Having a strong support system is important for all athletes. Not only is believing in yourself and your abilities an important part, but the support from your family goes a long way. There is a lot more than just playing on the field that goes into being an athlete.
“I am a very family-oriented guy so my parents played a huge part in my decision to commit here. We sat down and found out what the best path for me was,” Steve Halko, senior co-captain of the men’s lacrosse team, said.
According to Educated Sports Parent, when the family is supportive, the player is more encouraged to enjoy it and develop new skills.
“I think it’s important for each of my players to have someone at home that they can call on good days and bad days. They know that myself and my assistants are always here for them, but its special to have your families support. Whether its parents, siblings, or grandparents, it just nice to have someone in your corner,” Jackie Neary, head coach of women’s field hockey and lacrosse teams, said.
Sports play a significant role in the lives of many different people. All athletes are taught by someone who knows how to teach their passion and look out for the player’s best interest. Coaches become mentors and form a special bond with their players that differ from the parent-player relationship. When playing on a team for many years, players say that they feel like their teammates become a part of their extended family.
“I have been blessed and continue to have young ladies who come from very supportive families, who love Cabrini University. And they also understand that being a college athlete only enhances your undergraduate experience!”Neary said. “My job is to get them to play up to their potential and teach some life lessons along the way. I have one of the best professions, working with young adults and watching them mature and develop over their four years in college. We both learn to deal with success and setbacks, and along the way create wonderful memories.”
Having parental support for the players opens up a new door of success for them. They may be the best player on the team, but with a supportive backing, they gain the self-confidence to keep going and are more encouraging of their teammates. According to Believe Perform, a recent study by Mills, Butt, Maynard, and Harwood (2012), said that “parents have one of the most important roles in academy player development. Coaches even suggested that there is a positive correlation between parental support and the likelihood to progress to professional level.”
“My parental support does affect my playing because without my parent’s support I would not be able to succeed on and off the playing field. I have been very lucky to have such a great support system from my parents who come to all my games and cheer me on,” Kaite Kucia, sophomore member of women’s field hockey and lacrosse team, said. “The coaching staff had a huge impact because I knew how great of a person [head-coach] Jackie Neary was and that I wanted to play under her because she has had such success with both the field hockey and lacrosse team.”
Playing sports are an integral piece in many people’s lives. It gives athletes the chance to escape the pressures of school and life, so when they are on the court or the field they can zone out and focus on the game.
“My parents have always been involved in my lacrosse career so to a point they affect my play. At the college level we play an elite style of lacrosse and sometimes you have to trust your coaches based on their experience and that may contradict what a parent is saying,” Halko said. “My favorite thing is a timeline of events, just getting out there on the field and getting after it with my friends. Coming back for my senior season after losing my junior year with a torn ACL means the world to me.”
Coaches and parents do have a significant impact on the players and their performances. With the right amount of encouragement and pressure, athletes are able to perform and feel their best on and off the field.