Last week at Bastrop Middle School and Cedar Creek Middle School, student athletes participated in a leadership series called “Do Right and Do Your Best” with BISD’s Athletic Director Bob Jones. The students learned about expectations, loyalty, care and concern for teammates, and the principles of being a successful person on and off the field. They also learned about character, which Jones defines as who a person is when nobody is watching.
At the end of the week, athletes were asked to evaluate themselves in seven key areas: aggressiveness, dedication, drive, emotional control, leadership, mental toughness, and self-confidence. According to Jones, it is important for students to understand where they are starting from so that they can set goals for improvement going forward.
Brett Rice, who is a bright and articulate eighth grader at Bastrop Middle School, sees setting goals for the future as critical to earning a scholarship and being successful in life. He plays football and basketball, but track is what he loves most. This past summer Rice was a hurdler in the Junior Olympics and looks forward to the upcoming track season to improve his skills. He hasn’t quite decided what he wants to do in life or where he’d like to run track in college, but he’s keeping his eye on Texas A & M University in College Station.
“I really liked this. I think the coaches wanted us to go through these lessons because whatever we build together makes us better and stronger,” said Rice. Hard to argue with that.
Jones, who is in his second year as Bastrop ISD’s athletic director, has given these presentations for years in the other districts where he has served. Although a Nebraska native, his coaching career has been spent primarily in Texas with stints in Fort Worth, Houston-Aldine, and Shephard school districts.
“D. W. Rutledge taught this leadership training to me, and I have found that it really makes a difference for our students,” said Jones. “And I really enjoy doing it!”