Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer Draws to a Close

It is hard to believe that the summer is just about over. It was a great summer! Why was it great? Well, as I look back, there are lots of reasons. First of all, the weather was fantastic. My golf game improved. My garden is flourishing and I successfully completed a major renovation in my house.

On a volleyball level, I did several camps, touching about fifty coaches and about 400 kids – well not literally touching them of course, but I think I have had some level of impact on many volleyball folk again this summer. Lots of people ask me if I have had a good break, and the question actually puzzles me. I have to think, “a break? A break from what?”, and then I realize; oh yes, they mean volleyball... and I politely answer. But if the truth be known, I don’t need or want a break from volleyball. It is my life’s passion. I love it! I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend, than at the beach watching my guys play a tournament, or being part of a camp or clinic helping young coaches and athletes improve their game.

When you are one of the people who can turn your hobby and your passion into your career you are truly blessed. I really am lucky. I am doing exactly what I want to be doing. Planning for next season is so exciting. We achieved everything we set out to last season, which is incredibly satisfying as a coach. It doesn’t always happen that way, of course, but when it does it leaves you energized and yet you have to wait five months to get back at it. Well those five months are just about over and I can’t wait! We have a great schedule, with about fifteen matches against teams from outside the OUA, plus of course our very competitive league to look forward to.

Last year’s top five finishers were all in the hunt, right down to the wire. No one had an easy time of it and I think that is the way it should be. It is more interesting for the players and for the fans and certainly more stimulating and challenging for the coaches when the outcomes are not straight forward. I sometimes think our athletes like the challenge of close games and consequently allow scores to be closer than they should or could be. That is a goal and a focus for us in the coming year. As a veteran team now, we must establish the level of every rally and every match. We must challenge ourselves to perform at our level and at our capacity, and not allow our opponents to dictate the level of play, even for short spurts. This is the sign of a great team, as opposed to a team that can play great. That is the goal. It is a challenging goal, but one that is certainly attainable. With only two weeks now until we get started, I can’t wait to put the wheels in motion. I can’t wait to take the first steps towards success once again. It’s never easy, but what fun would it be if it wasn’t a huge challenge? Go Gaels Go!!!