Hello, all Leviner Life readers! I’m so grateful to be a part of Anna’s new blog series, based on the book The Daring Book for Girls. She has asked her readers to contribute stories about all sorts of topics that might relate to them and although my topic wasn’t on the list at first, I managed to convince Anna to allow me to guest post… Not that it took much convincing though :)
Moving right along, my name is Kristine and I blog over at Living Barefoot and Crazy. I’m here today to discuss my “occupation”? I guess you could call it? in coaching and playing volleyball.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the sport of volleyball, let me make it easy for you:
Seriously, you guys. That’s it. But more fun, duh.
I started playing volleyball in 3rd grade for the Boys and Girls Club -- I really wish I could've found one of my old team pictures from back in those days... they are PRICELESS. We had nets the height a little taller than a badminton net, and giant neon yellow volleyball balls that were one step above beach balls. I don’t know if it was the enormous volleyballs we played with or what, but I fell in love with the sport at first serve. I continued to play up until my early 20s, or until there was nowhere else for me to go with my career in volleyball – sure, I still play once in a while but on a co-ed team with a group of people 50 plus years old. I played middle school volleyball, high school volleyball, club (or ‘select’) volleyball, received honorable mention my senior year of high school, then went on to play for a local community college… unfortunately, my college career ended after only one year due to a volatile relationship I was in and my lack of motivation to go to classes.
Once I ended my high school playing career, -- seriously kicking myself for not being able to find any pics of me ballin' it up -- I started helping out with the volleyball club I once played for. I began my coaching career as a “volleyball trainer” of some sort for a few girls because we didn’t have enough to make a team. The next year, I became an assistant coach for the girls in my little brother’s class. I spent one year as an assistant for them then moved up into the head coaching position for them. I had a blast with these girls and I’m so proud to say I aided them in achieving their goals of playing in college. However, I guess it’s true when they say all good things have to come to an end… the club ended up “shutting its doors”, leaving me without a coaching job.
About a year later, I got in contact with one of the most well-known clubs in my area and landed a head coaching position with them. My coaching career with them only lasted that one year after I learned I was offered the head coaching position at a high school for their varsity team. This meant I was in charge of the program! I set-up open gyms for the girls who were interested in trying out to come play around for a few hours a week, I held brutal tryouts (my old player’s words; not mine… I didn’t think they were THAT tough…), I built up the program, I traveled with the team to away matches. This lasted only two years though, due to the long commute I had and putting in all my time and effort into making a great program and good squad only for it to go unappreciated.
After ending my high school coaching stint, I got back into that aforementioned well-known club and have been coaching there ever since (so, the past three consecutive years).
I love what I do, even though I might complain about the time commitment and the length of the season, and whatever else, but when all is said and done, I am in love with the sport and I can’t imagine walking away from it. The most gratifying part about coaching is when those girls get that “aha” moment; when everything they’ve been taught comes together and makes sense. Seeing them get so competitive and intense on the court and their drive to want to win and be a better athlete is something words cannot even explain. Sure, I’ve gone through times when I’ve just wanted to hang up my coaching hat for good, but these rewarding moments trump any negativity.
Thank you again, Anna, for letting me guest post and share my story with volleyball!
What "daring" things have you been up to this week? Link up below!