Every boy is an athlete.
statement of values
Gilman firmly believes that participation in athletics forms a vital part of the overall educational experience for all of its students in all grades, K-12. At their best, interscholastic and intramural competition and participation, as well as physical education in the lower grades, provide fertile grounds for important physical, social, and emotional growth and development. As with all aspects of our curricular and co-curricular program, the School should offer developmentally appropriate athletic options to serve the students’ needs and to realize their full potential.
Excellence: As we do in virtually every aspect of Gilman’s program, we strive for excellence in intramural and interscholastic athletics, a pursuit that should be governed by and balanced within the context of our mission to educate the whole boy in mind, body, and spirit.
Balance: Our belief in the education of the whole boy in mind, body, and spirit demands that all aspects of school life be balanced. Athletics should be structured and weighed so that students are able to meet all of the demands of a Gilman education. Within the athletics program, we will appropriately and reasonably balance the different offerings.
K-12 Continuum: Consistent with our academic curriculum, each division’s athletics program should build on the prior division’s program. Lower and Middle School students should look up to and see opportunities for themselves in the Upper School sports programs.
College: Gilman strives to provide an experience that allows students opportunities for success in life well beyond secondary school and college. Participation in college athletics may be a byproduct of a successful Gilman experience, but the School’s primary aim is to produce men of character who attend the best colleges and universities available to them.
Teacher-Coach: Recognizing the primacy of connections between adults and students to the Gilman experience, Gilman affirms the importance of the teacher-coach model and remains committed to hiring and developing teachers who can and will work with boys in interscholastic and intramural athletics, as well as in all other parts of the School’s program outside the academic classroom. Whenever possible, we will staff our programs with faculty coaches.Non-faculty Coaches: Recognizing the need to hire some non-faculty coaches to support an interscholastic program that includes 16 sports, the School will support non-faculty coaches to ensure their integration into Gilman’s approach to athletics as a core component of a Gilman education.
Under-squad Participation and Development: Undersquad (junior varsity and freshman/sophomore) teams serve a dual purpose of providing a training and proving ground for boys progressing to varsity teams and offering a meaningful interscholastic experience for all boys, including those who will progress to varsity and those whose interscholastic experiences might end at the undersquad level.Intramural Athletics: Intramural sports are an integral part of the athletics program and complement the interscholastic program in supporting the School’s efforts to educate the whole boy. Intramurals serve as viable alternatives to playing on interscholastic teams and offer meaningful opportunities for students and adults to connect outside the classroom.
Admissions: When making admissions decisions, we consider many factors, including but not limited to athletics. We engage in athletic recruiting, just as we seek out students with other special talents, recognizing that we will admit only a limited number of students for whom athletics, or any other special attribute, serve as a distinguishing characteristic. As such, athletics provide only one of several ways to attract a diverse array of talented students.
It is critical that Gilman admit and enroll students and families who are committed to embracing the whole Gilman experience. Gilman should not be used by applicants and their families simply as a means to play a sport; instead, athletics and the consideration they receive in admissions are vehicles to the Gilman experience in its entirety.
Boys need to move. At Gilman, athletics are a co-curricular part of every boy's school day, not an optional activity. Mandatory athletics is not just about winning championships. It's about teaching pride, humility, leadership, self-discipline, sportsmanship, and teamwork, and boys learning wellness, fitness and physical and mental well-being skills. We value athletics for the lessons that last a lifetime.
Gilman's athletic program aims to:
- Promote self-discipline and responsibility, and teach the value of sustained effort.
- Develop teamwork, good sportsmanship, and a competitive spirit.
- Build school pride and unity.
- Develop fitness and athletic skills through physical education, intramural participation, and interscholastic team sports.
- Teach the lifelong benefits of sports and fitness for physical and mental well-being.
ExpectationsWe believe that a student's participation in an interscholastic sport can teach him invaluable life lessons. Each member of the team - coach, student and parent - plays an important role on and off the field.
