Cultivate a Partnership with the Athletic Department, with Coach Steve Cook


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Choirs are Horrible the card game comes out today! Coach Steve Cook is the head football coach at the same Higginsville, MO high school where his wife Sarah Cook is a choir director. He has some recommendations for choir directors who want to build a cooperative relationship with their school’s athletic department (other than marrying the head football coach.) Working together brings unique benefits to both departments. After all, you really are already on the same team. Listen [Subscribe on iTunes] [Subscribe on Android] Highlight to Tweet: “What better way to recruit them, than through their friends?” - Steve Cook Show Notes:

  • Coaches motivate kids to do things they wouldn’t normally want to do. They teach them to work.
  • Qualities of a great football player: ability, personality, someone willing to learn and try to get better.
  • Pre-game: In the locker room before the game, they don’t review plays. If the players don’t have it down 15 minutes before the game, they aren’t going to. That time is purely for motivation.
  • The game is more enjoyable when the audience is involved in participating in some way, like gamesmanship with a crosstown rival.
  • There is room for students to be involved in both sports and music. The students who excel in one area frequently excel in both.
  • The coaching staff follows Steve’s lead of support and affirmation to the choir program. Setting that attitude is important to a good relationship between the departments.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out. Build personal relationships before schedule conflicts arise.
  • Find ways to work together. The choir can lead the national anthem at pep rallies, or help create videos and highlight reels.
  • The best strategy in building a working partnership with your athletic department is just to approach them. Don’t use email. Know that everyone is a professional, everyone wants what is best for students.
  • There’s one thing the choir has that might be important to the football team: girls. The social aspect of choir is different than what they get in football practice.
  • Establish common ground. You are all on the same team.
Bio: Coach Steve Cook is entering his eleventh season as The head coach of the Lafayette County C-1 Higginsville Huskers in Higginsville, MO. In 2015, the Huskers advanced to the Class 2 State Semifinals, falling short the eventual State Champions, the Lamar Tigers. Coach Cook’s teams have won six consecutive MRVC East Championships and four District Championships. In 2011, the Huskers advanced to the Class 2 State Championship Game, finishing second to Lamar Tigers. As his tenure as the huskers head coach, Cook’s teams have amassed a record of 95 and 30. Cook is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri, where he began coaching in Higginsville as a volunteer in the fall of 2000. Coach Cook is married to Sarah Cook, vocal music teacher at Lafayette Co. C-1. Together, they reside on a small farm in Mayview, Mo their children, Miriam (10) and Joel (7). Resources/links Mentioned: Sponsored by: Sight Reading Factory (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for 10 free student accounts!) My Music Folders (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for “last column” or best pricing - usually reserved for bulk purchases only!)

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