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News Release

June 4, 2011
Hawaii High School Coaches Tackle Challenging Issues at HMSA Kaimana Coaches Clinic: Drug Use, Concussions, and More

Moani Wright-Van Alst
(808) 952-7566

The Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) and the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) today hosted more than 300 high school coaches from across Oahu at the first-ever HMSA Kaimana Coaches Clinic. The clinic, part of the HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program, was held at McKinley High School and offered a full day of presentations on some of the top challenges facing coaches.

“Coaching high school sports is far more complicated these days than calling plays and sharing pizza with the players after the game,” said Elisa Yadao, HMSA vice president of community affairs. “Coaches must be knowledgeable about a number of important issues, from recognizing signs of drug use and preventing concussions, to working effectively with parents and proper nutrition and training. At today’s clinic, hundreds of coaches learned about these issues and networked with their peers and the experts.”

The day began with an inspiring keynote address by Greg Patton, head coach of men’s tennis at Boise State. Patton spoke on “Lighting the Fire of Athletic Administrators, Coaches, and Young Athletes.” He talked about passion being the key to success and self-worth, and he stressed that the heart and soul of coaching is building relationships with the athletes, colleagues, schools, and communities.

“Nothing inspires and empowers a young athlete more than a strong, caring mentor or coach who cares deeply about building men and women of substance,” said Patton. “Athletes don’t care how much you know … until they know how much you care.”

Breakout sessions were held throughout the day and addressed a variety of important issues, such as:

  • Concussions: What a Coach Should Know – Ross Oshiro, Hawaii State Department of Education.
  • Current Drug Trends – Gary Shimabukuro, Laulima Hawaii.
  • Working with Parents – Jeaney Garcia, Positive Coaching Alliance.
  • Building Your Athlete – Steve Lee, Peak Performance Athletics.
  • Coaching with Aloha: Building a Strong and Successful Team – Dr. Linda A. Wheeler and M. Garrett Wheeler, SuccessHawaii.
  • Event and Game P.A. Announcing – Jeff Kurtz, National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers.
  • Media Training – Elisa Yadao, HMSA.

“The health and safety of our student athletes is our primary goal, and the concussion workshop for coaches helps us move toward achieving that goal,” said Ross Oshiro, athletic health care trainer/coordinator at the Hawaii State Department of Education. “The Kaimana Coaches Clinic is a terrific forum to share knowledge and keep coaches up-to-date on the best practices for preventing concussions.”

“We accomplished a lot at today’s Coaches Clinic,” said Gary Shimabukuro of Laulima Hawaii. “The coaches now have a deeper understanding of drug trends among young people and how to help their student athletes avoid abusing drugs.” Shimabukuro spoke about legal, illegal, and designer drugs that have become part of the current drug culture.

The closing address was presented by Dr. Linda A. Wheeler of SuccessHawaii. Wheeler spoke on “The 21st Century High School Coach.” She talked about the greatest coaches having a high level of personal excellence and said that all coaches have the opportunity to teach athletes about sports, but they should also teach them what it takes to make a good person a great athlete.

“A coach’s greatness is demonstrated in the way they serve others and empower students to be their best as athletes and human beings,” said Wheeler. “It is through the way you serve others that your greatness will be felt.”

The HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship program recognizes and rewards student excellence in athletics, academics, sportsmanship, and community service. The program also supports coaches’ education. Today’s HMSA Kaimana Coaches Clinic is the first in a series of clinics to be conducted across the state. In July, HMSA will present clinics on Hawaii Island (Hilo and Kona), Kauai, and Maui.

On June 25, the annual HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program ceremony will be presented at the Hawaii Prince Hotel, where Hawaii’s top schools will receive awards and outstanding student athletes from across the state will be awarded scholarships.

About HMSA

HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit association founded in Hawaii in 1938. It is governed by a community board of directors that includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education, clergy, and the community at large. HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Nationally, HMSA and 38 other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans provide worldwide coverage to more than 100 million members.