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

The Handshake Line

Last week was the final game of the NHL season. As is the custom in the NHL, both teams, the Capitals and the Golden Knights, formed a line a shook hands at center ice. This is one of the coolest traditions in sport.  

What is at the core of this over 100 year tradition in the National Hockey League?

RESPECT.

Respect for your opponents; respect for their team; respect for the game.

Opponent – You have battled through four stressful series of hockey over two months. You know that’s tough, and you know your opponent, win or lose, has done the same. You respect the effort it takes to endure and give your best every game.

Team – The other team, like yours, has done whatever it takes to put together a team worthy of playing in the final series of the season. You know how hard it is to be consistent and hard-working during the playoffs. It takes a special team.

Game – You love your sport. You have dreamed your entire life of an opportunity to play in the finals. You know this is the best of the game of hockey. You respect the traditions of your game and you are proud to wear your uniform every game. The handshake line is a way to show everyone how you respect the game of hockey.

The handshake line is also a tradition in CYC sports. After each game, teams line up and shake hands with their opponents. Sometimes we forget the reason why we are performing this important ritual. Just like everything in sports, if we are going to do it, we should do it right. Here are Do’s and Don’ts of the handshake line.

DON”T
• Race through the line. It is not a timed event.
• Look down at the floor/ground.
• Slap or fingertip the hand of your opponent.
• Be sarcastic or make a disrespectful remark or say nothing.
• Skip a player/coach.
• Sit on the bench or avoid the line because you lost.

DO
• Walk slowly.
• Make eye contact. You have to walk slowly to make this happen.
• Shake their hand.
• Say, “Nice game”, “Good Luck”; something respectful.
• Include every player. Pay special attention to the player who performed the best, made the big play at the end, and to the coach.
• Participate regardless of the outcome of the game.

The handshake line is a great teaching opportunity for all CYC coaches. Please take the time to discuss this with your team before the season starts. Always address improper behavior in the handshake line immediately after it happens. Discuss with your player and their parents the proper and accepted way to behave in the handshake line. As a coach, you need to be the example for the expected behavior. Win or lose, be sure to model respect as you address the other team; both players and coaches.

 

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.

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