I have been officially coaching for 3 years, but was helping coach Jv Spring League games as a junior and senior of High School, so I have been coaching unofficially for 5 years!
I learned the sport of volleyball when I was in high school. I was a student manager for the Midlothian High School Volleyball program In Midlothian, Texas (DFW area). Learning Volleyball in a place that was considered an elite level area allowed me to absorb a lot of information in a small amount of time.
This gave me the opportunity to bring that knowledge back with me back to my hometown, in Plaquemine La, as well as to Brusly, La which is where I grew up in my teenage years; both located outside of Baton Rouge, rural Louisiana.
When starting my official volleyball career in Louisiana, I saw first hand how bringing in new information and techniques was a breath of fresh air for not only the Athletes, but the coaches themselves. I saw a team that could not win many games and had not made it to the playoffs, started competing and making the playoffs for the first time in 5 years. It was like night and day.
I coach volleyball to a variety of athletes ranging from ages 13-18. In School Ball I coach Freshman and Jv and assist with Varsity. In Club, I coached 16s and 18s at Capitol City Volleyball and oversaw a new branch of the club called Capitol City West. I helped coach about 25-30 Athletes in both club and school ball.
One thing that many people misjudge is how complex the sport actually is. Many people believe it’s as easy as bump, set, spike. But there is so much more that goes into it.
Here is a quick crash course in volleyball, there’s 3 main parts to volleyball: Defensive specialist (passers), Setters, and Hitters (spikers).
Each person has their own specialty that requires them to know how and where to place the ball to ensure all other parties can do their jobs as well. Anyone can play volleyball. Just as many people can play football and basketball, but there is a difference between playing and competing. It takes great precision and athleticism to compete.
With everything that has been going on globally, the #stayathome movement has turned everyone's lives upside down! Tournaments have been postponed while some have been canceled. We are not sure if we will end up completing our season or not. It has been hard not being able to coach and have all our girls practicing! We have for sure encouraged our athletes to STAY HOME as it is very important that we abide by what the higher officials are saying, and do our part to help stop this virus.
While our athletes are stuck at home We are sending out weekly exercises for them to complete that are easy to do at home.
We also end some different videos working on different techniques and other things that can be done at home.
There are so many challenges that come with coaching.
My biggest challenge has been commitment from my players. Coming from an elite high school program and going straight into working as a student manager at LSU, I have seen what it looks like to have 100% sold out players that strive to be better than their last rep.
Moving into the high school realm of volleyball has shown me that athletes have to be grown into discipline. Discipline has to be cultivated into the environment in which athletes begin their careers as an athlete of any sport. Without it, you can not expect to have a successful program or season.
I see challenges with both beginners and experienced players. It’s a part of the game. Younger players usually give in when they hit a deficit and are faced with adversity while more experienced players know how to fight back and wipe the slate clean. The complete opposite happens when my players that are more experienced lose a big match and the next day at practice it’s like pulling teeth to get the rhythm going, and get back into the groove while the younger players will bounce back faster, and be eager to get back in the gym. It is all centered around discipline.
A solution to creating discipline would be going into a program at the middle school level where you can start implementing discipline at a young age. Here in Louisiana I have heard a lot of coaches say that the reason they are not disciplining and teaching their girls more than the basic level skills at a young age is because they are “babies”, and that they do not need to be taught that yet.
I have heard that same excuse for girls that are almost freshmen. That is not the answer. Some of the greatest athletes started training when they were nearly 9-10 years of age. They are considered the greatest because they did not allow someone to stunt their growth as a child and learned to grind and overcome adversity.