Sign Up for Our Top Golf Fundraiser!!
 

s the year draws to a close, we stand at the corner of potential and opportunity, reflecting on the remarkable journey our community’s coaches have undertaken. But before we delve deeper, I urge you to reminisce about your own experiences in the locker room and the profound influence coaches have had on your life, whether for better or worse. The locker room, for many of us, serves as a storehouse of memories, where bonds were forged, invaluable life lessons were absorbed, and dreams first took root.

NCC’s approach is distinctive—we are committed to nurturing full-hearted coaches who not only impart athletic skills but also equip young individuals for life beyond the playing field. These coaches, who touch the lives of approximately 70 students annually, require more than just technical expertise; they need their own stories, experiences, and challenges to forge connections with today’s student athletes.

It is our conviction that every student athlete should feel a sense of belonging and importance, not solely based on their performance, but for who they truly are. This is at the core of our mission, and we extend an invitation to you to join us in this endeavor. To underscore the significance of this mission, consider the following sobering statistics about high school athletes and their mental health struggles: suicide rates and depression rates among young people are alarmingly high, (now the 3rd leading cause of death for teenagers) with the primary reason being feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. Coaches can often be the beacon of hope and support that saves a child’s life, simply by making them feel less isolated and more hopeful through a sense of belonging.

Your generous support empowers us to continue cultivating coaches who, in turn, nurture the next generation. Your contributions ensure that student athletes receive more than just athletic training—they receive guidance, mentorship, and the assurance that they are valued, regardless of their performance. Our hope is that they receive what many of us didn’t in our locker rooms.

In 2021, we initiated a partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools that we are incredibly proud of. During this time, we have trained over 500 middle and high school coaches within MNPS. To put this in perspective, this means approximately 35,000 student athletes have been positively influenced by these transformational coaches.

As we approach the conclusion of the year, we invite you to make a lasting impact by considering a donation to NCC. Your generosity will empower coaches to transcend their roles as mere instructors; they will become lifeshapers and role models, helping young people navigate the challenges they face every single day.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude for being an integral part of our journey and for contemplating a gift that supports the growth and well-being of our community’s athletic coaches and programs and, most importantly, our young athletes who are in dire need to belong and matter.

JEFF MCGINNIS

NCC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

2022-23

COACHES

1 in 3 high school coaches reported struggling with worklife balance, which can have a direct impact on their mental well-being.
Journal of Coaching Education

45% of high school coaches report experiencing signifi cant stress related to their coaching responsibilities.
National Alliance for Youth Sports

Nearly 30% of high school coaches experience symptoms of burnout, which can negatively impact their overall mental health.
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology

TEACHERS

0 %

Are spending more time addressing students’ mental health.

0 %

Are dealing with increased classroom interruptions.

0 %

Are spending their own money on needed classroom materials.

0 %
Have the highest burnout compared to any other profession in the US.
JUNE 2022 GALLUP POLL

STUDENTS

0 %

experienced poor mental health during the pandemic.

0 %

Reported being sad
or hopeless in the
past year.

+ 0 %

Said they experienced emotional abuse at home.

0 %

Said they were physically abused.

Suicide

Is the third leading cause of death among US adolescents aged 15–24, with males incurring higher rates of completion than females.

n the chilly, windy morning of Saturday, April 1, I stood in the infi eld watching our runners receive cheers and applause from a hillside full of spectators. My eyes began to swell with tears as I was overwhelmed with pride that could not be contained.

In sports or any competition, the cheers are usually associated with the results of the event. However, this form of cheers and recognition was like none other. The tears came not out of sadness, but rather from joy. You see, our team did something incredible that day. To fully understand, we need to go back to Monday, March 27.

