Parents Offered Tips to Help Before, During, and After Athletic Competition

Posted October 24, 2013 / Last updated October 25, 2013

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Athletic director Dave Moreau, Rob Miller of Proactive Coaching, president Raymond Fitzgerald, S.J,, and principal Peter Kernion welcome parents to a presentation in the Jesuit auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Hundreds of Blue Jay parents turned out to hear an expert in the field of athletic process talk about the role parents play in the athletic careers of their children. The event, coordinated by Jesuit principal Peter Kernion ’90 and athletic director Dave Moreau, took place on Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the Jesuit auditorium.

Rob Miller of Proactive Coaching — a national company that works with administrators, coaches, student-athletes, and parents — stressed the importance or releasing athletes to the game. Miller told the group “If it takes you longer to get over a loss than your son, you’re not releasing your son to the game.”

Some parents were shocked to hear that about 75 percent of kids stop playing organized sports by the time they get to high school. Some of that, he believes, falls on parents.

Miller, who has coached boys and girls high school basketball, college basketball, and today serves as a collegiate conference commissioner, told parents that before the season begins, parents should know their children’s goals and accept them.

He told the story of a gifted high school soccer player who had the ability to continue her career in college. To aid her development, her father spent thousands of dollars on camps, travel teams, and extra coaching. Turns out that his daughter had no intention of playing soccer beyond high school, and didn’t.

During games, Miller told parents that they should model poise, confidence, and good behavior. He added that they should focus their attention on the team rather than their own children. “More than anything else, our kids want us to believe in them,” Miller said.

Finally, Miller discussed the role parents should play after the game ends. He stressed the need to give student-athletes time and space. “If a student-athlete’s done his job, he is physically and emotionally drained after a game,” Miller said. “The last thing he wants to do is rehash the game with you in the car on the way home.” Miller also stressed the importance of being a confidence builder.

The Creels at football camp: Henry (73), Zac (69), and Benji (70)

The Creels at football camp: Henry (73), Zac (69), and Benji (70)

“As a parent of two current Blue Jays (Henry ’15 and Benji ’16) and two young alumni (Cal ’11 and Zac ’13) — all student-athletes, I considered myself to be practically an expert sports parent, but I was surprised at how much I learned,” said Liz Creel. “It’s comforting to know that Jesuit values how athletics fits into the larger school mission of building men of conscience, competence, and compassion, and that they value the role parents play in that transformation of our sons,” she added.

Brett Forshag ’84, who played baseball for Jesuit and LSU, appreciated Miller’s perspective. “His comments regarding seeing the entire field and not just the portion of it associated with your son is great advice,” said Forshag, who said the advice hit home, or in his case, home plate. His son Trent is a junior catcher for the Jays. “It definitely changes your perspective of the game.”

Miller told the group that coaches should use two benchmarks to gauge a team’s success. “Did your student-athletes reach their potential and finish the season with no regrets, and did you create a culture in which teammates become friends for life,” Miller opined.

Brett Forshag and Andy Galy, from the Class of 1984 played baseball together at Jesuit and LSU. The two have remained life-long friends.

Brett Forshag and Andy Galy from the Class of 1984 played baseball together at Jesuit and LSU. The two have remained life-long friends.

Forshag attended the presentation with 1984 classmate Andy Galy. The two were teammates at Jesuit and LSU and remain best friends almost 30 years after their playing days at Carrollton and Banks. Galy’s son, Alex, is a junior with the Blue Jay baseball team.

“I’m grateful to all our parents who took the time to hear Rob’s presentation, and I look forward to continuing our partnership with Proactive Coaching,” Moreau said.

On Wednesday morning, Oct. 23, Miller spoke to members of Jesuit’s faculty. In 2011 he presented to Jesuit coaches and in 2012 he addressed Jesuit’s student-athletes.