Tim Hatten has proven to be a breath of fresh air in the 16 months since he arrived at Crestview High School to take the job as head football coach and athletic director.
In an age when too many high school football coaches and athletic directors are focused on all football, all the time, Hatten takes a more relaxed and realistic approach to football and sports.
“We’ve got to the point where we are a specialized society and kids focus on one sport and say, 'Let’s do this,'” he said. “And only 1 percent of the kids, maybe, are going to play pro ball. So why are we tailoring what we do for the 1 percent?
“What about the well-rounded kid that plays four or five sports. I love four or five-sport lettermen. I think they are better rounded people for the community and the workforce because 99 percent of the people are going to be in the workforce, not NFL football players.”
Hatten is thankful that his high school coaches allowed him to participate in baseball, basketball football and track.
He quickly points out that it’s not just football that has pigeonholed many young men and women into becoming one-sport athletes.
Too many sports, with an emphasis on travel ball, have become year-round activities, he says. Even though football doesn’t have travel ball, many coaches, especially at the high school level, tend to force talented athletes into committing to only football.
Hatten, like most coaches, has a summer program. But don’t expect him to put the Bulldogs through a high school version of bootcamp as Crestview prepares for preseason camp on Aug. 4.
“We are going to get our summer workouts in,” he said. “But we are going to be in a relaxed atmosphere and we are going to be in a teaching atmosphere. We are not going to grind them out.”
Hatten’s philosophies about specialized athletes might differ from many other coaches, but that in no way means he lacks a burning desire to win and bring the Bulldogs success.
Tim Hatten sees the big picture beyond the games played on Friday night at Jack Foster Stadium.
He understands that high school students need to enjoy a full and well-rounded high school experience as they enjoy just being kids.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.