NEW BRITAIN - Throughout the All-Star season, family has been an important part of the New Britain Junior softball team. It’s easy to notice from the head coach to the assistants to the players.
The team is coached by Leticia Silva with her husband, Elvin, and son, Alex, serving as assistant coaches. Leticia and Elvin also have two twin daughters on the team, Xandra and Liana.
“We’ve been coaching for a lot of years as a family like that,” Leticia said following New Britain’s loss to Bristol in the District 5 championship. “Since my boys were playing - they’re now 21 and 19 - we have to give our daughters what we gave to our sons. We enjoy it. This is our life. We love sports. If we’re not on a baseball field, we’re at a football field. We’re always coaching. That’s our passion.”
Elvin sees the opportunity to coach not only as a chance to mentor Xandra, Liana and their friends, but also as a way to work in a New Britain community his family has been a part of for years.
“Something that we stress as a family is giving back to our community,” Elvin said. “No matter where you’re at, you have to give back. So when we coach, we don’t make it just as a team, we make it as a family. We try to instill in the girls, not just as softball players, but as young women, that they have to develop in life at the same time. So the relationships they build here are going to last a lifetime.”
Elvin admitted it can be challenging sometimes to be a coach on a team with two of his daughters.
“It’s tough because as a dad I’m always tougher on them,” Elvin said. “With that ‘dad’ mindset, you always go a little tougher on your own girls. They look at you as their dad and not as their coach. So we try to separate that in a sense of keeping the ‘dad’ separated from the ‘coach.’ You have to make sure there’s no favoritism, so I treat all the girls the same.”
Despite New Britain falling short of its ultimate goal, just being a part of the team was rewarding enough for the head coach.
“I’m sad it’s already done obviously, but I’m glad to have experienced this with these girls,” Leticia said. “I’ve coached for a long time, but this is my first districts as a manager. To me, it wasn’t about if we won or lost. It was about the girls and them having fun, learning and playing their best.”
The season may be over, but the Silvas are grateful for their chance to be together, especially around a game they all love.
“For me, it’s an honor being able to coach my daughters,” Elvin said. “I coached my sons all throughout Little League and high school. So it’s special to be able to do the same with my girls. It’s something no one can take away from us.”
Tyler Roaix can be reached at email@example.com