April 4th, 2013

Hyland's Heroes: Michelle Heareth

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Michelle Heareth

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that 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.

Michelle Heareth – Boys Volleyball coach, St. Patrick School

Basketball season is rolling directly into Boys’ Volleyball for the CSAA schools. As a relatively new sport, there seems to be a growing interest in the game, even though it is a relatively short – month-long season. The participants will be really busy with practice and double-header matches.

St. Patrick School’s 6th grade team will be coached this year by Michelle Heareth who has been working with the young men since they were 3rd and 4th graders.  A native of Florida, Michelle attended St. Paul Catholic and St.Petersburg High School where she participated in volleyball, basketball and softball.

Now married to Richard, they are parents to Mackenzie and Ryan; and like their parents the kids enjoy volleyball, as well as other sporting activities. St. Patrick’s young men are lucky to have the energetic support of this coach for their young guys; teaching them the skills necessary to play this exciting sport.

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

I began coaching with the CSAA when my daughter Mackenzie was in the second grade. She started playing volleyball and I wanted to assist in her experience.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved? 

I voluntarily became involved and then continued to help for the last 6 years.

What sports did you coach and for how long?

I coached girls’ volleyball for 2 years, girls’ basketball for one year and boys’ volleyball for the past two years. This will be my third boys’ volleyball season.

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

I have a deep belief that through my gifts of athleticism and sports knowledge, patience and leadership. I have been called to help children. I really enjoy spending time teaching and watching each child develop their confidence and character. 

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

It was my father who influenced me the most. He coached me from a very young age and continued coaching well after I had gone to college. He showed me patience and kindness through his time spent with his own children and others. Many of his players still keep in touch with him.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach?  

My major principle is character and confidence. I like seeing the small improvements in each child. It may be an improvement in a skill, a new way of working with another child they don’t know, or finding their inner strengths. These opportunities are experiences that will carry over into their future.

What does coaching bring to you, your family?

Coaching allows me the opportunity to show my children that not only am I there mother, the cook, the cleaner, bill payer and taxi driver; mom can play! They see me influencing the lives of other children too.

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

A young girl name A.J., who played softball for me. She was quiet and shy but a wonderfully coachable girl. We played all season and I would ask her mother often if she was having fun because she wouldn’t say a word. I nominated her to play for the All Star team. During an All Star game, I heard a very loud cheering voice; a leader in the dugout. I came off the field and asked, “Who’s leading the cheers in here?”  Everyone giggled and pointed right to A.J. Her confidence was shining through and she became a leader for our team!


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