In keeping with our Mission and Philosophy, we expect every student to:
- Commit to the team of which he is a member
- Placing the importance of the team above his individual status and accomplishments
- Adhering to team rules and expectations
- In some cases, sacrificing vacation time for team obligations
- Put forth his best effort at all times
- Demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times on and off the field
- Communicate concerns about one's individual status or about the team through team captains or directly with coaches
In keeping with our Mission and Philosophy, we expect all of our coaches to:
- Teach and mentor students, serving as positive role models
- Communicate with students effectively and fairly
- Explain with clarity team processes (i.e. cutting, determining positions, and status)
- Be available to meet with them
- Speak with them directly, frankly, and respectfully
- Listen to them
- Respect and honor Gilman's commitment to a multi-season athletic requirement for all of its students
- Balance individual instruction and development with team concepts and competitiveness
- Based on Gilman's philosophy, balance individual and team development at the appropriate competitive level (i.e. team success supersedes individual participation the higher the level)
- Maintaining this balance does not mean to give equal playing time to all students.
- Possess and develop a passion for and knowledge of the game
- Attend coaches meetings
- Attend workshops and conferences
- Communicate clearly with parents the goals and expectations for the team/season
As Gilman's Statement of Philosophy, reads, "Our required athletic program is based on the belief that through the cultivation of physical vigor and wellness, boys learn the value and meaning of teamwork, resilience, competitive spirit, humility, tolerance, and sportsmanship." We do believe that a student's participation in an interscholastic sport can teach him invaluable life lessons.In order for these lessons to have real meaning, the athletics experience must be owned by the student and supported by the parent.To that end, Gilman expects parents of athletes to:
- Be positively engaged spectators at all athletic events attended
- Cheering for Gilman players
- Respecting the judgments of game officials
- Respecting the decisions of the coaches
- Encourage and allow their sons to speak for themselves when discouraged about their status on a team, playing time in games, and/or strategy
- Refrain from approaching coaches to discuss playing time, personnel decisions, and game strategy
- If needed, set an appropriate time to discuss appropriate concerns with coaches.Playing time, team strategy, game decisions, etc. are not appropriate topics for discussion between parents and coaches
The athletic program in the Upper School balances participation and skill development with team competitiveness.While all teams at every level strive to provide a meaningful experience for each player, this balance between individual player development and team competitiveness varies depending on the level and focus of the program.In our intramural program, the primary goal for student development is learning to participate and compete with fellow classmates and schoolmates.The tone of competition in the intramural program is less intense than it is in the interscholastic program.Our interscholastic program places greater emphasis on the results of competition rather than the sheer joy of competition that is more emphasized in the intramural program.The level of competitive intensity increases from the under-squad levels to the varsity teams.As a result, what it means to be on a varsity team will differ from how we define the under-squad experience at the junior varsity, freshman-sophomore, and middle-school levels.All teams set out to win games, but varsity teams will place greater emphasis on fielding the most competitive group of players possible at all times.Practices and games at the different levels will reflect this reality.At all levels, playing time in games is a product of a combination of athletic ability, work ethic, attitude, and team strategy.As stated above, fielding the most competitive team possible will factor into playing time as boys move up the competitive ladder.In interscholastic game competition, team success plays a greater philosophical role than individual participation, culminating to the greatest extent at the varsity level.
Most importantly, Gilman places fundamental importance on winning the right way, which we define as playing with good sportsmanship and taking pride in putting forth our best effort—individually and collectively, win or lose—at all times during competition.Winning the right way also demands that players put team goals above individual aspirations.
School Community Sportsmanship Statement
Gilman School expects that proper behavior will be displayed by our players, coaches, and spectators. We value spirited and fair play as well as positive support of our players and teams. Players and coaches will at all times represent themselves and Gilman with honor, proper conduct, and good sportsmanship. Disrespectful behavior from spectators toward players, officials, coaches, or other spectators will not be tolerated at any time. Should inappropriate behavior occur, spectators may be required to leave the premises immediately and forfeit the privilege of attending future contests. Gilman School asks that all continually strive to conduct themselves with appropriate, positive decorum at all contests.
It continues to be the primary goal of the athletic curriculum at Gilman School to teach boys positive developmental skills on and off the playing fields. With this goal in mind, please help us by continuing to model positive and enthusiastic decorum at athletic contests. Let's continue to show exemplary behavior as a community and all join together in the positive education of our boys.