Some of the high school seasons came to an abrupt end in March, and spring sports are non-existent. Some coaches have been thinking about ways to celebrate their Seniors who will be graduating this year. Here are a couple of ideas that we’ve stolen from other coaches!
Social Media Shout Outs
If you have social media accounts from your team you can create a series of “shout outs” for your seniors. Use a photo from the season, or maybe a photo from their freshman and senior seasons, or a copy of a senior photo if you can get one. Next, use a photo editing software package (I like MS Paint, it’s really simple!) add their name and any other relevant information. GPA, best times, records broken, where they are going to school next year, etc. Then get the senior and/or parents to sign off on the images that you are using. No surprises!
Finally, post the photo on all of your social media accounts and encourage their teammates to share the posts and their congratulations with the senior. Make sure you tag the senior in the photo. If you aren’t connected with them on social media, have one of their teammates tag them. This could be a great project for your Juniors to work on too!
NISCA Academic All America Award
If your senior has a 3.75 (weighted or unweighted) GPA and has earned (or would have earned this year) a varsity letter with your program, they are eligible for the NISCA Academic All America award. Applications can be submitted on-line. You will need the athlete’s home address for the certificate to be mailed. Also, you will need to submit a signature form and copy of their transcript.
If you are going to do this, you need to start TODAY. You have to get everything collected electronically and emailed to the coordinator no later that June 15th. For more information see the NISCA Website under Awards / Academic All America. If you have a lot of smart athletes, you might also want to consider applying for the NISCA Scholar Team award. See their website for more details.
Create an Instagram-able Spot Near Your Pool
Do you have an area outside your pool that would look good in pictures? Something that identifies it as your pool or school and gets great lighting? Glue or duct tape some paint sticks into the back of kickboards (bonus points if they are in your school’s colors) and stick them in the ground. Create a banner, sign, chalk art or other image that you can hang on a blank wall or on the sidewalk.
Let your team know about it and have them stop by (one at a time, maintaining social distancing of course) and have them take photos in front of that stop and post them on Instagram. Ask your team to tag their Seniors in their photos and comment with their favorite memories of the team.
Videos/Power Point/Prezi Presentation
Collect as many photos of the team as you can, even if they aren’t from this year. Create an “end of year” slide show that features the Seniors. Bonus points for background music.
Similarly, you can also ask your team members to send in short videos of themselves talking about their favorite memories of the team, or the seniors. Assign an underclassman to talk about a Senior so everyone is represented. Take those videos and photos and edit them into a single YouTube video in honor of your Senior class.
The year may have ended abruptly for the class of 2020, but we can help make it a little less bittersweet. Use your team’s creative energy and imaginations (and extra time) to come up with a fitting tribute to your Seniors. Have fun!