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Being a ‘good’ sport Teaching life skills through athletics

Brian Buczek with his children, Ivan and Ava pose on bleachers near the soccer field at The Bishop John A. Marshall School in Morrisville. The physical education teacher is a partner in a paddle board business. Photo by Cori Fugere Urban Brian Buczek with his children, Ivan and Ava pose on bleachers near the soccer field at The Bishop John A. Marshall School in Morrisville. The physical education teacher is a partner in a paddle board business.
As a teacher, a coach and a father, Brian Buczek wants to help children discover different possibilities for success.

And for him, success does not always mean winning; sometimes success is learning a lesson or accomplishing a goal.

Buczek is in his second year as physical education teacher and athletic director at The Bishop John A. Marshall School in Morrisville, and he brings to the position a wealth of athletic experience, particularly in soccer.    

Born in Sharon Springs, N.Y., he began playing soccer in third grade; it was a sport that came easily to him. He played soccer, baseball and basketball in high school and soccer at Paul Smith’s College in Paul Smiths, N.Y. -— where he earned an associate’s degree in 1993 in hospitality management — and at Johnson (Vermont) State College where he has nearly completed a bachelor’s degree in physical education.

He has coached on the collegiate level at Johnson State College and at Middlebury (Vermont) College, and as the boys’ varsity head coach at Stowe High School he led the team to three state Division III championships.

In addition, Buczek coached for eight seasons in Olympic Development Program soccer and also coached for seven seasons in Chittenden County club soccer with Far Post and Nordic Spirit.

This year he is focusing on the Bishop Marshall School soccer program, serving as head coach for the grades seven and eight co-ed team and training all age groups.

“Brian and his family joined the BJAMS community last August, bringing with them energy, enthusiasm and ideas of how to enhance and expand our offerings,” said Head of School Carrie Wilson. 

As athletic director and three-season coach (fall soccer, basketball and spring soccer), he has developed a physical education curriculum that highlights sportsmanship, goal setting, fitness, nutrition and wellness for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

“He has a positive approach to all he does and works hard to encourage and develop both the emerging and seasoned athlete. His sense of humor, stories and positive outlook make him a pleasure to work with,” Wilson said.

“Every child wants to be challenged, and it’s not just through the physical aspect of the game,” Buczek said. “They also want to be challenged to understand the mental tools needed to get better,” like staying focused and concentrating on what is important. “When you watch the negative antics in professional sports…that is not how to play on the amateur level,” Buczek said.

He works with his players to stay focused on what is important in a game, to work as a team, to problem solve and to continue to advance to the goal — all important life lessons too.

“It’s easy to let kids be mad; it’s hard to find out why they are frustrated or mad and help them to the next step, which is problem solving,” he said.

He sees winning as not only the end result, but individual accomplishments as well. “And if I can help them identify what makes them successful, then I won,” he added. 

A former food and beverage director at a Stowe resort, he and his college sweetheart, Samantha, have been married for 13 years and have two children: Ivan, 11, and Ava, 9. The children — both soccer players — attend Bishop Marshall School.

Through soccer, he hopes his children will have fun, be competitive in a positive way, learn to solve problems, be examples of good sportsmanship and “play hard because effort shadows everything.”

He and his wife — who is an event manager at a Stowe resort and a soccer player — own Vermont United Soccer Academy in Morrisville. And he is a partner for Paddle North, a paddle board business on Lake Elmore in Elmore.

A Morrisville resident, Buczek enjoys attending Mass at Blessed Sacrament Church in Stowe and the weekly school Mass. He said he “lost his way” of practicing his faith when he was a busy, successful restaurant owner in Wells, N.Y., but he has embarked on what he calls a “rejourney of faith.”

Asked what he wants his children to experience from their Catholic faith, Buczek said he wants them to be good, caring and compassionate individuals who make an effort to help others. He wants them to pray, to thank God for their blessings and to understand that God can put even adversity into perspective.

Adopted by an “amazing family,” Buczek said he always felt God was watching over him. “So do I thank God for how lucky I am? 100 percent!” he said.

Article written by Cori Fugere Urban,
Vermont Catholic content editor/staff writer.
Last modified onMonday, 29 August 2016 11:23
Cori Fugere Urban

Cori Urban is a longtime writer for the communications efforts of the Diocese of Burlington and former editor of The Vermont Catholic Tribune.

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