A Message from Tom Lilly, President of Owensboro Catholic Schools:

Disciplining students is controversial for every school system. At OCS, we strive to be the balance of letting students know that we ARE disciplined and we WILL discipline because we care about how a student’s future turns out. Strong, faith-based discipline makes better friendships, spouses, parents and employees. We don’t always get it right. But we ALWAYS give every situation our best effort to get it right.  Forgive us when we don’t. But in order to truly impact a student’s life, they HAVE to know we care about them personally. Instinctively, we all know when people “enjoy” the process of letting others know they are wrong. Kids know it too, and nobody responds very well to these forms of discipline OR punishment. Discipline is NEVER enjoyable. But it also takes some discipline to work hard to get it right. Discipline is derived from the word “disciple,” and you can’t lead a strong Christian life without evaluating, daily, how we should discipline our actions, reactions, thoughts, and our prayer life. It takes a lot of work, for students and for adults  to look at other people the way that Christ looks at other people and to try and react to situations that reflect our Catholic Christian virtues. 

Over the summer, Owensboro Catholic Schools invested in the VIRTUE=STRENGTH program. This program gives coaches and teachers more tools to teach Christian virtues. There are ways to incorporate the work of saints and Catholic rituals into our practices and banquets. We can do more than simply recite a prayer. Our students, especially in this day and time, need stronger images and routines of faith to help combat all they are facing. 

Coaches are leaders. Leaders have a higher level of responsibility to guide the lives of the young people entrusted to their care. Disciplining with love is complicated work, but we sincerely appreciate all of the coaches who work with our children. We need to prayerfully support the work of our coaches as they instill powerful principals of discipline into their sporting activities. Coaches can be a great gift to our system and to our children. We need to constantly remind each other that the children we serve KNOW whether our faith is authentic and genuine. Nobody comes under more scrutiny than our coaching staffs. It’s very complicated work. But they work hard to do the best they can to get it right. We’re all guilty of thinking we can do it better, especially after a loss! But our coaches and athletic programs are an important part of how we teach students to accept loss, accept our limitations, work in community to support each other, and to celebrate PROPERLY for those times when our hard work gives us the desired outcome! We all love to win, but we reveal more about our character and nature when things DON’T go our way. 

These emails, or a variation of these emails,  go out to our coaches every week. My hope is that you will take the time to watch the Charles Barkley/Nick Saban interview. I feel about Alabama about the same as I do the New England Patriots. We all hate the teams that dominate their sport, when it’s not MY favorite team! That’s a fun part of competitive rivalries. While I groan every time I hear “Roll Tide, (and the Rocky Top song),”  Nick Saban speaks words of truth in this video. I also greatly respect the millions he has contributed to the University of Alabama for their academic programs.

Please click on the video link below and consider signing up for the VIRTUE=STRENGTH series on forming young people, so you are aware of what we’re trying to promote with our sporting activities. 

Hopefully, everyone was renewed by the time off during fall break and we’re ready to come back to focus on our mission!

Again, thanks to our coaches. We appreciate your hard work and your effort to help shape our young people!

Video: Steadfastness Coach Tips: High Expectations & Unwavering Support with Coach Nick Saban