The mission of the Catholic Youth Apostolate is to help all young people hear and actively respond to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and enthusiastically participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ and His Church.

2018 Sports Summit
Baseball/Softball 2018
2018 Sports Banquet
2018 CYC Cardinals Night

March with Us on the Field at CYC Cardinals Night!

The June 4th deadline for ordering tickets for the 20th Annual CYC Cardinals Night is quickly approaching.  CYC Cardinals Night will take place on Monday, June 25, 2018. The Cardinals will be playing the 1st place Cleveland Indians.

Tickets for Loge Seating are $17.50 each (regularly $58.)

We still have tickets left, so if you would like to cheer on the St. Louis Cardinals with your CYC teammates, friends, and family, please get your ticket order in soon.

CYC players and teams will be able to participate in the parade around the field prior to the game, and the top four parishes in number of tickets sold will have a special opportunity to participate in an additional pre-game event!

All four of these opportunities are within reach as no parish has over 70 tickets ordered. Talk with your team and the other groups from your parish. Don’t miss out of the chance for someone from your parish to throw out a 1st pitch or watch batting practice from the field!

Visit the CYC CARDINALS NIGHT webpage to download the Ticket Order Form and to view all the information you need to participate in CYC TEAM NIGHT with the St. Louis Cardinals!!

Don’t miss this opportunity for your team to get on the field before the game at Busch Stadium. It’s one experience that the kids (and coaches) will never forget.

If you have questions, please call the CYC Office at (314) 792-7256.

Here is Why Track Is Life

The last several weeks, the CYC has held our three preliminary track meets of the season. Meets were held at Trinity HS, DuBourg HS and Chaminade HS. Approximately 700 athletes competing at each venue. Coaches and parent volunteers working in cooperation with each other to orchestrate a seamless event. The weather has been beautiful. The facilities are top notch. Track is fun!

One Saturday, I sat on a bleacher and tried to soak it all in. I listened. Words of encouragement from coaches and parents. Everyone yelling; so as to be heard above the yelling of the person next to them. I began to write down everything I heard. I looked at the list, and realized a common thread among the many phrases and exclamations. When we say that sports is a great teacher of life lessons, track has it nailed down. Track is life.

Here is what I heard:

Don’t Look Back – Why don’t you look back? Because your focus should always be on the finish line. Because the runner behind you does not control your effort or your finish. Your focus should always be toward the goal. The finish line. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by looking back. Looking back will slow you down and it will mess with your mind.

Time To Kick It – Sometimes we are cruising along at a pace where we are comfortable. We are conserving our energy for something else. There is a point in the race, usually at or near the last turn, where it’s time to lay it all out there on the track. Dig deep inside, find strength and energy you didn’t know you had, and give it your all to the finish. The other important aspect to this is there is a time to “kick it”. Too early; you will burn out before the finish. Too late; you will lose to the runner who knew when to “kick it”. It’s about timing and knowing your own limits.

All Guts – There is a place in the race where you believe you have no energy remaining. Movement hurts. Your lungs are screaming for mercy. “All Guts” means you give everything you have when you have practically nothing left. It’s not going to be comfortable, but the rewards can be awesome. Oftentimes the “all guts” runner will defeat the more athletically talented runner because their effort, mentally and physically, was superior.

Stay In Your Lane – When you veer into someone else’s lane, you interfere with their progress. Usually it is unintentional. It is another example of focus. Pay attention to your job. Let them do their job. Staying in your lane, depending on the race, is also the rule. Run the race the right way. Obey the rules. Respect the sport.

All The Way – You hear this near the finish line. Sometimes we coast to the finish when we know our opponent is far behind. Sometimes we let up because we know we can’t win. When we do this, we are disrespecting ourselves. You can be proud of your race if you know you put forth your best effort from start to finish. Don’t slack off near the end. Give it all to the finish.

Don’t Forget To Breathe – Sometimes we are really into the race. We obsess over arm positioning, pace, foot placement, distance to the turn, distance to the finish, distance to the car. We forget the most important thing; we lose track of our breathing. It’s the basics. Before you can master the intricacies of the sport, you need to control the basics. Breathing controls everything else. It’s the main thing.

• Have Fun – The most important aspect of sports. The greatest thing about CYC track is watching the kids finish. It’s wonderful how many times the kid in fifth or sixth place, sometimes by a wide margin, crosses the finish line with a big smile on their face. I saw a kid finish the 200, in last place, who actually skipped across the finish line. Many times, coaches are at the finish to congratulate the runner who came in fourth, but set a new personal record time. Smiles should always accompany a finish.

Here is another thing I noticed while listening to the track meet. Everything is positive. No one is yelling at the officials, no parents criticizing running or throwing strategy of the athletes, no chastising because of a finish other than first. Just encouragement and support for a job well done.

Kids running, throwing and jumping on a beautiful day, all the while learning life lessons that will serve them well in the future. Track is life!
 

7 Observations From The CYC Hoops Playoffs

1. Kids Can Play – We were so impressed with the caliber of play in our playoffs. There are some talented players on our courts. Kids played hard from beginning to end. We know some players are coming from other games, in various sports. Amazing how much energy they have. We hope every player had fun, regardless of the outcome of their game.

2. Coaches Can Coach – Our CYC parents are good coaches. Our players have been taught the right way to play. Many coaches are encouraging their players to do their best and play as a team. Fundamentals, like protecting the ball, boxing out, using the clock, are taught to our kids at all levels.
One coach, sensing his players were a little nervous to start, called an early timeout. He joked with the kids, got them to laugh a little, and then encouraged them to go out and just have fun. We want the kids to have fun playing CYC sports.

