To inspire student-athletes to become the best versions of themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually.
All coaches are first and foremost teachers who are expected to work in tandem with the parents who are the primary educators of our students. Coaches are expected to be role models for our students at all times, seeking to exemplify Christ through all of their actions. They are expected to be messengers and champions of the Pope Prep mission and ensure all athletic programs further our goal of developing young men and women of faith and character. While each individual coach will have their own unique “coaching style,” there are certain commonalities that must be present in all of our coaches for the Pope Prep Athletic Program to be successful:
- All coaches will conduct themselves in a manner that represents and exemplifies the Pope Prep Mission and the philosophy of the Pope Prep Athletic Department.
- The language used should be positive and constructive, void of all obscenities, innuendo, personal attacks, or anything unsportsmanlike. While monitoring their own language, coaches should also set and strongly enforce standards of appropriate language for their athletes.
- Coaches will refrain from using any tobacco, alcoholic, or illegal substances on Pope Prep's campus or while in the presence of our students or other community members. Coaches will also enforce the broader Pope school rules regarding students and illicit substances, including but not limited to tobacco and alcohol.
- In fulfilling their role as mentors and role models, all coaches should incorporate meaningful prayer into their respective programs and teams. Prayer should not be a rushed event at the beginning or end of a practice or game, but rather a respected and essential part of each practice and game. Prayer should focus on the safety of all and using the talents of all to glorify and represent our faith, not entirely on winning.
- All coaches must support the overall Athletic Program and the coaches and teams of other sports.
- All coaches must know and abide by all TSSAA rules and regulations. Non-TSSAA sports teams should know and abide by all local governing board rules and/or the National Federation rules as appropriate.
- All coaches must ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the student-athletes both physically and mentally. Teams will be coached in a manner that promotes only ethical, competitive, and fair play while stressing the importance of and demanding good sportsmanship at all times.
- Coaches are responsible for the proper training, instruction, and conditioning of their athletes. They are expected to have adequate knowledge of their sport and prepare effective practices and game plans, including the assessment of athletes’ readiness for competition.
- All coaches will maintain open lines of communication with their student-athletes, parents, school faculty, and school administration.
Student-athletes are expected to adhere to the Pope Prep Student handbook and subject to the same rules, regulations, and procedures as all other students. Student-athletes are expected to be exemplary members of the student body in their role as ambassadors of our school. Any infractions that do occur may carry both a school and an athletic department consequence if deemed necessary.
Beyond merely adhering to the school guidelines for student behavior, student-athletes are expected to meet expectations that are the result of being an extremely visible ambassador to the greater community. Student-athletes will:
- Represent Pope Prep and your team in a manner that gives positive witness to the faith we profess, your family, and our school.
- Tirelessly work to find a balance between the responsibilities of academics, athletics, faith, and family. Abide by all policies as required of all students, including but not limited to the extra-curricular eligibility requirements.
- Seek a humble heart and modest attitude. Fully recognize the team is greater than the individual, and understand the team cannot succeed unless all are willing to sacrifice everything for each other. This includes but is not limited to remaining positive in stressful situations, pushing teammates and other student-athletes to excel with positive encouragement, being gracious in success and defeat, and always remaining loyal to your coach and teammates.
- Refrain from all drugs/alcohol/tobacco or any other substances that may hinder your ability to perform at your peak performance level.
- Constantly work to improve. Arrive at practice on time with the correct attitude for practice; take constructive criticism and work to improve areas critiqued; be mentally and physically prepared for competitions.
- Complete one sport season before beginning the next season.
Pope Prep fully recognizes and respects the primacy of the parents as the first teachers of their student-athletes. All coaches and administrators seek to partner with parents in the formation of our student-athletes. Parents and other community members play a vital role in the holistic education of our students. By working together with the coaching staff and school administration, parents must actively work to ensure the Pope Prep mission and philosophy runs throughout the Pope Prep athletic program.
We ask parents and other stakeholders to shoulder the following responsibilities and seek to meet the following expectations:
- Be present as much as possible at games, and not only your child’s games. Support the entire athletic department of which each team is a part by cheering for our teams and always encouraging our athletes in a positive manner. While we certainly want you to cheer for your children, we also hope you recognize the primacy of the team over the individual and therefore support all athletes on the team. Further, while present at athletic events, be positive representatives of Pope Prep, respecting the officials, our coaches, the other team, and other fans.
- Work with your student-athlete to balance the demands of fulfilling the Pope Prep goal of becoming a “renaissance” man or woman. Help them find the balance between academics, athletics, faith, and family, encouraging them through the many trials they will face when they inevitably fall out of balance.
- In the event your student-athlete is injured during athletic events affiliated with Pope Prep, please allow the Athletic Trainer to evaluate the injury before seeing a general pediatrician or taking the child to the Emergency Room. The exception, of course, is in obvious cases where immediate medical attention is required.
- Adhere to the grievance procedure spelled out in this handbook, observe the “24-hour” rule, allow the proper time for reflection, and follow the grievance process outlined in this handbook.
- The coaching staff and school administration are imperfect. But understand under no circumstances will coaches be expected to discuss playing time, coaching methods, game strategies, or anything about other student-athletes.