A Reader Writes: Please Help Rescue My School’s Crummy Facilities!

I received this letter the other day from a high-school teacher who’s facing a problem we increasingly share: How to deal with the sweet, tempting narcotic of luxury.


Hi Dan,

The school where I used to teach has a great facility for the young athletes. It fit the “crummy” description perfectly. They had no lodge, heat, bathrooms, they changed in their cars and kicked ass, the skiers from this time won four state competitions and went on to win multiple national championships. 

Then some funding came up, new lodge, heat, bathrooms, outdoor electricity, timing hut, more trails, etc. Same coaches (one is an former Olympian, yes the psychology of being great was/is there too). The team has not won a state title since the new facility. 

The school district has another “crummy” facility that has produced some really impressive results for the football team. It is in the basement of the school, everyone (varsity non-varsity, established/unestablished) trains in close proximity. It’s got everything it needs to be great and nothing more. Now there’s a move to build a “better” and “bigger” facility. 

I emailed the head coach with my concern, and told him about your work and the power of crummy facilities. He wrote off what I had to say. 

Can you help me in any way to possibly save the “crummy” facility?


Readers: anything you’d like to share? Stories? Strategies? Wisdom from your experience with similar dilemmas? Feel free to write them below.

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