In a recent interview with Bound for Greatness, Bradley Foss, the Athletic Director at Watford City High School, North Dakota, shed light on the comprehensive strategic planning efforts underway to elevate the athletic program. Foss emphasized the importance of skill development, community support, and the challenges posed by rapid growth in the region.
Developing Fundamental Skills:
Foss highlighted the strategic focus on skill development as a top priority. The school's approach involves pre and post-season evaluations, ensuring that student-athletes are on track with their fundamental skills. Coaches meet with players to assess their abilities and set specific skill-oriented goals. Foss stressed the significance of identifying skill gaps early and fostering skill development from an early age, even extending the strategy to park and rec programs.
Community Growth and Identity:
The community of Watford City has undergone significant changes in the past decade due to the oil boom in the Bakken region. With substantial population growth, the school faced identity challenges and a need to adapt to the shifting demographics. Foss mentioned the importance of retaining students in sports, addressing skill development gaps, and creating alternatives for students who might be deterred by initial setbacks.
Implementing the Strategic Plan:
Foss acknowledged the challenges of implementing the strategic plan and emphasized the importance of data collection. Key measures include recruiting and retaining quality coaches, providing continuous development opportunities, and supporting them through memberships in coaches' associations. The plan also involves a phased approach to introducing new sports, ensuring feasibility and sustainability over a three-year period.
Engaging the Community and Park and Rec Programs:
Watford City's strategic plan involves collaboration with the community and park and recreation programs. Foss highlighted the weekly meetings with park and recreation officials, working together to create a developmental practice book for coaches. The aim is to establish a clear roadmap for skill development, starting as early as third grade.
Unified Booster Club Program:
Community support plays a pivotal role in Watford City's success. Foss expressed gratitude for the overwhelming community backing that facilitated the construction of state-of-the-art facilities. The strategic plan outlines the pursuit of a unified booster club program, fostering stronger collaboration between the school and the community to maximize the impact of available resources.
Building a Culture of Success:
For Foss, the ultimate goal is to create a culture of success that goes beyond mere wins and losses. Success, in his view, is reflected in students' pride in being part of Watford City, their enthusiasm for sports, and a holistic development that extends beyond the playing field.
As Bradley Foss continues his journey in strategic planning, Watford City High School is poised to build a lasting legacy of success, not just in sports but in the development of well-rounded individuals. Foss remains open to sharing his experiences with others in the athletic community, recognizing that the journey is ongoing, and there's always room for growth and improvement.