I have long been a baseball fan. To me, there are few things in life more beautiful than a baseball game. There is something about it that just gets me. As a player, coach, spectator, or anything in between, there is something magical that just grips me. Every year, around this time, I get that itch to lace up my cleats one more time and pitch..apparently I don’t have any college eligibility left though…
The last couple years I have really looked forward to the TCU baseball video coming out. For those of you that are not familiar with these videos, I will attach a couple of the best ones from the last couple of years:
Since Coach Jim Schlossnagle took over the reigns of the program, he has taken TCU to the top-tier of baseball programs in the nation. Cool story, but what is the point? TCU is a small, Christian college in Texas with an enrollment of just over 8,000 students. Most of the other “powerhouse” college baseball teams have enrollments of 30,000 plus students. How does Coach Schlossnagle get players to come to, and achieve so highly at TCU?
Simple, he is a huge believer in motivation. Those videos that I linked above are shown before each and every home game that the Horned Frogs play (yes, that is their real mascot). In the last 11 years, TCU has finished either first or second in their conference nine times. In that same amount of time, he has produced 10 All-Americans and had 12 players make it the Major Leagues-that is not even including those who were drafted and only made it to the minor leagues, which is still an amazing accomplishment. Many times the players that he is getting are considered to be “second-tier” players that the “big” guys don’t want to go after. He motivates these players to come to TCU, invest in his program, and go on to bigger and better things.
This got me to thinking this morning…why don’t we do something similar in education. Granted, yes, there is a difference between a college baseball team and a middle school English classroom- I understand that. But all the same, do I motivate students to do their best and to strive for greatness? Sadly, I think that the answer to this is no. Most students are motivated by what? Their grade. How sad that most of my students are motivated by only their grade and not something deeper. While not all students would respond to motivation, maybe a couple in each class would be.
I am not saying that I should show a video or anything like that- honestly that would most likely come across as too cheesy and students would just tune me out…but there has to be something. Maybe it is a small saying that can be used often, or a poster that my students help to create, but there has to be something that can help to motivate students to push beyond “what is expected.” I want students to want to be in the spotlight and to have that same quiet confidence that TCU has. If anyone has any suggestions as to what they do, please feel free to share! Just know, I am not above begging, borrowing, and stealing!