Can You Really Teach Relentless Effort?

By Chad Wabrek, Head of Athletics & Physical Education

For as long as I can remember, Middle and Upper School athletics have always been full of champions, terrific teams, and unbelievable coaches. Likewise, for as long as I can remember, Middle and Upper School athletics have also been full of runner ups, struggling teams, and embattled coaches. But there is always one constant in athletics – willing student-athletes – and knowing that Greenhill offers an environment for these individuals to be part of a team, it begs the question – can you take a captive audience of willing student-athletes and teach them the true meaning and value of Relentless Effort? At Greenhill the answer is YES, and we do so with a focus on responsibility, determination, and teamwork.

Responsibility: A successful student at Greenhill knows that coming to school, participating in class, adhering to school rules, and doing homework are basic expectations. It is HOW WELL you do what is expected of you that will determine your school-day success. Our student-athletes know this is at the core of their daily life here, and our coaches model this same responsibility in planning practices, executing game strategy, and developing team chemistry. We expect more than just effort; we expect relentless effort.

Determination: We constantly remind our student-athletes that effort is a choice – anybody can simply show up – so in line with our standard of excellence at Greenhill, we expect relentless effort all the time from our student-athletes. Using this as our foundation, we couple this with a growth mindset approach to everything we do, which includes daily challenges and constant feedback. We firmly believe that perfect practice makes permanent, and to achieve this goal, it relies on a particular approach, which at Greenhill is rooted in relentless effort.

Teamwork: Trying as hard as you can every day can be a lonely experience if those around you are not doing the same thing. Athletic endeavors tend to be rather public, available for everyone to see. Someone is always watching, yet we often hear that character is revealed when no one is watching, and at Greenhill, we explain that if individuals on a team play with relentless effort, then Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM), which says a lot about each individual and who they are. In turn, an individual’s character is revealed when everyone is watching.

The roots of relentless effort are established in the Middle School, and we acknowledge one such individual from each team at the end of every season. Yet we often see the true value of relentless effort in the Upper School because the challenge of HOW we play from start to finish is HOW we gain an opponent’s respect and HOW we justify the importance of this Greenhill athletic standard.

We have a greater responsibility to do more, and relentless effort allows every Greenhill student-athlete to begin a playbook for life.

With Hornet Passion and Pride,

Chad A. Wabrek
Head of Athletics and Physical Education

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