The Heart of Character
“A lot of our success in Duke Basketball has to do with character. And at the heart of character is honesty and integrity.”
- Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Men’s Basketball Coach
This summer the city of Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympic Games, uniting 206 countries across the globe in sporting competition. Over the years, these games have resulted in remarkable achievements and iconic moments, including the successes of American athletes such as Michael Phelps, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Carl Lewis. This year, USA Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, having won the 2015 NCAA Division I title with the Duke University Blue Devils, will look to lead USA Basketball to its third goal medal.
Each of these athletes, teams, and coaches have spent countless hours in the gym training their bodies to achieve world-class talent, but they also recognize the valuable role that athletics has played in developing their character. They see challenges as hurdles to overcome, defeat as an opportunity to improve, and success as a milestone along the journey.
At Woodlawn, athletics -- whether in a class or in team competition -- are a significant component of our students' development. Through sports, coaches create a learning environment, much like the classroom, that involves questions, challenges and opportunity. Students are taught skills and strategies to help them succeed not only in game-time situations, but also throughout their life.
Woodlawn coaches, like teachers, take the time to build relationships with their athletes. The mutual trust and respect cultivated between coach and athlete is vital to the development of our student-athletes’ character.
Our Varsity swim team's motto -- "Tiny But Mighty" -- embodies the spirit of Woodlawn’s Athletic Program. This team has seen exponential growth since its inception three years ago, due to Coach Jackie Royce creating a learning environment that promotes care, trust, and the team-first mentality. This season, the Varsity girls swim team finished second at the Southern Piedmont Athletic Association (SPAA) Conference Championship, and swimmers from both the girls and boys teams’ are competing at the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) State Swim Meet on Monday, February 22 in Greensboro.
Similarly, our Varsity and Middle School basketball teams played tirelessly this winter. All four teams had grueling schedules and faced stiff competition, and they played with grit and intensity throughout the season. When emotions ran high, our coaches and players maintained poise and demonstrated sportsmanship unmatched by any opponent. The compassion, humility, and good-natured demeanor of our athletes continues to impress spectators. More importantly, the lessons they have learned on the court enhance the character-building taking place in the Woodlawn classrooms.
This spring, excitement builds as we eagerly await the unveiling of the new track and field complex. I contemplate the opportunities this will bring for our students, our athletic program, and Woodlawn as a whole. I, too, am giddy -- not necessarily because of the championships or personal records that will follow -- but because I can’t wait to see how our athletes progress due to the personal growth they experience here at Woodlawn School.
I hope to see you at one of our home games or meets this spring!