the goals of the individual player and the direction of the program. Does the individual player think they deserve to start or play over someone else who has more ability or has worked harder? What were their individual goals for being on the team? The coach is responsible to discuss ways to improve with the player. Sometimes their athletic ability doesn't match their wishes and that tough questions deserve honest tough answers. Parents and adults must realize that coaches want to compete as much as anyone. It is not fair to try them in the court of public opinion such as in the stands or on social media immediately after a contest. Teams can only be successful with all oars in the water pulling in the same direction; otherwise the boat will go in circles when people pull in different directions.

    About the Author

    Loren Sandhop, CAA, has been the Athletic Director for the Moses Lake School District since 2000. He is currently on the WSSAAA Executive Board, North Central Washington Executive Board and is the secretary/treasurer of the Columbia Basin Big 9 Athletic Conference. He has served on the WIAA Executive Board and been named the District 6 AD of Year.

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    WSSAAA News WSSAAA News - June 2017
    WIAA News
    Plan Now for WIAA Coaches Clinic in Yakima
    WIAA Release
    Please join us for the 2017 WIAA Coaches School presented by Rush Team Apparel in Yakima, July 27 – 29.

    The WIAA Coaches School is an excellent opportunity for coaches, advisors and administrators for all activities and athletics to interact, to learn, and to share experiences that contribute to the professionalism of interscholastic coaching.

    The registration fee for Coaches School is $110. The registration fee increases to $130 on July 13, 2017.

    Pre-conference Sports Medicine First Aid and CPR Training have a separate pre-registration fee of $40. The registration increases to $50 on July 13.

    Register here.

    Remember, attendance at the entire WIAA Coaches School meets the WIAA coaching requirements for the beginning level and the continuous training level, as well as providing up to 21 clock hours at no additional charge.

    Check out the full Coaches School Schedule here.

    All cancellations must be communicated to the WIAA Office by July 20, 2017 for a full refund.

    Enjoy a power-packed conference that will inspire, motivate, and prepare you for the upcoming school year!

    For hotel information and other details on the Coaches School, check out the WIAA website.

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    WSSAAA News WSSAAA News - June 2017
    AD Certification
    LTI Courses Available Online This Summer
    NIAAA Release
    The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators has announced the schedule of Leadership Training Courses that will offered in a webinar format this summer and fall.

    In an effort to meet the needs of individuals who desire to enhance their knowledge of interscholastic athletic administration and cannot attend the national conference or state conference, the NIAAA seasonally offers selected courses in a webinar format. Our webinars offer the opportunity to take courses from the comforts of the office or home and receive the same quality instruction, interaction and networking opportunities as is provided in a classroom setting. Each webinar costs $125 for members and $155 for non-members. The course fee includes the course manual and an acknowledgment of course completion.

    2017 Summer Webinar Schedule

    501 - Tuesdays
    July 25 & August 1

    502 - Mondays
    July 24 & 31

    503 - Wednesdays
    July 26 & August 2

    510 - Thursdays
    July 27 & August 3

    611 - Tuesdays
    July 11 & 18

    626 - Mondays
    July 10 & 17

    630 - Wednesdays
    July 12 & 19

    700 - Thursdays
    July 13 & 20

    Course descriptions are available here.

    Registration for the 2017 Summer Webinars will open May 15.

    For more details on the webinar courses or to register, go here.

    2017 Fall Webinar Schedule

    501 - Tuesdays
    October 31 & November 7

    502 – Thursdays
    October 19 & 26

    504 - Tuesdays
    October 17 & 24

    506 – Thursdays
    November 2 & 9

    511 - Wednesdays
    October 18 & 25

    631 - Mondays
    October 30 & November 6

    705 - Mondays
    October 16 & 23

    703 - Wednesdays
    November 1 & 8

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    WSSAAA News WSSAAA News - June 2017
    Coaching Leaders
    How Body Language Affects Athletic Performance
    Craig Hillier
    first of two part series
    “Our minds change our bodies, and our bodies change our minds.” - Amy Cuddy

    It’s third and goal, with 2:47 remaining in the game. A touchdown will put the hometown team up by three. At the snap, the quarterback fumbles, and the other team recovers the ball. Immediately, the QB’s hands clutch his helmet, his shoulders droop, his head drops toward his chest. Slowly, he walks to the sideline, shaking his head in shame and frustration. He retreats to an isolated area, takes a knee, and stares at the ground. He wishes he could somehow disappear.

    On the next possession, the opposing team fumbles on the 20-yard line with 37 seconds left. The quarterback, stuck in depression, misses seeing the turnover and is unaware the coaches are yelling for the offense to take the field. There is still a chance for victory.

    The coaches finally break through his negative state of mind and get him back on the field with a special play for this situation. The QB throws an interception. Game over.

    It’s the seventh inning. The pitcher feels the tension after delivering the pitch that she thought was a strike. Instead, it was called ball four, which loads the bases with only one out. In her younger days, the senior pitcher would have glared at the ump, shook her head in frustration, and kicked the infield sand while storming back to the mound.

    Instead, she recalled a recent disagreement with her mother, who said, “You pitch better when you smile.” The young woman replied sharply. “Mom, you don’t get it! I’ll smile when I start pitching better!” Her mom just smiled and let her message hang in the air.

