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CLASS is in Session!

BLAZE was founded on the motto, “Athletics with CLASS”. The acronym CLASS describes BLAZE’s guiding principles of Character, Leadership, Athletics, Scholarship and Service.  We don't just want to talk about it, we want to be about it!  In "The CLASSroom" we will feature information on how BLAZE athletes and their parents can demonstrate CLASS not only on the track or field, but at home, at school or work, and in their communities.  

        on Character

Character counts with BLAZE!  The goal of BLAZE is to foster character in our athletes so they make good decisions, have respect for themselves and others, and exemplify honesty, courtesy, teamwork and good sportsmanship. In a world with far too many negative influences, BLAZE provides a positive and enriching environment for its athletes.     

"Why Character Beats Results In The Long Run - Article - Character can win without results, but the reverse doesn't hold. Read from PCA Trainer Amy Manson on why."

 on Leadership

Track and field can be very effective in building confidence and boosting self-esteem. With BLAZE, athletes develop the discipline and determination that leads to success in all aspects of their lives.  The goal of BLAZE is for athletes to be good influences, positive role models, and leaders among their peers.   

Even In Individual Sports, Leadership Means Thinking About Others 

"Kevin Blue is the Senior Associate Athletics Director at Stanford University. Blue graduated from Stanford in 2005 as a four-year letter winner on the men's golf team and went on to earn his PhD in Sports Psychology at Michigan State University. He still coaches golf for both amateurs and professionals.

In this video Blue explains how leadership involves thinking beyond oneself and considering the interests of others. Blue describes the challenges of competing in golf -- an individual sport, within a team setting -- where it is not necessarily natural to consider how to positively impact others. The experience helped him not only on the course, but by seeing how meeting the needs of teammates contributes to his leadership role as a sports executive."

        on Athletics

Run faster, jump higher and throw farther with BLAZE! The BLAZE coaching staff knows how to get the most out of elite athletes and beginners alike.  BLAZE provides effective instruction to build speed, strength, endurance, and teach proper track and field technique.  BLAZE coaches encourage a love of the sport, and motivate their athletes to do their best.  

Being A Teammate In An Individual Sport

"Larissa Fontaine is a member of the PCA Leadership Council and former member of the US National Gymnastics team from 1989-1997. She is a World Championship silver medalist and competed at the 1996 Olympic Trials. A member of the Stanford University Athletics Hall of Fame, she won the NCAA title on the vault in 1998, and is a five-time NCAA All-America.

In this video, Fontaine explores how athletes can serve as teammates even in an individual sport. Though gymnasts compete alone and are scored individually, they are part of a team, and it’s important to feel connected and part of a group success. Fontaine, as coach at Stanford, reinforced this by recruiting only student-athletes who exhibited a team mentality. She wanted individual athletes on her team who were committed to team goals and unity."

 on Scholarship

BLAZE seeks to build strong student athletes who value academic success as well as athletic achievement.  BLAZE ensures that our athletes keep their eye on the ball and do their best in the classroom. The discipline gained through BLAZE track and field leads to healthy bodies and strong minds.  Parents' Roles In

Achieving Balance Between Sports And Academics

"Shelly Goldberg was a three-time NCAA Academic All-America for the Stanford University gymnastics team and a member of two Pac-10 championship squads.  In this video, she explains the role her parents played in setting priorities and balancing academic and athletic pursuits.

Far from pushing her into sports, Goldberg's parents consistently reminded her of the importance of succeeding academically. As Goldberg grew as a gymnast and began traveling and seeking higher levels of competition and challenge, she needed to convince her parents that she could maintain academic excellence and earn the privilege of pursuing gymnastics as avidly as she hoped. Her parents held her accountable to maintain the right balance between academic and athletic pursuits, to set her up for lifelong success."

        on Service

BLAZE is a good citizen of the North DeKalb Community.  Teaching athletes the value of service to others, giving back to their community, and having an awareness of the world around them is an important part of growing up.  BLAZE involves its athletes in civic activities that support good causes and that help young people make a difference.  

Using Your Power To Improve Your School Community

"Student-athletes often have elevated statuses on their school campuses, and this excerpt from PCA Founder Jim Thompson’s Elevating Your Game explains how student-athletes can use their status to affect positive change. Too often, a “jock culture” brings athletes to use this power for self-serving purposes. But student-athletes’ can and should wield their influence over a community more positively..."

 on You!

Tell us about an Athlete with Class!  We'd love to feature articles on the CLASSy things BLAZE athletes are doing. You never know - you could win an award for it! Nominations are solicited each year for the Athlete with CLASS Peer Award.  This is a special award, with nominations coming from fellow athletes, recognizing the athlete who best exemplified the qualities of our motto – “Athletics with class”, by demonstrating Character, Leadership, Athletics, Scholarship and Service throughout the season.