Coaching has always been a family affair — your team becomes your family, and if you have a family of your own, they inevitably become part of the team. For Mother's Day, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) has highlighted three special pairs of coaches — moms and their "kids" — and asked them about their shared field hockey experiences.
Whether you are celebrating on Sunday with your children, your mother, her memory, or any other influential people in your life, the NFHCA is wishing you a “Happy Mother’s Day!”
Jarred and Theresa
Jarred Martin, current head coach at Ohio State University, and his mom, Theresa Martin, former head coach at Queensbury High School.
Jarred Martin just finished his second season as the head coach at The Ohio State University after serving on the coaching staff at Duke University for 10 years with considerable success highlighted by two trips to the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament semifinals. As a player, Jarred competed with the USA Men’s National Team for 12 years. His mom, Theresa Martin, led the Queensbury High School field hockey program in New York for 34 years, amassing 390 career wins and earning USA Field Hockey’s Development Coach of the Year in 2002.
Jarred, what was your favorite thing about being a coach's kid?
My parents were both coaches, so one of the best aspects was being around different sports. I played so many growing up and each of them helped me develop as an overall athlete. It was also really helpful to learn and directly see the life lessons in sports from an early age: discipline, hard work, being a great teammate, and having fun.
Jarred, what is a favorite field hockey memory that you share with your mom?
There are two memories I have. First is playing in my last tournament for the USA Men’s National Team at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara and my mom was at the tournament — having her there for support meant so much. The very first game of the tournament was my 100th cap with the team, I remember seeing her afterwards and feeling happy we were able to share that together.
The other was the Christmas when I received my first “real” field hockey stick of my own. My sister and I had matching TK’s — I think I slept with that stick for two weeks straight.
Finish the phrase: "As a coach, I have mom to thank for my..."
…love for the game. When you are able to pass along that passion to a younger generation a lot of other intangibles will naturally follow like commitment, focus, and growth. It starts with that initial spark to make you fall in love with this sport — my mom was the spark for me and why I fell in love with this sport.
Theresa, how did you manage coaching and parenting?
We had the luxury of having grandparents who were able to help during the season. When the kids were young, we lived in the same district that I coached in, so I had lots of babysitters around practice!
Theresa, what's the best piece of coaching advice you've ever given your child?
Be truthful and live by the rules.
What coaching qualities do you think Jarred inherited from you?
Work hard and always have the BIG picture in mind.
Amanda and Pam
Amanda Arpé, current head coach at Simmons University, and her mom, Pam Arpé, former field hockey and women’s tennis coach at Stonehill College.
Amanda Arpé is in her ninth year as the head coach at Simmons University. She touts two conference Coach of the Year honors and has led Simmons to two conference championships. Her mom, Pam Arpé, led the Stonehill College field hockey program for eight season between 2000 and 2007 — in that time, the Skyhawks earned two Northeast-10 Championships and two NCAA Division II Championship Tournament appearances. For five years, they shared the sideline at Stonehill College, where Amanda served as an assistant coach.
Amanda, what was your favorite thing about being a coach's kid?
My favorite thing about being a coach's kid is that I ALWAYS have someone to talk with about field hockey who really truly gets it! Not everyone understands the sport or coaching, it has been so wonderful to be able to always turn to Mom to talk about practices, games, and all the ups and downs that coaching can bring. She has so many years of experience so I definitely turn to her for guidance regularly — I would be silly not to! It's funny how over the years our roles have shifted. For so many years, I was the one on the sidelines (or on the field, playing) while she was coaching, and now she is on the sideline while I coach. She makes a point to attend, or live stream, all of my games and after every single game we have a long postgame debrief. She has been such an amazing support system and role model for me. She has truly shaped who I am as a coach today and I am forever grateful for all that she has taught me.
Pam, how did you manage coaching and parenting?
My husband was key as I tried to juggle the long hours of coaching while raising two daughters. He totally understood my passion for this profession and supported me every step of the way. He was the original “Mr. Mom” years before that term came into existence! My two daughters usually came to team practices, fall, winter and spring, and game days were a family affair! Whenever possible, my husband rearranged his work schedule to attend as many contests as he could. I rarely made it home for dinner, but that wasn’t a problem...dad and his girls visited the local restaurants, making many friends along the way. And when he wasn’t able to be there, my two daughters had many willing babysitters (yes, my players!) who also became like family. Our home was always full of teenagers, who were tremendous role models for our girls.
Coaching Amanda in high school was one of the best experiences a parent could have! To see her grow in skills and confidence, year by year, was so rewarding. And even when she went off to college (eight hours away), my husband and I tried very hard to get to her games, even if it meant driving through the night after one of my own team’s game. And if coaching her in high school was great, having her on the sidelines with me for five years at Stonehill College was even better! Athletics were simply a way of life for the Arpé family!
