Character by Reflex

Thirty+ years ago I was a young teacher/coach.  I recall the day a coach of a European professional soccer team came to Hyde to work with our players.  He began his first session by casually tossing a soccer ball back-and-forth with our athletes who were seated before him.  He did so as he spoke and they repeatedly caught and returned the ball back to him.  I took this to be his technique for maintaining their attention.  Then he abruptly stopped and caught them (and me) by surprise with this blunt statement: “If I did this in Europe, the kids would never reach up with their hands.  Instead they would head the ball, trap the ball on their knees, or juggle it with their feet. Until American kids get to the point where their first impulse is not to reach up with their hands, the Americans will never be competitive in World Cup soccer.”

This analogy applies to character development at Hyde.  We seek to graduate young adults with excellent character reflexes.  It is our hope that they will… be truthful, act with courage, step up to lead, exhibit enterprising curiosity, care for others – and do all of the above without thinking about it. Returning to Churchill’s definition — “Character is the habit of making right decisions.”  — It’s one thing to think about the right thing to do in a given situation.  It’s quite another to do it naturally “on the fly.”  That’s when it counts the most.

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld