INDIANA TOWN Athletics was created out of concern for the future of K-12 education and high school sports. Travis Smith uses his training as a qualitative researcher and communicator to talk with every day people in Indiana towns to promote awareness of the issues and advocate for a more optimistic future at Indiana schools.
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Working in and studying college sports for a decade in Indiana, I am concerned with the pressures and behaviors surrounding high school sports. And as an education doctorate student at Indiana University, and as a dad to 3 young boys, I’m concerned about social media pressures and bullying for all students, and the burnout of our greatest asset – Indiana teachers. INDIANA TOWN Athletics is an attempt to recognize and discuss the challenges in Indiana schools, using athletics as a vehicle to talk about the larger issues, while spreading optimism about the future, too.
INDIANA TOWN is a show hosted by Travis Smith who interviews stakeholders in both education and sports all over the state of Indiana, including coaches and administrators in high school and college. Episodes cover the challenges and future of K-12 education and high school sports, specifically what challenges must be addressed to provide an incredible student experience for years to come. INDIANA TOWN includes commentary from Field Trips and Town Square, the ITA events where Travis visits high schools and community spots to promote good sportsmanship and hear stories on why sports are important to Indiana towns. INDIANA TOWN can be heard on Apple/Spotify and seen on YouTube/Facebook.
The state of Indiana consists of incredible small towns and neighborhoods deeply rooted in hometown sports and hard work. It’s important to talk about the past while also recognizing the challenges ahead for the future. In Town Square, Travis visits these towns at the coffee shop, diner, corn field or actual school itself, for an evening of loosely guided and respectful community conversations about education and sports.
For Field Trips, Travis travels to Indiana high schools and speaks with principals, vice principals, athletic directors, teachers, counselors and coaches to get a better indication of the on-the-ground challenges in education and sports. And Travis is happy to give a talk of encouragement and share his own story to your students in the classroom or at a practice.
As a trained qualitative research, Travis is available to deploy focus groups, interviews, observations and surveys for school boards, school administrators, or sports associations. Travis will also conduct and share qualitative research on Indiana-wide studies about both education and sports.