Let’s talk about ITCCCA.com blogs

Ben Draper Coaching Blogs, ITCCCA News & Updates Leave a Comment


Recently, Tony Holler published a blog regarding the IHSA Class 6A State Football Championship game between Crete-Monee and Montini Catholic high schools. In the lead of the blog, Tony expressed his opinion regarding private coaching of athletes—and about the over-specialization of today’s high school sporting world. He then continued by talking about multi-sport athletes, and how they help both a track and field team and a football team.

After publishing, we received a complaint about the original lead of the story, citing the fact that coach Holler mentioned specific private coaching outlets by name. After discussing amongst the ITCCCA leadership—and with Holler himself—Holler was the one that decided to edit the lead. The bulk of the article, and in my opinion the true point of it, remains intact. The leadership at ITCCCA agreed that his point came across without the specific mentions, and at the end of the day, I think Holler agreed.

I want to take a moment today to talk about some key points this situation has brought up, and explain how ITCCCA.com works—specifically regarding our coaching blogs.


Why do we allow blogs?

I started volunteering with ITCCCA-N a few years ago with the hopes of turning its website into a useful tool for coaches. I’ve tried things that have worked, and things that have failed. One of the things that has been a success has been our coaching blogs.

Blogs are a chance for any member of ITCCCA to have a voice. Blogs are, by definition, an opinion piece, but they don’t have to be. Some of our bloggers have used their little corner of the ITCCCA website to share drills, share opinions, promote (promote), plead their case, share a project they’ve been working on, just talk about coaching in general, middle school coaching, etc.

Who can blog on ITCCCA.com?

Any member of ITCCCA can blog. Some have sent me something to post on their behalf, while others want a user account to post themselves.

What standards are expected of someone that posts on ITCCCA.com?

We expect anyone that blogs to agree to ITCCCA’s objectives, which can be found at the bottom of every page of our website, as well as right here:

ITCCCA’s objectives are as follows:
  • To promote interest, enthusiasm, and improvement in track and cross-country in Northern Illinois.
  • To provide education and opportunity for involvement for every coach in our association by methodology. We also strive to bring in outstanding coaches and athletes from the college ranks.
  • To promote, publicize, and recognize achievement of our area athletes and coaches.
  • To request the feelings of schools, coaches, and athletes of our area on rule changes, administration of track and cross-country meets to the IHSA. We strive to provide a voice representing the needs and interests of Northern Illinois in any decisions regarding track and cross-country in the state of Illinois.
  • To work with and generally support the Illinois High School Association.

Let’s talk about opinion.

As previously stated, blogs are a writer’s’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc. They are entirely the author’s thoughts, and do not, and should not, reflect the thoughts and opinions of any other person. In fact, we have the following disclaimer on ITCCCA.com, which appears at the bottom of every page:

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and/or other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the ITCCCA-N board, members, coaches, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

You don’t have to agree with anything that is posted. Whether or not you or I share a blogger’s’ views isn’t relevant to the belief that they (or anyone) can share them.


“But why did you allow ____?”

“I don’t agree with____!”

Every so often, I get contacted from someone that is really mad about something posted—either on ITCCCA.com or though my professional work at the newspaper (usually the latter). My response is always the same: submit something to us. State your case. Our forum is open to you.

This is what makes opinions GREAT! Just because someone’s opinion differs from your own, does not automatically make them wrong—they just don’t think the same way. What a great opportunity that has been presented to open dialogue and to learn from each other.

“Why do they think this way?” is a great place to start.

You may not agree with everything posted here: you don’t even have to agree with everything I wrote here today. But if a blog post makes you think about our sport in a different way, or reinforces your own thoughts/beliefs, I think that post is a success.

But here’s the thing: You do not have to agree, but you can keep things civil. Recent instances on ITCCCA.com have not stayed true to this, and I have begun to police this much more closely. You are disagreeing with an opinion. There is no need for attacks of a personal nature on ITCCCA.com. 


Who do I contact about something that has been posted on ITCCCA.com?

If you fill out the form on our Contact page, an email will be sent to the ITCCCA president and myself.


Interested in blogging on ITCCCA.com?

Contact me at bdraper@y115.org.

Ben Draper is the head track and field coach and assistant cross country coach at Yorkville High School. Draper is not a teacher, but rather the sports, photography, and web editor at Kaneland Publications, Inc., which publishes two weekly newspapers every Thursday.


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