June 8th, 2017

Hyland's Heroes: Ben Swindler

Block_0 conor revell

Conor Revell

Staff Writer


Hyland's Heroes: Ben Swindler
The Swindler family / photo provided by Ben Swindler

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.

Ben Swindler volunteers as an athletic director at Holy Trinity and is this week’s Hyland’s Insurance Hero.

When and how did you get your start with the athletic program?

I was having lunch with a friend five or six years ago and he told me about the fun he was having participating in an adult volleyball league at his parish. It sounded like fun and I approached the booster committee with the idea of restarting a league within our parish. Once I started attending the booster meetings and saw all that went on behind the scenes to make the parish sports programs function, I saw that I could help. It wasn’t long after that I joined the committee as one of our athletic directors.

What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

Treat others as you wish to be treated. I’ve always tried to remember that. We are building a community within the parish. Sports are a fun way to enhance the community. It’s our responsibility to create a fun environment that fosters this community and helps it to grow.

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

My wife and kids are the most influential people on my volunteer career. I want to set a good example for my kids. Everyone is busy, but I always felt that if I’m going to attend a practice, then I could help. I’ve coached a few sports that I never played seriously. But teaching fundamentals, being positive, and letting kids have fun is what I believe it’s all about. Vince Elpers brought me into the role as AD and helped me learn the ropes, and what it means to help the parish prosper and grow through athletics. I’ve learned so much through the interactions I have with all the other members of the committee. We’ve become a close group of friends. Jody Demling, Jim Herr, Nick Vaccaro, Vince Elpers, Bruce Hines, and Andy Kiehl all helped me with a kind word or helpful hand.

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

I’ve coached at a lot of levels from high school to kindergarten. I always tried to help my players develop a love for the sports I love. If I can create a positive environment for them to grow as people and athletes, then I’m doing my job. Catholic school sports should be about inclusion, positivity, and enjoyment. We all get caught up in winning, but developing a kid’s self-confidence and enjoyment in a nurturing environment goes way beyond one win. Coaches should always remember the bigger picture.

What does your role bring your family?

This role has given my family the opportunity to meet and become friends with a lot of people we may never have had the chance to interact with otherwise. My wife and I are showing our kids the benefits of volunteering and giving to others without thinking of ourselves. It’s been a lot of fun to be behind the scenes. My kids feel like Holy Trinity is a second home.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

Selfishly my fondest memories are centered around watching my kids score their first goals, baskets, and points. I loved watching them improve and enjoy their time with their friends and classmates. And these feelings expand to all the kids I’ve coached. Watching a boy or girl make a play that they didn’t think they could make. Watching a child get better at a sport is one of the most wonderful things to witness.

 

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