On behalf of the CYO Board, players, and parents, thank you for volunteering your time and energy to coaching with the CYO. Balancing the home, work, and volunteer time can be difficult, yet incredibly rewarding when you teach a skill, reach a child, or just re-live some of your own sports memories!

Many of you are seasoned veterans as coaches with the program (some serving on the board as well). Some of you are brand new. As your CYO board, we are here to help and support you in doing your job in coaching our children in baseball, softball and/or T-ball. We’d like to review a few policies and resources with you so you can better understand the program and know where and how to solve any issues should they arise.

The CYO Mission

CYO LogoThe primary purpose of the CYO at St. Bernadette’s Parish is to conduct the parish based youth athletic programs that foster personal and spiritual growth and commitment to the youth of the Parish. The Organization develops and provides the resources for the programs of its membership and addresses the needs of the youth involved in the program.

What Coaches Should Know

We strongly encourage all of our coaches to read carefully the Athletic Handbook on the ADW CYO website at www.washcyo.com. In it you will find the CYO philosophy and how CYO Athletics are an opening to young people’s active participation in the Church. “By attentive listening and with Christian conduct a coach, athletic director, or parent of a youth in CYO helps the young people in CYO to reflect on the action of God in the events of his or her life….and you can assist young people in finding the answers in the light of the Gospel.” (Excerpt from the ADW Athletic Handbook)

Duties of a Coach

Image of a CoachCoaches can find a specific list of requirements, criteria, and duties at the ADW site at www.washcyo.com in the Athletic Handbook. Answers to most questions can be found here. Again, we strongly encourage all coaches to read this handbook.

Resources

If coaches are unable to resolve an issue with a player, parent, spectator, referee, gym/field use representative, etc… please communicate through the chain of command. First go through your Commissioner (please place your commissioners home and cell phone number in your cell phone for game time questions). If the problem is still unresolved then go directly to anyone of the CYO board members.

Child Protection Policy

Child Protection ImageAnyone coaching or in “substantial” contact with children is required to complete an application, training and fingerprinting/background check process before doing so. Contact our Virtus Coordinator for questions on how to complete the process.

On that note, it is not uncommon for parents to “step-up” and assist at practices and games. The definition of “substantial” contact is a tenuous one and our recommendation is to ask those helping out if they are in compliance with the Virtus process. If the said individual is replacing you for a practice/game and/or will be in “substantial” contact, it is your responsibility to verify their compliance with our Virtus Coordinator, Mrs. Perry or Delfina Castro.

Uniforms

Soccer Player in UniformWe currently do not take a deposit for uniforms. We have a Uniform Commissioner who will communicate with Athletic Commissioners and sometimes directly with Coaches regarding uniform policies. Our K-2nd program distributes T-Shirts and sometimes hats for its players that are meant to be kept at the end of the season by the players. For 3rd – 12th Grade – uniforms are mostly distributed on loan to our players due to the high cost.

Coaches are asked to assist Commissioners in collecting all uniforms at the end of the season and doing their part to encourage 100% return policy. This means phone calls, emails, and drop-off locations. Lost uniforms quickly equates in increased CYO fees and more fundraisers to cover costs.

Equipment

Sports EquipmentBefore the start of each season, the Athletic Commissioner will contact you with team selection and coaching placement. Equipment will be distributed to coaches for the appropriate sporting season. As the coach, you are responsible for the collection of all equipment at the end of every practice and game. At the end of the season the equipment must be returned to the Commissioner in a timely fashion. Drop-off times are usually arranged.

Off Field Responsibilities

All K-2nd Grade teams for Soccer and Spring Sports are requested to staff the Snack Shack with volunteers generally one Friday evening per season. Commissioners generally manage the notification and scheduling of this duty – you as coach are required to notify your team and recruit helpers.

All players’ families will be asked to provide assistance with Christmas Tree Sales. This will be scheduled and families will be notified at the end of November or start of December of their commitment date.

Helping Your Team Grow

Coach

The CYO Board suggests some of the following ways to encourage camaraderie among players and development of physical, emotional, and mental ability of all players (not just your rising stars!)

  • Team Prayer before all games
  • Participation at CYO Team Mass each season – usually during a 9am Mass
  • Know your players names (bring a list and practice it)
  • Encourage team parents to organize a social event (before, during or after the season) to build team identity
  • Verbally reward good sportsmanship in front of the team
  • Brush up on Game Rules and practice Drills to increase excitement for practices and clear focus of the team
  • Don’t follow the “minimums” for play time – Remember the CYO is all about PARTICIPATION! Let all the players get time on the field and court so not only the best players build lasting memories and personal confidence
  • Develop with your team a “motto” or goal to work toward for the season
  • As a coach, set personal goals with each child on the team to develop before the end of the season – not just the goal to win games – if you have time, discuss those goals with the parent

© St Bernadette CYO Silver Spring, MD