I write in response to your editorial titled “Volleyball practice conflicts with ACT.” First, the headline was completely incorrect. The conflict was never between practice and the ACT. It was between a match and the ACT – and the match in question was the afternoon before the ACT.
Second, the coaching staff wasn’t angered by the student-athletes’ choice to skip the match. They were disappointed that those players did so in a way that hurt the entire team. As the editorial said, the game schedule had been distributed much earlier in the summer. However, the athletes in question waited until the night before the match to make their choice, leaving coaches little or no time to bring in replacements or adjust the team’s tactical approach before the competition. The coaching staff was well aware of the ACT conflict on the weekend and had released several athletes from their competition obligation on the actual day of the test.
The specifics of the incident are important. The competition was a shortened-format, best-of-3 match at 4 p.m. in Cerritos the day before the ACT. That meant the girls knew the team bus would be back by 7 p.m. (It actually returned at 6:45 p.m.) That would allow them plenty of time to get a decent evening meal and an excellent night’s rest. Also, physical exercise can refresh your mind and result in better sleep and less anxiousness. I also consulted the College Counseling Office to seek their advice, and the office did not recommend that the student-athletes miss the match.
A team sport develops confidence and teaches inter-personal skills, leadership, dedication, time management, and commitment. Marlborough believes that academics come first, but in developing young women to contribute in a global society, the Athletic Program plays a significant role in a student’s education.
David J. Collicutt, CAA