3. Our Districts Put On a Show – The St Charles and South County districts hosted the playoffs this season. Their volunteers worked the score tables, played music, announced starting line-ups, played the National Anthem, and made sure everyone was welcome to their gym. They put in a lot of time and effort for two weekends of basketball for our kids. Volunteers are so important to our organization. Thanks for making the playoff experience special for our athletes.

4. Kudos to the Zebras - For some, it may be difficult to compliment the referees, but our crew deserves the praise. CYC playoff games can be very stressful. Our officials worked hard each game. Officiating basketball is not easy. Our referees put up with a lot, but they are all devoted to the game and to making things run smoothly. We are proud of the group of officials who work the CYC playoffs. We appreciate their hard work and patience.

5. Fans in The Stands – Parents, relatives, classmates, neighbors; all came out to cheer for their teams. The bigger crowds give the game a different feel. It can energize the players and inspire them to greater effort. Some of you brought signs, pom-pom’s, and stood up and danced during timeouts. The athletes appreciate you being there for them at the big game. Years from now, kids always remember parents at their games, supporting their efforts.

6. We Have Some Issues – We still have some things to work on as players, coaches and fans:
• Players need to learn how to deal with adversity. Things don’t always go your way. They need to learn the proper way to handle these situations. That’s up to parents and coaches.
• Part of the reason the kids can’t handle adversity is because their parents and coaches are modeling inappropriate responses to calls that don’t go their way or shots that don’t fall. We need to show kids the right way.
• We need to learn how to be responsible for our own actions. If the team loses; if you have an off game; if you foul out, it’s often because of something you have done or have not done. Sometimes your shots aren’t falling that day; sometimes you foul out because you played too aggressively or didn’t adjust to a tightly called game; sometimes you lose because the other team was better that day. Always look in the mirror before you point your finger.

7. Basketball is The Most Emotional Sport – I know some soccer fans will disagree, but basketball is the most emotionally charged game in CYC sports. Intense action on a small court, split-second calls, fans and coaches close to the action. The emotion can be the best and the worst the sport has to offer. There were plenty of tears and joyful smiles this past weekend.

After one of the 8th grade final games, I observed the losing coach speak with his team in a huddle. Here is what he said. “I know we didn’t get the outcome we had hoped for today. I wish I could change that. You kids deserved better. Here’s what I know. I have coached you guys since third grade. We have had a lot of fun together, and all of you have blessed me in ways you will never know. Years from now, you will all look back at this game, and you’ll say to yourself, ‘We made it to the finals. That was pretty cool’. It was pretty cool, guys. Thanks for letting me be a part of the fun.”

Hugs for everyone, some tears, back at it next season.

Retrieving The Impossible

Last fall, my daughter was on a flight from Newark to Burlington, VT. She texted me, “Hey Dad, I’m on a plane with the UMBC soccer team”. Being a college sports fan, I was amazed I had never heard of UMBC. Quick to Google. UMBC – University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Division I. American East Conference. I quickly texted my daughter with my new found information. She texted in return, “Who cares Dad, they’re cute”.

Last Friday they weren’t just cute; they were epic.

Going into their game with top-seeded Virginia, UMBC was trying to become the first #16 seeded team to beat a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Previous #16 seeds were 0-135. It seemed an impossible task. Virginia was the #1 team in the country. UMBC’s point guard is 5”8”. Virginia’s Pack Line defense is one of the best ever. UMBC’s mascot is a golden retriever, for Pete’s sake. There is NO way.

Final score: UMBC 74, Virginia 54.

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

There are so many teachable moments in a game like this. So many things you can relate to everyday life. Let’s talk about a few:
• Never believe you cannot win the game.
• Sports are fun.
• Every game is a life lesson.

NEVER BELIEVE YOU CANNOT WIN THE GAME

It would have been easy, almost understandable, for the UMBC players to feel they had no chance to win. Head coach Ryan Odom had this to say after the game:
I think kids are being told you can’t do this, you can’t do that, whether it’s in sports or outside sports. What our kids were able to accomplish should be a lesson to everybody. You can do it, man. You just have to put your mind to it and work hard and hopefully good things will happen for you.

Great things happen when you first believe they will happen. As CYC coaches, we should always instill in our kids the belief that they have a chance to be successful if they put forth the effort.

SPORTS ARE FUN

Another great quote from Coach Odom, speaking of his UMBC players:
I take so much joy in watching them smile and not just at the end there, but throughout the game. You know, I think it’s pretty easy to tell, to everybody in the arena, these guys have passion. These guys love to play this game. This game means a lot to them. It’s just a special, special effort.

As a coach, do you notice if your kids are having fun? If they are not, why? CYC sports are supposed to be fun. A coach has the opportunity to make the game fun. A parent can have an impact on whether your kid enjoys the game or dreads the game. If we scream, yell, criticize, and berate our kids during the game, it sucks the joy out the experience. It ceases to be fun. Our kids need to see you enjoying the game and having fun. It’s contagious.

EVERY GAME IS A LIFE LESSON

Sports provide the opportunity to teach our kids many life lessons. Virginia Coach Tony Bennett provided all of us with a shining example of how to lose with class and how to see sports in the big picture of life.
 

https://www.facebook.com/CBSSports/videos/10155747453171773/

 

Praise the winner. Look for the positive in your team. Understand the big picture. Be accountable for your performance. Maintain composure. Coach Bennett did it all.

Our kids are looking at us, as parents and coaches, to lead in the proper way. They are seeking the right way to act in every situation. They need to see a respectful demeanor displayed at all times. Are we giving our kids what they need? As much fun as it is to win, there is a lot to learn from a loss. Let's get it right!
 

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