At The Franciscan School, the goal of our athletic program is to develop good sportsmanship, team building, self-reliance, responsibility, and self-discipline within each student through sports and games. Middle school students can play on any of our 13 different sports teams, with each encouraging a healthy lifestyle and building a genuine love of physical activity.
By integrating Catholic values with community awareness, the confidence to lead, reverence, and servitude, we’re able to provide students with space to grow happier and healthier, while developing skills that they can take into the next phases of their lives.
It’s More than a Game at TFS
The Franciscan School athletic program builds connections between our parents, faculty, and students. It’s essential that everyone feels like they belong. One way that we instill this value is by allowing each student to try out and play on any team. The community and positive reinforcement that students receive on each team help them fully immerse themselves in The Franciscan School experience, bonding them to the community at large.
When our Athletic Director, Doug Cottle, first started in his position four years ago, he was coming out of a boy’s basketball coaching role. Yet the support Mr. Cottle received when transitioning into his new role was unexpected but very appreciated. “When I first got to The Franciscan School, I organized a meeting with all of our parents and coaches before the season started, and I was welcomed warmly by all who were open to my leadership. They trusted me to make many changes, which included ramping up the pep rallies and getting the community more enthusiastic about school sporting events,” says Mr. Cottle. “When I leave TFS next year, I hope these moments are a part of my legacy.”
TFS Athletic Program Builds Healthy Competition and Character
We encourage physical activity and sporting games as a means to teach pivotal character-building lessons. For our students, the games and sportsmanship don’t start or end on the field or court. We nurture teamwork and goal setting and do our utmost to encourage humility in victory and defeat. Before students put on any uniform, we guarantee that they understand the love involved in appreciating the gifts of others— that they are welcoming hosts, good sports, and respectful ambassadors of The Franciscan School mission.
Movement Makes You Smarter
Sports teams also motivate students to work harder in the classroom. Mr. Cottle expressed that he has witnessed this firsthand. On one occasion, he had a student who had the physical abilities to excel on the basketball team. The student attended every open gym but missed the tryouts. When he reached out to the parents, his mother voiced concern that she didn’t think the student would be able to balance school work and the responsibility of the team. Mr. Cottle assured her that the team would be a motivating factor for the student. He was sure the team would help him gain newfound self-esteem that would seep to all aspects of his life. After the student made the team, his grades shot up. “Kids need an outlet, especially those who have different learning abilities,” he says.
What Physical Activity Looks Like in Spring 2020
With all the changes, our students have been resilient. They’ve accepted the virtual classroom model without many challenges and have embraced the novelty of the experience. Still, students must also make time to be active. Mr. Cottle encourages parents to incorporate physical movement into students’ daily lessons. Make it a priority to get outdoors at least once a day with your child, while Mr. Cottle acknowledges that you have to take extra precautions, to ensure you’re a safe distance from others, but he says just a few minutes a day can make a positive difference. “It will give you an opportunity to spend more time together— so come up with unique play ideas or simply go walking, jump on a trampoline, or go bike riding.” Parents also have access to ideas in the weekly Principal bulletin.
The Spring Athletic schedule is postponed as the school year has gone online, but be sure to check out what we have going on in the fall. Click here to see what’s on the calendar.