Contemplating volleyball

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 9:01 PM | comments: 0

I've reached out to a couple of volleyball clubs here in the area about coaching volleyball again. There aren't a lot of clubs here in the central part of Florida, presumably because there just aren't a lot of high school students (relative to any of the metros in Ohio). Of course, after you've been in the Ohio Valley Region, the biggest among the USA Volleyball regions, everything feels smaller. So far the clubs seem interested, but don't communicate very well, leaving me a little unsure.

There are a lot of pros and cons around coaching again. I regularly put it among the top things I've ever done. I've seen kids play in college. Many keep in touch and have said the kinds of things about the experience of playing for me that make me tear up. Even parents have been quick to compliment me (well, the non-insane parents, anyway). I can't put a price on the joy and satisfaction that comes with knowing you somehow had a lasting and positive impact on the life of young people.

And of course, there's the game. Over the years I found a lot of different ways to make kids better as a team, and individuals. I've shed a lot of the typical focus on specialization and replaced it with broader expectations for kids in every role. I've broken skills down into the simplest, most easily reproducible actions. I like to think I've taken a lot of really average and inexperienced kids and helped them achieve success.

Coaching is a part of life that I greatly miss, but I keep asking myself what the effect will be on me if I do it again. Life has changed dramatically. I remarried and had a child, and those two relationships are my biggest priorities. The kind of work I do has elevated to a high level as well. It's not an issue of time, but rather the mental bandwidth it requires. If my brain is squishy, what do I have left?

So I'm a little torn at the moment. When I get on to a court and see the word Mikasa or Tachikara bouncing around between kids, it's like crack to me. In my general life of non-athletic prowess, this is the one sport I'm good at, and understand in a very deep way. Figuring it out is going to be difficult, but tryouts aren't far away now.


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