Amanda, finish the phrase: “As a coach, I have my mom to thank for…”
…my love of field hockey, competition and encouragement. From a very early age, I was always surrounded by her various teams and learned how important and fun competition is and can be. Watching her love of sport and competition and instilling that love for competing into her teams totally inspired me and instilled the same love for competition in me. Growing up, sports and competition was a way of life for me and I couldn't imagine my life without it now. My mom has always provided her teams and family (they really all became one) with the encouragement needed to excel both on the field and in life.
Pam, what coaching qualities did Amanda inherit from you?
First and foremost, I believe Amanda learned that sports and competition need to be FUN! Winning is FUN! Being the best you can be on the field is FUN!
I always tried to instill a sense of confidence in my daughters and my players, I wanted them to believe in themselves in all situations and to always be prepared for what came their way. The ability to self-reflect was also a quality that was important to me and is also important to Amanda. Regardless of the score and the accolades, it’s important to continue to grow, and be the best you. Love for the game, spilling over into true caring for your players, always seemed to set the stage for success in many ways.
P.J. and Marge
P.J. Soteriades, current head coach at Denison University, and her mom, Margaret Redmond, former head coach at Ohio Wesleyan University.
P.J. Soteriades recently completed her 18th season as the head coach at Denison University. P.J. is Denison’s all-time win leader and earned her fifth conference Coach of the Year award this year. Her mom, Marge Redmond, led Ohio Wesleyan University’s field hockey program for 14 seasons before serving as the senior woman administrator for the Ohio Wesleyan athletic department until she retired in 2016 — prior to her time in collegiate athletics, Marge was the head coach at Upper Arlington High School in Ohio for 13 years.
P.J., what was your favorite thing about being a coach's kid?
As a kid it was hard to have my mom as my coach, and at times I hated it. My mom is known by everyone for her amazing sense of humor, but anyone who has ever played for her also knows that she is a tough coach. She made everyone work and I think she made my sisters and I work even harder. My mom knew what good hockey looked like and even more, what great hockey looked like. When you got her nod of approval there was nothing better.
Being in a hockey family with sisters who were also on the team and a brother who officiated, every conversation at dinner growing up was about hockey and it used to drive me crazy. I remember asking, "Can we please talk about something else?”
Ironically, so many of the things that I struggled with in high school as a coach’s kid, is what I relish now as an adult. Having my mom as a coach, I feel that I didn't just play field hockey, I truly learned the sport. Having to work for playing time and starting roles from her, taught me to appreciate the little details, to find joy in a practice, to understand the "big picture,” to play with integrity, to not let the desire to win cloud what is really important.
The constant hockey conversation I used to dread at the dinner table is now what I look forward to most. The ability to call my mom after a game and talk shop or discuss what challenges I am experiencing with my team is amazing.
And the same nod of approval I yearned for as her player has changed only slightly — now I’m hoping to hear her say that my team played a good game.
P.J., what is a favorite field hockey memory that you share with your mom?
Some of my favorite field hockey memories are coaching camp together and watching her do a camp warm up — there is nothing better! I miss going to convention, road trips to final fours, or recruiting tournaments together — and am still getting used to her not being there.
Marge, how did you manage coaching and parenting?
Early on in my coaching career when I was a high school coach, my kids were 1, 4, 6, 8 (and I did have one more who is now an international official), I would take them to practice and they could play in the dugouts, placed away from our action, so it was safe for them. If it were rainy or cold, they would wait in the van. I knew where they were after school, and I didn’t have to go anywhere to pick them up when practice was over. This was a great system, except one day when my one-year-old kept leaning on the horn while I was trying to give an inspirational talk.
I coached all three daughters while they were in high school. It is one of my most memorable experiences. A daily saying at practice was “you three take a lap!” (my daughters knew I meant them and their friend Heather). And we still laugh about it to this day!
When they graduated, I started coaching at the college level. The hardest part about this was saying goodbye to them, times three. I knew they would have an instant family much like I did when I played, so I could relax because they would have support.
P.J., finish the phrase: "As a coach, I have mom to thank for..."
I struggle to not be intense all of the time and my mom taught me that coaching hockey is a great space to laugh and have fun. I have a job where for at least two hours a day I am doing something I love, is fun, and has connected me with so many great people.
Marge, what’s the best piece of coaching advice you've ever given P.J.?
I learned from my college coach that the rules are the most important part of the game. I tried to encourage my players to be honest and respectful. P.J. has had personal experience with this. She learned that one of her players illegally kicked a ball into the goal and when they told the official, the goal did not stand, and they lost the game by one point.
Lessons learned by losing are sometimes the most important lessons — losing is not the opposite of winning.
Thank you to every coach who shared with us — moms and “kids” alike!
Do you know another parent-kid coaching pair? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org — they could be featured in a future NFHCA article!