Wow! That was a quick off season. I loaded onto the bus and swore I was just here last week for a match. Where did the spring go, where is my summer?
A few more random thoughts:
- Russ Rose must have just created a recruiting mega machine worthy of the AutoBots to still be ranked #1 after graduating the Player of the Year and a setter who has more championship rings on her fingers than Lindsey Lohan has monitoring devices. You know a program is doing something right when a Team USA picture shows three of your very recent alumni at the net blocking.
- I have come to value a good bus driver. My criteria? Doesn't try to mix with the players, doesn't try to be my buddy, gets us to the site fast and safe, drops us off at the hotel/gym/restaurant door as opposed to parking first, bus is waiting at the door when we exit the hotel/gym/restaurant.
- When I hear stories of DI Volleyball programs getting booted out of their gyms for 'conflicts' for which administrators would not even think to approach hoops teams with, it still Makes Me Very Angry (little green martian dude) that the American Volleyball Cash Association is just that. The women' basketball coaches association cannot say the words Title 9 fast enough when one of their members comes across a 'situation', but I really don't think the AVCA could spell equity.
- How great would it be for the National Champion this year NOT to come from either the Pac 10, Big 10 or Big 12 (or whatever their new names will be with all the switching of schools!). Please don't get me wrong, I have tremendous respect for Penn State, Stanford, Texas, etc., but sometimes a new champion is better for our sport - At least one year!!!!
- I sure hope my team can pass in the morning when we play our first match!
- It is funny watching freshman; just when they get some sense of comfort with the whole college volleyball thing, we go off to the first match and you can see them start to get really nervous all over again. It was the same for me all too many years ago, but it sure was nice to wear the jersey. Before our first match, when we were issued our uniforms, I went into the restroom in the dorm all dressed out because it had a big mirror and my room did not have anything other than a small mirror - It was a very happy moment shared with American Standard.
- I sure hope my outside hitters can all hit positive when we play our first match!
- My goal this year is to be more relaxed when I coach. I know that may sound strange, but I want to enjoy the process of matches a bit more and not let my frustration at stuff that really does not matter come through. I know it does not help my athletes and I have to balance supportive intensity with over the top intensity. It may sound arrogant, but my playing and coaching background have allowed me to gain a certain expertise in my profession and that expertise can cause me to become extremely judgmental of officials and the natural mistakes of teams made up of 17-22 year old players. You see some coaches who just look miserable or possessed out on the court and that is a projection I don't want. In the end, all pressure is self induced for college volleyball coaches - We don't have million dollar salaries, we don't have silly bonus money riding on one match, we have not become accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle that may go bye-bye if we don't beat the big in-state rival, we don't have some zany booster lecturing us about our coaching mistakes, we don't have to go smooch up some school President.
- I sure hope my servers don't kill point runs.
To all my fellow coaches, I wish you the very best of luck in your opening weekend and to all the parents of college volleyball student-athletes, I hope your daughter has a lot of fun!