    Now in a difficult spot, the pitcher looks to the stands and sees her mom wearing a big, silly smile nodding with encouragement. The pitcher takes a deep breath and soaks in the moment. She forces a smile, which quickly becomes genuine With that, she finds herself relaxed and surging with confidence. After all, she is the #1 pitcher on the team and has only one loss the entire season. She thinks, “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for all season! I’ve got this.” Her shift in posture and mindset becomes evident to her teammates, who match her body language. The opposing team seems more anxious. Even the umpire’s tone changes as he yells, “Batter up!”

    The pitcher reared back for two quick strikes. The third pitch is hit to the shortstop, which the team converts into a successful double play. Game over!

    These true stories illustrate how body language affects athletic performance. Too often, athletes are unaware of how their body language sends messages to their minds, the coaches, officials, the opposing team, and even the crowd assembled to watch the competition. Usually, team members gauge and duplicate a team leader’s or captain’s approach. So, it’s especially important for team leaders and captains to understand the power of body language.

    Communication—delivering a message—is composed of three parts: words, tone of voice, and body position/posture. Various research studies have shown that body language accounts for as much as 55% of communication, whereas tone of voice makes up 38% of the message, with words representing a mere 7% of the meaning. This certainly reflects the adage, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

    This first article in this two-part series shares insights into three aspects of body language:

    1. Top five examples of negative body language

    2. Causes of negative body language

    3. Effects of negative body language

    In part 2, I’ll go through a fourth aspect of body language: The Seven S’s of Positive Body Language.

    Top Five Examples

    Five physical cues signal negative body language. Think of the word SLUMP. It almost sounds like what it means. In this case, it represents the top five examples of negative body language:

  • Sunken shoulders

  • Low energy

  • Unapproachable eye contact

  • Magnified anger

  • Pessimistic facial expression

  • Showing any one of the examples consistently can send even great athletes into a SLUMP. And, it gets really ugly when all five appear on a single person simultaneously!

    Causes of Negative Body Language

    What causes an athlete to go into a SLUMP? Several factors contribute to the body language SLUMP.

    1. A loss or poor performance — Everyone wants to play a perfect game and perform at the highest level. When that doesn’t happen, it’s easy to SLUMP.

    2. Lack of confidence — Being placed in an uncomfortable or new position on a team creates tension. Tension can short circuit the brain and send confusing messages to the body that lead to negative body language.

    3. Culture of criticism — Athletes who fear making mistakes because they know others will be critical play tentatively. A tentative approach normally leads to terrible performance. To protect their self-esteem, athletes commonly assume the SLUMP posture. Often, athletes adopt negative body language to show others they feel badly or are frustrated with their poor performance. The unconscious goal is that others will understand that the athlete has recognized the situation, and they are not happy about their poor performance. Sometimes, the protective armor of poor body language prevents others from kicking someone who is already down.

    When a team leader or captain sets a tone of negative body language, it’s very common for teammates to get anxious and mimic the team leader’s response. Hey, after all, if the go-to leader is upset, maybe the rest of the team should be upset too.

    Effects of Body Language

    Coaches, officials, your teammates, and parents will notice the effects of your body language, especially if you are fully in a SLUMP. During a press conference following a 2017 final-four game, Geno Auriemma, UConn woman’s basketball coach, spoke on the impact of negative body language. He said, “If I see one of my players demonstrating poor body language because of playing time or personal stats, they will take a spot on the bench.” He goes on to say that when he’s watching game film, he evaluates play on the court and how the players on the bench are conducting themselves. “If a player has negative body language on the bench, they will never, ever get in again.” To listen to the full interview, click here.

    If you have ever competed against a team in which players are slumping, it can create a blood-in-the-water scenario. When a shark smells blood, it attacks. When a team sees an opponent slumping, they may be thinking, “We have them where we want them! Now, let’s apply more pressure and watch them fold.” Athletes who show signs of negative body language are signaling the opponent that “The frustration is too much! Let’s just give up!”

    Have you ever seen an opposing player SLUMP, and the high school audience starts to taunt him/her? Sometimes, the farther into a SLUMP the player falls, the more vicious the audience becomes. People may not even look at the scoreboard; they get a bigger kick out of seeing how far they can push the slumping behavior. Of course, this response is very unsportsmanlike and not condoned. So, it’s wise to avoid fueling the audience by going into SLUMP mode.

    I often ask officials about the role body language plays in sports. Several have told me they are aware of body language beginning with the pre-game captains’ meeting, the contest itself, and the post-game response after a win or loss. One referee said, “Body language tells me a lot about an athlete’s character. If he/she whines about every call and is constantly complaining, it says a lot about that person.” A second official said, “Body language creates a mini job resume with officials.” Finally, a third official made a statement that astounded me. He said, “If there is a big gap in the score, my experience has been the only team that has a chance to come back and win is the team with positive body language.” He went on to say, “I’ve never seen a team with negative body language overcome a big deficit to win the game.”

    Clearly, body language can work for you or against you. So, what are the keys to creating positive body language?

    Find out in part two of this two-part series in the next newsletter!

    * * *

    To prepare your team leaders and captains for a season of significance check out Craig’s new book, High School Sports Leader — Coaching Team Leaders and Captain’s to a Season of Significance, please go to

    If your conference is planning an upcoming event, and you need of a presenter who engages the mind, body, and imagination, of today’s teen audience, please visit or call 612-749-9700.

    Craig Hillier has been speaking to students about leadership since 1990. Craig has spoken to more than two million students in 35 states. In addition to his new book, he has written, "How to Step UP as a Leader" and "Playing Beyond the Scoreboard," a team captain’s guide to a season of significance.

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