Hulshof talks activities

Sioux Center Community School District activities director Mark Hulshof reported good student activity participation for the 2019-20 school year, in addition to plans for further improvements.

SIOUX CENTER—Sioux Center Community School District athletic director Mark Hulshof updated the members of the school board about enrollment in school activities and plans for the year ahead.

Hulshof reported 37 high schoolers have enrolled in volleyball, down two students from last year. In cross country, they have 34 high schoolers participating, which is one more than last year. Football and marching band each have 63 students, while cheerleading has eight.

“Our numbers are really strong,” Hulshof said. “Lot of kids in multiple activities.”

He added that coaches are doing a good job of staggering their practice times to allow for students to participate in multiple activities.

One of the things Hulshof plans to implement in the 2019-20 school year is a Student Advisory Council for activities, which he hopes will aid him in gathering students input.

As he envisions it, the council would have two students from each grade that are involved in multiple activities, and they would meet once a month during Warrior Time to talk about high school activities: “What concerns do they have, what do they see that we do well, how can we change things?”

Hulshof said he is working on gathering names for students who might be a good fit for the council and would represent a broad section of the high school students.

In addition to turning his attention to gaining more student input on activities, Hulshof is taking steps he hopes will help coaches make a more meaningful impact on students’ lives.

To do so, he is pursuing certification for what’s called 3D coaching.

To summarize, 3D coaching is a method that breaks down the philosophy of coaching to three basic components: fundamentals, which emphasizes the physical aspect of training student athletes; psychology, which focuses on the emotional and psychological needs of individual students and the team; and heart, which is about helping students improve themselves and value themselves.

“We have a lot of coaches who’ve been here a long time, and they’re really good at the fundamentals,” Hulshof said.

He added, “We’re pushing a lot in the classroom this year developing relationships within our homerooms, etc. But I’m really working this year with our coaches on how do we develop relationships with our athletes and within our activities.”

Once he gains certification, Hulshof plans to take what he’s learned and apply it to high school activities.

“When I talk with kids years down the road, it’s rarely about the game we won or lost, but it’s about what their teammates were like and what their coach was like,” Hulshof said.

Sioux Center has caring coaches already, he said, but he hopes this will make them more effective emotionally as they work alongside the students.

In speaking with coaches, he said there was a desire for help in finding ways to bind teams together.

“Hopefully through those classes, I’ll be able to bring some of that back,” Hulshof said.

As school board member Jerod Work put it, “Very few of our students move on to play professional sports. That’s not why we do it. It’s what else can they get out of it for life. Being a good teammate, discipline, working hard, things like that.”