May 8, 2012

Olympic Volleyball players Todd Rodgers and Phil Dalhausser

I was surfing through the cable channels this afternoon and was able to watch the FIVB Beach Volleyball event from China, where Rodgers and Dalhausser won the Championship.  It motivated me to write this post.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to coach with Todd Rodgers and Phil Dalhausser in two separate instructional clinics.  Both Todd and Phil are with Championship Volleyball Inc (an exciting Volleyball company which is creating some great relationships and sponsorships for the Volleyball community); Championship Volleyball had asked me to present a Recruiting Education Talk from NCSA Athletic Recruiting at these clinics.

After spending the day with Todd and Phil, I can tell you with absolutely no hesitation that these are two athletes we should all be very happy are representing the United States of America.

I worked with Todd in a CV indoor and sand volleyball clinic in Phoenix, Arizona.  The morning session, I was able to contribute with my experience as an accomplished indoor player and relay what most collegiate coaches are focused upon when it comes to skills sets, but then I stayed inside while Todd took them to the sand courts.  

Throughout the entire day Todd was low key, friendly and comfortable interacting with VolleyFamilies.  He is very well spoken and treated everyone in a friendly, easy manner.  At the end of the day, he signed a ton of autographs and thanked each of the court coaches who had contributed their time to the clinic; oh, and he did a great job providing instruction to the campers.

About a month or so after the Phoenix event, I had a chance to work with Phil in a clinic in San Jose, California.  It was actually stunning to see how soft spoken and humble Phil was.  This is a guy who is a beast at the net, has the fierce look with the shaved head and sun glasses and is just dynamically physical (I played against all the 'big' legends of the AVP Pro Beach Tour in its prime, and I would have preferred to have gone against anyone of them at the net, versus Dalhausser!).

He was actually more comfortable interacting one on one with the campers and coaches, than being in a lecture or speaking position to all of them.  He was quick with a smile and encouraging word, and never tried to interject his ego; he seemed to recognized just what a great thing it is to be gifted in our sport and wanted to share that gift.  What I found fantastic, was he brought his Gold Medal from the 2008 Olympic games and let the campers take pictures wearing it!  If I had been able to have reached that pinnacle, that Gold Medal would be locked behind bullet proof glass!

I was a fan of Rodgers and Dalhausser just because they represent the USA in international tournaments, but after working with them, I am now a huge fan.  As a VolleyFamily, I hope that you are able to see them play or go to one of the Championship Volleyball clinics where they are instructing, because these are two players which all the Volleyball community would do well to emulate.  

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