Sunday, March 24, 2019

On track to being best dad on and off track

Coach Arvin’s little champs. In the relay called life, for these two young athletes, their dad and coach Arvin Loberanis is their anchor. (SunStar Photo/Amper Campaña)

HE may have grown up without a father but that is not a reason for him not to be a good one.

Many people may know coach Arvin Loberanis. A former athlete, he’s currently the coach who has helped steer the University of San Carlos to many championships. He’s also built up his own daughter, Mary Joy, to be the next big thing in running.

Little do people know that getting into coaching was a decision that included him giving up a lucrative career and a decision that was largely influenced by the fact that he wanted to coach his own daughters.

Loberanis has two children he fondly calls his “little champs”: Mary Joy, who is already making a name for herself in running, and Juliana Nicole, who is slowly showing hints of running potential herself.

Loberanis started coaching officially in 2009 when MJ’s former coach noticed MJ’s potential and Loberanis decided to train her himself. MJ was in fourth grade, and had just competed in her first run. She finished fourth. That was when he decided to drop his job as a medical representative and be a full-time coach.

But what could a medical representative have to offer an athlete? See, before he started working, he was a celebrated athlete and an athletic scholar of ALA Boxing. Although ALA is known for its boxing stable, there was a time when it had a pool of athletes, including track and field stars. Loberanis was one of them. When he graduated with a degree in office administration from the University of San Jose-Recoletos, he was absorbed by one of ALA’s companies as an employee. This was also where he met his wife, Therese Mier. They used to train together as athletes. Now, they are teammates not just in raising athlete-daughters but as second parents to the entire University of San Carlos athletics team. Therese is Loberanis’s assistant coach and she is also working as a physical education teacher in the same university.

To choose between his kids and a lucrative profession was not hard for Loberanis to do.

He knows what it feels like growing up without a dad and he did not want his daughters to experience that. Without that biological dad to give him advice, Loberanis said he is thankful that ALA patriarch Antonio Aldeguer was more than the patron who had sent him to school. He was like a father to him.

Loberanis’ coaching style, being close to his athletes like a supportive dad, is something he learned from Aldeguer.

“Siguro ug naa gyud ko’y dapat pasalamatan ug maayo, si Sir ALA gyud. He has opened so many opportunites for me and has taught me a lot of tools for my life,” he said.

“Kani ako pagcoach ron, ang techniques kay nakat-unan ni nako niya: To be a coach to your team and a father at the same time,” he added.

Loberanis said that the best thing about being a father and a coach to his daughters and to his team is to see them winning the games full of joy and hope.

“Ang kinabuhi, daghan ka maagian struggles ug pagsuway. Same sa athletics, magstart ka nga dili ka kusgan dayon pero agwanta lang. Set goals. In life, if dili ka mutan-aw sa dalan ug asa ka padung, wa kay kapadulngan. if you want to be a medalist, an Olympian or if you want to make it to the Philippine Team, you should set goals and work hard to reach them,” he said.


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