That Monday, the lives of our team and school were changed forever. On Monday, March 27, 2023, at 10:13am evil entered our school building with an agenda to destroy and open gunfi re in our safe haven, our school. Over the next fi fteen minutes, our brave students sheltered in place and listened as gunfi re rang throughout the building. At the end of those fi fteen minutes, six precious lives were lost. Our community and school were hurting and would never be the same. We began the grieving and healing process, just trying to make it each hour. Through numerous events geared towards healing, we met together as a school community and loved and held each other tightly. It was hard to even imagine that the world was still spinning. All other schools were operating, whereas our world seemed to stand still, frozen in time, grappling with holding grief and joy in both hands. I was reminded that our track team had a meet that Saturday morning, just five days removed from the most tragic day in our lives. The easy response would have been to say, “No way. Our students are not ready for this.” However, with a shifted mindset, we were able to say “yes” to what seemed an impossible task to accomplish. We sent a message out to our team saying the track meet was optional and told the parents to do what was best for their child. To our surprise, many of our athletes wanted to run.

That Saturday morning we met on top of a hill and prepared to face the unknown challenges ahead. Our team obviously had not practiced in several days, but the joy of being together, and representing The Covenant School trumped all our fears. For those athletes, that race was the start of many races to come. If they could persevere through that first race, they could push on through so many more hard things and continue to cross finish line after finish line, physically and emotionally. Sometimes the hardest thing is just showing up and putting one foot in front of the other.

We think a lot of times that sport is just competition, guts, and glory. However, on that morning it gave our students a chance to heal and reminded them they could do hard things.

“WE THINK A LOT OF TIMES THAT SPORT IS JUST COMPETITION, GUTS, AND GLORY. HOWEVER, ON THAT MORNING IT GAVE OUR STUDENTS A CHANCE TO HEAL AND REMINDED THEM THEY COULD DO HARD THINGS.”

STORIES OF IMPACT

Covenant Parent:

I’ve always said that one of the greatest ways to show love to someone is to love their kids. As I refl ect on that track season, that’s the indescribable, and unexpected, love I felt as a parent. It was healing to see our kids be kids, to do something they could do, and to see our community come together, supporting our children and each other. Everywhere we went, I felt support. It was hard, of course, and always a double-sided reminder of the painful loss but also overwhelming gratitude.

Time went on. It did for us. How were we to respond? We know times will be tough and we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. I experienced the preciousness of life in a way I never had before. As a Jesus follower, I also experienced the fullness of the body of Christ. “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it . . . If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Cor 12:26-27).

I’ll never forget the parents and kids at other schools yelling “Let’s go Covenant”, cheering our school on to the very end—knowing how grateful we were just to be there. There was a group of girls from one school that sticks out in my mind that day. They all came over to our Covenant girls after each of them fi nished, hugged them, and said, “Great job”. What I saw that day on the track was undoubtedly the body of Christ—feeling deep pain while also rejoicing in the moment, lifting each other up.

Our track team would go on to have numerous top 5 individual fi nishes. Our girls’ cross-country team would win a championship. Our boys’ soccer team is currently undefeated. Yes, all that is great, but winning is just the goal; our purpose is to push through hard things together, one step at a time.

If I can run one race, one really hard race, and fi nish, then I can remind myself of that race, and how I pushed through and fi nished. Maybe that small reminder is all our students needed that day. Or maybe it was finishing in last place and having a hillside full of people cheering you on, not because of your place in the race, but because they see you doing hard things and pushing through and pressing on.

Adversity comes in all different sizes; for us, it was the tragedy of March 27. Coaches always remind their athletes, “There are going to be things that happen in the game or match that will be out of your control, but you must keep moving forward.” We went through a hard thing that no one should ever have to go through, but we keep moving forward.

Athletics gave us an outlet, not just for the kids but also for parents. Amid a tragic and fearful time, parents were able to see joy and smiles on their children’s faces even if it was just for a moment. They were able to see the perseverance in their kid and know, this is hard but we can keep pushing forward and moving forward.

MATT COX

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AT COVENANT SCHOOL

NCC ACADEMY GRADUATE

y adult son has benefited greatly from transformational coaching. While attending high school, he was a part of transformational coaching in both the football and lacrosse programs that were led by outstanding coaches. A result of these programs was a Locker Room of empathy, dignity, integrity, and grace. He is undoubtedly prepared to be a better husband, father, and leader in his community because of these experiences.

