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Playing for dad at any level has it's ups and downs. At the University of Rhode Island, wife & mom, Cindy Baron makes the father-son/coach-player tandem of Coach Jim Baron and player Jimmy Baron work.

The friction seems particularly difficult in this story as the blunt, workaholic Coach Baron is driven not to favor his son on the court while Jimmy seems motivated to work so hard so as to deprive anyone from using the line 'coach's son.'

The guardedness and sacrifice of the father-son relationship is palpable. As Jimmy Baron told the New York Times (When Father and Son Clash at Rhode Island, Mom Mediates):

"The hardest part has been not being able to develop a father-son relationship. We try not to show much affection in front of the other guys, because you don't want them to get the perspective that what he's doing is for his son." (NYT)
Noteworthy from the boarding school perspective, Jimmy's high school basketball career bloomed late during a post-graduate year at Worcester Academy (Worcester, MA). His brother Billy Baron, will also attend Worcester.

Photo credit: Balakov
My notes from a recent visit to  The Winchendon School...

I didn't expect to be so taken by the beautiful campus; beyond beauty, the campus boasts a golf course, new academic building and  new ice hockey rink. The student body appears very diverse and multicultural.

Winchendon is working to expand the strength of its boys athletics to it's girls teams. Boys athletics sports strong PG programs in boy's soccer, basketball and ice hockey. The school will have a girl's ice hockey team for the first time this year.

Academics are influenced by Ted Sizer's principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools, with "teachers as coaches, students as workers." The curriculum emphasizes individual skill building, team effort and positive reinforcement.

Students seem happy and focused! Students with learning difference could be very successful academically at Winchendon through the support of their daily tracking and grading system. John Kerney seems a great new Head of School who has made some good changes and will make some more.

Photo credit: The Winchendon School

A friend of ours recently sent us an article by Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News. Gosselin's piece, "Hargrave Military Academy has prepped plenty for NFL" (published April 10, 2008) focuses on the success, meaning, and importance of Hargrave Military Academy's post-graduate program to high caliber athletes- many of whom have gone on to professional athletic careers.

Like many PG programs, Hargrave works to instill structure into its students' routines, improve grades and test scores and provide an extra year of athletic maturation.

As Dallas Maverick's forward Josh Howard told Gosselin,

"You had to have your priorities straight," said Howard of his experience at Hargrave. "It was the only way they'd take you. It taught you discipline -- taking care of what you need to take care of to get to the next level. You learn how to do everything in a timely fashion."

The Hargrave PG year- like most PG programs- is a concentrated year of maturation in all facets of the student's life.

We've written extensively about the post graduate year; our work goes beyond the athletic prost graduate. To learn more about a PG Year- what and why, read our article "A Post Graduate Year; what's that?"

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