Steve Bergen, Mayfield Senior School, Pasadena, CaCatherine Conway
Director of Athletics
School of the Holy Child
Rye, NY

Our mission at Holy Child is to develop “women of conscience and action” through a dedication to “joy in teaching and joy in learning.”

In athletics, we are ultimately presented with two, perhaps three, options when entering a competition: win, lose or tie. We as coaches, or teachers of athletics, are tasked with winning--it is how our performance is judged. As coaches, we must take action, be decisive, and do what’s best for our teams to win. We must be result oriented, with an eye on the best outcome. However this is all balanced with our commitment to the development of all of our student-athletes.

Why do we coach? Because winning isn’t everything; it is just the result of lots of little moments that come together at the right time. We coach for the little moments. When a someone figures out how to serve the ball in like a laser beam rather than a rainbow. When the attacking line runs a perfect 3v2 fast break to cage. When the defense breaks up a set-piece corner and clears the ball effectively. We coach for the joy that we find with our student-athletes in every practice, every game, every bus ride, every team dinner. We coach to help our student-athletes development as young women of conscience and action. We strive for self-advocacy, self-betterment, and self-reflection. We work to ensure that our student-athletes are good teammates, good stewards of the school, and ultimately, good humans. The mission of “joy in teaching and joy in learning” is just as applicable in the athletics setting as it is in a classroom.

I have had the distinct honor to lead the Holy Child lacrosse team for four seasons. I have seen more growth with individuals involved in that program than anywhere else, simply due to my proximity to them. Even though what I’m saying is reflective of my personal experience as a coach at Holy Child, I know that it is reflective of other coaches experiences here.

On the flip side, I would say that those student-athletes have seen me grow from a new coach to the confident, battle-tested individual I am now. I was supported from day one by the Holy Child community. I was given the opportunity to learn, fail, and try again. I was helped through tough times by my fellow coaches and various faculty members. I was joined in celebration by students, parents, and the community as a whole. I have been encouraged, guided, challenged and ultimately made better through my experience here. It has made me a better coach, and hopefully, made my student-athletes better as well.

In my role of Director of Athletics, this process of learning and growth has only multiplied. Everyday we work together for the betterment of our student-athletes, on and off the field, court,course and pool, and find ourselves evolving in some way. This is what makes Holy Child so special, and why I love being a part of this community.