July 25th, 2012

Hyland's Heroes: Cheryl Strong

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Cheryl Strong
image from loucsaa.org

Volleyball coordinator involved with CSAA for nearly 30 years

The following feature is a part of a weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland, called "Hyland's Heroes" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports. Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Cheryl Strong has spent the better part of her life working with CSAA Girls Volleyball. As a child she attended St. Clement elementary school and then proceeded to Pleasure Ridge Park HS. She has always enjoyed Volleyball, Basketball and Softball. Cheryl and her husband Leon have 2 sons, Robbie and Cody, who have participated on numerous CSAA sports teams. She has been a member of the Volleyball board and also served as Girl’s Volleyball Director.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA?

St. Clement was looking for a coach in 1984 and that's how I got my start.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?
The women that were coaching at the time were quitting and I started helping them so I would learn how to coach.

What sports did you coach and for how long?
I’ve only coached volleyball and I've been coaching for about 28 years.

What's the connection with your faith and giving your time to these young student athletes?

I have coached all levels of 5th and 6th grade children. I love working with that age. For the most part they will do anything you ask. Kids need positive reinforcement. I always try to tell them “good job” when they try. I always tell them that they will make mistakes because they are learning. As long as they try I will not be disappointed and they should not be either. I feel that God calls us to get involved and this seems to be my best fit.

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career?

A J Linton and Jim Gribbons coached me in softball. There were so encouraging and caring. Marvin Cahill coached us in volleyball – I find myself saying some of the same things he said to us.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach?

Always encourage! It’s not always what you say, but the tone you say it in. I want the kids to encourage each other the same way.

What does coaching bring to you, your family?

Patience! Having patience keeps us all sane. My husband is a coach also so he understands my time away.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching?

By far, my fondest experiences are the close relationships I’ve developed with some of my players. One of my former players, Elizabeth Blanton, has coached with me for 3 years. She is moving to Michigan for school and I’m going to miss her terribly.


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