Standing between three top-performing athletes and master coaches addressing a
crowd of parents, York School Director of Athletics Rick DeMarinis states: “The goal is
to cultivate lifelong athletes, not individuals who are striving to win. We’re here to talk
about our collective role as adults in realizing that journey for our children.”
Standing between three top-performing athletes and master coaches addressing a crowd of parents, York School Director of Athletics Rick DeMarinis states: “The goal is to cultivate lifelong athletes, not individuals who are striving to win. We’re here to talk about our collective role as adults in realizing that journey for our children.”
The other three coaches nod their assent, including Vince Luciani, former CFL and NCAA football coach, Johnny Cassels, Cassels Tutoring’s founder and Martin Reader, a 2012 Summer Olympian in beach volleyball.
Called Performance Parenting, the evening was designed to help parents learn how best to support their children’s athletic pursuits.
Over three sessions, the talks explored a range of issues. One session gave tips on how to focus and get one’s ‘head in the game’ by using mindfulness and by leaving external distractions off the court or playing field. Parents were reminded that being in the moment enhances both teamwork and individual performance.
Another session talked about ‘the parents in the stands’ and their attitude. Coach Luciani started the conversation by asking: “What is better to say to your child after a game? Why didn’t you take that easy shot?!” - or - “I love watching you play out there, you looked like you were flying.” Highlighting people’s exuberance when focussing on a game validates and builds confidence, fulfillment and a love for sport. Luciani closed the session by saying that children should be engaged in sport for the right reasons. Then he wondered, “Does your child want to be a champion, or do you want your child to be a champion?”
Parents’ behaviour on the sidelines matters. Children observe everything. Parents learned that they play a large role in developing a positive can-do attitude towards their child embracing sport.
The evening ended with a final reflection. NBA and International Shooting/Skills Development Coach David Nurse has worked often with The York School students recently commented:
“If I have two prospective employees in front of me and one has a 4.0 GPA but doesn’t do sports, and the other has a 3.7 GPA, but plays pickup basketball Thursday nights, I’m hiring the athlete. They know how to balance schedules and are accountable for their actions. They’ll also know that striving for what you really want is physical and mental hard work, and that teamwork is the way to get there.”
With help from The York School Fund, Rick assembled a star-studded cast of athletes keen and willing to share experiences with the community.
Canada's first co-educational independent IB World School The York School is a co-educational JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from junior kindergarten (JK) to university entrance. As an IB World School, The York School's motto is Experientia Docet or Experience Teaches.