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Coach Gus

There are a lot of topics I want to write about, but today I'll blog about a new experience I faced in my 32nd year. I got to be a coach for an all Girls' Volleyball team, ages 12-14. Being a coach is something I always thought I'd be good at and really enjoy doing. I've always been into sports, especially playing them. I dedicated so much time to skateboarding, and basketball in particular, and felt through all the sports that I played, an attribute from each one would make me see a play differently, or made my body just moved to a 'different beat.' With that, and my never give up attitude, I felt that I could be a great coach. I don't think you need to be stern and mean to get a message across, but definitely show that you care. Sometimes, I notice that coaches have a way they want the 'game' to be played, other then play the players accordingly with their strengths and weakness.

Anyway. It was only a 6 game season with the girls, but it was something that brought me a lot of joy. From the very beginning, none of us knew each other and weren't fully comfortable. As the season went on I could see that they were improving greatly and just having so much fun. I remember when I was teaching the girls how to serve one of them was doing the motions with me and that I stopped for a moment, watched her and thought, 'Is she messing around? Oh! she actually cares! Awesome!' Every week I would think of different exercises or drills that would help improve their game. They loved to play in a circle and keep the ball up as long as possible, which I loved because eventually I noticed that's part of the game. When the ball is on your side, you got to keep your body facing the ball and help each other keep the ball up before eventually hitting it over. The biggest challenge was keeping them encouraged and fierce to not let that ball drop especially on our opponents serve. In one game, I told them 'You girls played great! And, you didn't let the ball drop on their serve once!' They were so psyched after that round and high-fiving each other so much that on the next round I stay a lot more silent. Hearing them communicate and support each other each point nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was such a great feeling knowing they were loving the game and becoming friends. Another highlight was seeing this one girl, who was very reserved and didn't seem so charismatic for the game just change into such a fierce competitor and even showed some leadership characteristics. After one game, our second game of the season, which we lost a close one, I walked over to her and said 'Do you know how good you played?!' and she replied with a big smile full of metal and said 'Yeah!' humbly.

In conclusion: It was fun and it was humbling when the parents would tell me that they really love playing. <3 Maybe one day I will coach again and maybe even as a job. I know coaching youth differs from coaching adults, and coaching volleyball is possibly easier to coach compared to basketball, but like I said before, it's an attribute I learned to take to another sport, for sure!

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