This semester I started a weekly award … the “Bingham Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Week”. Each week I pick one boy and one girl athlete (students in my class) based on a different set of criteria (some subjective, some objective) such as “best technique”, “highest pound for pound ratio”, “highest power quotient”, or “best teammate”.
For each winner, I blow up a picture of them lifting and put it in a poster frame attached to each door entering the weight room. I also tweet a picture of each athlete standing by his or her poster. At the end of the week I give the posters to the athletes to keep.
It has become a very popular addition to the class. There is always a buzz on the day the new “Athlete of the Week” poster is unveiled…
- “who got it this week?”
- “can you let me in the weight room to see?”
- “what was it based on?”
- “what will the criteria be for this next week?”
You would think that I was awarding the Heisman Trophy. You can see the pride on their faces, and admiration from their classmates. The best part is when I am able to give them their poster at the end of the week to take home.
I get the posters printed at Staples. I actually got the idea from my wife who saw it on Pinterest and passed it on to me. They are called “engineer prints” and are 3’ x 2’ black and white prints that cost less than $4.
The process is simple… take a high quality jpeg, convert it to a PDF and upload it to their site… or just take the file on a thumb drive and have them print it while you wait.
But this post isn’t a plug for Staples, or about “engineer prints”.
It is about the impact that $4 can make in your program.
We don’t all have unlimited budgets… many of us are really trying to do more with less… actually on more of a “shoestring” budget than the unlimited variety.
There are many things that can be done… many great ideas out there… that don’t cost a dime (or under $4) than can have a huge impact with your students and with your program.
The thing about the Athlete of the Week posters isn’t how much or how little they cost… it is about stopping everything and making a statement and recognizing someone for doing something right… doing something well.
And the recognition isn’t just a one-time shot…
- They get recognition when their poster gets “unveiled”,
- They get recognition when I tweet the picture of them and their poster,
- They get recognition each day when their classmates see their poster as they enter and leave the weight room
- They get recognition when I “award” them their poster at the end of the week to take home.
It is just another way of saying “Good Job!” to a student and at the same time reinforcing a component or concept that you feel is important.
Every week I think to myself, “this is the best $4 I have ever spent!”
You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org