Last fall during his Senior Year and final year under our roof before leaving for college, my wife and I experienced him leading his freshman sister in a transformational way. To put this into context, his sister is an excellent student, had historically participated in the fine arts, and the sports she pursued were more individualistic in tennis and swimming. On this day, she was contemplating trying out for the school lacrosse team, struggling with the fact that she had never played and discerning how she might balance her time. My wife and I listened and worked to help her sort through her thoughts while our son listened without actively participating in the conversation. Finally, he had heard enough and blurted out “this is really simple! The answer is yes you need to tryout because you need a Locker Room! It is not about whether you have played lacrosse or have the time to add another activity, you need a Locker Room in your life!”

Little did we know how very true this was.

The girl’s lacrosse team at her school is led by Meg Freeman who played collegiately at Vanderbilt University. Coach Freeman was in the process of going through the The Academy with the Nashville Coaching Coalition. While Coach Freeman’s technical prowess as a lacrosse coach in Middle Tennessee was unrivaled, she was investing time at The Academy with other like-minded coaches working to improve on the transformational side of developing young players.

So, our daughter tried out and made the lacrosse team. She worked hard on her skills and began to benefi t from Coach Freeman’s transformational coaching. And Coach Freeman’s transformational coaching with all her players as individuals created that collective Locker Room that my son had described to his sister.

As a freshman, she only experienced a few minutes on the fi eld in an actual game, but experienced hours of love and grace at practice and in that Locker Room. Her fondest memories of the season were in The Locker Room. Whether talking with a friend before practice about a struggle, or painting faces and braiding each other’s hair on game day, The Locker Room was a place of comfort because of Coach Freeman’s transformational coaching skills.

At the end of her Freshman Year, our daughter brought home her yearbook that had been signed by classmates and teammates with words of affi rmation. She read to my wife and I all the words of affi rmation from her lacrosse teammates. She said that her yearbook and the words of affi rmation were more meaningful and plentiful because of being a member of The Locker Room.

As a parent, I am so grateful that my son told his sister that she needed The Locker Room. And even more grateful that the Nashville Coaching Coalition developed The Academy to further enhance Coach Freeman’s skills and The Locker Room.

It was a privilege to be a part of the NCC’s Leadership Academy, and I’m thankful that our athletic department makes this a priority! I frequently fi nd myself turning back to the
foundation of a transformational versus a transactional coach. So much of the world today is transactional: “What can you do for me?” As we shift the mindset into “How can I know you and serve you?”, a deeper relationship is formed. I coach to have my girls feel seen, heard, learn to persevere, and develop the grit and grace to use their spiritual gifts as members of the community.

MEG FREEMAN, CPA

NCC ACADEMY GRADUATE

COACH FORUM 2023

“THE COACH FORUM IS SUCH A TRANSFORMATIONAL DAY FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO FULLY ENGAGE IN IT. WE ALL NEED TO BE CHALLENGED AND ENCOURAGED AT THE SAME TIME AND THIS DAY DOES EXACTLY THAT.”

Andrew S.

NCC Academy Graduate

METRO COACHES’ LEADERSHIP SERIES

0

Approximate no. coaches trained since 2021

0

Total training hours

NCC believes finances cannot be a barrier!

With your support, NCC can scholarship coaches for programs that develop them into full-hearted leaders within our community.

THE ACADEMY

$ 0

Total cost, performed twice per year

0

Average no. coaches per 8-week session

THE COACH FORUM

$ 0

Annual budget

0

Average no. coaches per half-day event

METRO COACHES’
LEADERSHIP SERIES

$ 0

Per coach who attends

PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT DAY

$ 0

Half-day expense

If you would like to become a sponsor for any event or scholarship a coach, contact office@nccnashville.com

TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Join the Coalition!

Sign up to receive invitations to special events, our newsletter, and other important information.

You have Successfully Subscribed!