April 23rd, 2015

Hyland's Heroes: Jim Calvery

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Jim Calvery
Kaitlin is being held by Margaret, JR is wearing the gold shirt, and Jim is wearing the white polo / photo provided by the Calvery family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "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.

Soccer season begins the week after spring break, but coaches and coordinators have been busy since the first of March preparing. They got off to a slow start with all the snow we experienced but it’s easy to imagine they will be bursting with excitement soon when they kick off league play.

At St. Francis of Assisi, Jim Calvery has kept the CSAA office busy with calls seeking information and making sure all his paperwork was in order. He may be as excited as the kids.

Jim and Margaret Calvery are parents to JR and Kaitlin who keep both parent’s schedules full. Jim, attended St. Agnes and St. Xavier then graduated from Colorado State University. He has always had a love for the outdoors. He played soccer as a youth and now enjoys fly fishing, hiking and your typical mountain region activities. Since the mountains in Louisville do not equate to Colorado, Jim keeps his feet firmly planted on terra firma by coaching and supporting the soccer program at St. Francis. The CSAA is grateful to have him as a volunteer.

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

My son's in the seventh grade and I started coaching for CSAA when he was in second grade. I became a full-time coach when he was in third grade. I did this because I found it very hard to keep quiet and stay on the sidelines. 

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved? 

Quite frankly my wife and a fellow coach asked me to get involved. I had already been resisting the urge to get involved of my own accord. About two years ago the athletic director and soccer coordinator for St. Francis of Assisi parish, where we belong, asked if I would take over the soccer program for grades three through eight...There was no turning back after that!  What really got me involved was when I saw the tremendous amount of energy and a curious light in my son and his teammate’s eyes. Then I thought what an honor it would be to help lead these young players and direct that energy and that light towards a winning purpose.

What sports did you coach and for how long?

I have coached soccer since my son was in second grade so I am now in my 6th year of coaching.

What's the connection with your faith (stewardship) & giving your time to young student athletes? 

To me, being Catholic is about leading others by serving them. The connection is very strong and very emotional; when I'm coaching I feel the struggles that the young players have, I feel the fear, I feel the apprehension and most of all I feel their success when they break through that fear and that apprehension.  And when they succeed in some small way it changes everything for them for the rest of the day and for as long as they can think about it.  I want them to realize that you go through life only one time and you never have a second chance to make that first impression. You never get to do anything over again - everything you do, you do for the first time.  I always ask them how great do you feel when you do something correctly with your full focus towards being kind and helping one another? 

If they can do that repeatedly they can win every game life puts in front of them. I want that for every single player that I have the honor of coaching. I want their parents to see the joy in their eyes, to feel the goosebumps on their skin when they succeed; whether it's winning a game, making the perfect pass, or reaching their hand down to help a fellow teammate.

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

The most influential person in my coaching career is my father Dr. David Bizot. He came into my life when I was 16. My sister and I had been without a father since our dad passed away. That was when I was 11 months old. Dr. Bizot brought with him a son and a daughter. Our family bloomed to have three boys and two girls.  He completed our team and he continues to coach us as adults with love and leadership, through service to others, to this day.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach?  

The first major theme that I express to my players is to be nice to others.  The second major theme that I express is value and demonstrate to my players is that you go through life one time. You have one time and one chance to do the right thing - there are no do overs and there are no second chances. Everything you do you have to realize you're doing it for the first time, so be mindful about what you say and do, and do it for the right reasons - with kindness in your heart.

The principles or principle that I use to lead players I coach was learned from William Borden, heir to the Borden family dairy fortune. William Borden coined six words; No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regret. This means everything to me and the players I coach.

No reserve means to make a decision and follow through, have no doubts about it have no reservations.  As you go through life and through each game don't waver from that reserve don't wander or get lazy, keep your focus have no retreat.  And at the end of the day, the end of the year, the end-of-life, and at the end of the game, if you have done all this you will have no regret, meaning you will lay your head down each night with happiness in your heart and a smile on your face.  That's really it for me, that's where I want to be, that is where I want them to be.

What does coaching bring to you, your family?

Coaching brings us closer together by allowing us to verbally express the good things in life. By verbally expressing them out loud we hold each other accountable to those expressions and those actions.  They demonstrate goodness, kindness, strength, honor and leadership. Also it brings us happiness.

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

Honestly it's the light in their eyes, their growth at the end of the season, it's how they treat each other; it's watching them help each other, it's listening to them encourage each other and it's every vision from the previous seasons that constantly flashes through my memory as I'm working or running the trails or simply working on my own life.



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