The value of athletics in schools is undeniable and cannot be overlooked. It has a profound impact on individuals, the school as a whole, as well as the community. Building a strong student-community is an essential component in revitalizing a school and drawing new families. “Building a program is all about work ethic and accountability. As we change the philosophy of the program, it will become more desirable. Fairmont has all the tools from an academic standpoint to attract good players,” Director of Coaching of soccer program, Rob Viviano said.

Athletics, in general, is powerful and transcendent. It can bridge gaps and bring groups with relatively little in common together. According to Fairmont Prep Head Boys Basketball Coach Joedy Gardner, “It takes five years to change the culture and build a championship program.” Fairmont Preparatory Academy is well on its way with their Boys Basketball team advancing to CIF Round 2, the first time in Fairmont history.

What does a robust athletic program bring to a school?

School Pride – Athletics is the building block of promoting school pride. Pre-game events such as homecoming, pep rallies, or cheering for the Boys Basketball team at STAPLES Center are a few one small example of showing pride.

School pride is about coming together for every game—putting individual difference aside and yelling and cheering loudly together in support of your team. It is about wearing school colors or being a member of Loud Crowd. It is about the student section coming up with creative chants that get in the other team’s heads before the game even begins.

School pride creates a bond between an individual and the school. It is the joy that you feel when you have a child attending and playing for your alma mater. It is a connection that can be both deep and meaningful.

The Hidden Value – Colleges today seek a new type of student. Admission is based on 10% IQ, 90% EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and taking a hard look at student involved, meaning extracurricular activities which include service, clubs or athletics. Students who show REAL commitment, drive and dedication combined with a superior GPA and test scores are well-regarded. The stereotypical “dumb jock” is a thing of history because student-athletes are held accountable with academic eligibility emphasized.

Essential Life Skills – A strong athletic program provides student-athletes with several hidden benefits including the acquisition of valuable skills that will help them throughout their lives. These skills are more beneficial than the games themselves, and their impact can be meaningful. Some skills include:

Effort – Defined as giving it everything you have in both practice and games. Effort can overcome the lack of talent in many cases. A player who gives 100% effort is said to have heart. Life lesson: Give your best no matter what and you cannot question yourself in the end.

Hard work – It is the preparation you put into becoming a better player before the game begins. This includes strength and endurance training, individual practice time, and film study. Life lesson: Preparation is the key to success. If you work hard to prepare, mistakes are less likely to occur.

Self-discipline – It is the ability to maintain and carry out the role the coaches have determined within the game plan. This includes understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Life lesson: Stay on task to get the job done no matter what distractions there may be.

Teamwork – This is the ability to work with others to complete a goal successfully. A team will only be successful if each individual fulfills their role. Life lesson: Working with others is an essential part of being successful. Doing your own thing can be detrimental and lead to many problems.

Time management – This is the ability to fulfill all obligations including practice, homework, family, friends, etc. Life lesson: You must be well-balanced and adept at handling all aspects of your life so that you are not overwhelmed and stressed out.