Q&A: Boys volleyball coach talks progress

Caitlin Deerwester, Page Design Editor

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Q: What is happening with the boys’ varsity volleyball team?
A: We are in what’s called a rebuilding year. Last year we were successful since it was full of mostly club players who played outside the school who went 14 in one in conference and won the whole thing. However, due to a poor choice by some of my senior players. they lost four of their players at senior banquet and were unable to play in regionals. So, we ended up losing in regionals, but that was a team I had for all four years. This year is mostly new players. I only have a couple from all four years, and we are still working on building leadership. We are not doing that well right now. Our record is three and two in conference, and then four and 12 in the season. But we did make a big change. I moved a senior who has been playing all four years to a different position, and the next game we won, so hopefully that continues.
Q: What happens for rebuilding a team?
A: When you rebuild you essentially start with a team who may not necessarily be good, but they have all the parts to be; they need training. We make sure they are an example for the younger players and the players that might join the next year. Then, hopefully, there are good coaches at the lower levels so then every year those players can get better. Our school unfortunately struggles getting consistently good volleyball players, ones who play club. Instead we tend to get kids who are not playing their main sport, so they decide to go for volleyball.
Q: Why do you think a lot of the kids do not see volleyball as a dedicated sport?
A: It has been challenging for boys’ volleyball in Illinois because girls’ volleyball is a title nine sport, which is where all the big sports are, so woman’s volleyball has boomed in the Midwest. Boys’ volleyball just needs more recognition since it competes with the more popular boys’ sports.
Q: As a coach, what do you do to boost the teams’ confidence?
A: We have team building stuff to help them communicate out of their box. We also do a lot of competition drills putting the athletes’ one against one, three against three, so they are competing for positions. This is so the same people do not stay in the same position. It goes to whoever will fit that spot the best. We had a three vs three recently where whoever received the most wins were guaranteed a starter position in the next match. We want to show that their hard work rolls over into games. I have a lot of one on one conversations with my team leaders reminding them that they are a leader and I suggest ways they can help the team out. Also, we have meetings with athletes and I try to get to every person, and I check on their grades and any issues that need to be addressed.
Q: What are your goals for the end of the season?
A: I would hope to have more wins than we have had losses by the end of the season. At this point even if we could double that I would want that. I want the team to be able to compete more consistently with more consistent wins.

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Q&A: Boys volleyball coach talks progress