Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Why My Mom Would Have Been an Exceptional Volleyball Coach

Mother and child playing volleyball

For over 30 years, my mom dedicated her career to teaching first grade. Throughout those years, I had the privilege of observing her in action, witnessing her passion and commitment to her students. The principles she instilled in her classroom have had a profound impact on my coaching approach, and I believe they can be applied to coaching any sport effectively.

Unleashing Creativity and Artistry

One of the most remarkable things about my mom was her ability to make every student feel like an artist. I’ll never forget the way she asked a group of kindergarteners, “How many of you are artists?” and watched as every hand shot up, filled with confidence and imagination. As the years went by, it saddened me to see that belief diminish in other classrooms. However, my mom never let that happen in her class. She nurtured a desire to learn, a curiosity about life, and a thirst for knowledge. If she were a volleyball coach, she would not only focus on developing the players’ technique but also empower them to take charge of their own learning.

Embracing Individuality and Learning Styles

My mom understood that each student was unique and learned differently. She taught at a school with many military kids, who were accustomed to adapting to new environments. She believed in the saying, “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” She took the time to understand how each child learned best and tailored her teaching approach accordingly. She recognized that the military kids had different values and expectations, and she made sure their learning experience reflected that. As coaches, we often overlook this crucial element and focus solely on drills. We can learn from my mom’s approach and create learning opportunities that are realistic and game-like, allowing players to develop their game IQ.

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Keeping Everyone Engaged and Active

My mom’s classroom was a hub of activity, and every student was constantly engaged in hands-on learning experiences. She didn’t just teach children facts and figures; she showed them the relevance of what they were learning and why it mattered. She would captivate her class with her storytelling skills, delivering lessons that went beyond the confines of the classroom. In her reports, she focused on the process of learning rather than just the outcomes. Similarly, as coaches, we need to emphasize the importance of the learning process during practice sessions. By creating a reality-based environment, we can develop players’ game intelligence and foster cooperation and competition within the team.

Setting High Expectations

One of the most inspiring aspects of my mom’s teaching was the high expectations she had for her students. She believed in their potential and made sure they knew it. Whether it was acknowledging their efforts or praising their achievements, she always made them feel valued. Her belief in their abilities propelled them to reach for greatness. As coaches, we should adopt the same mindset and instill a sense of belief and confidence in our players. By setting high expectations and expressing our unwavering faith in their abilities, we can help them achieve remarkable things both on and off the court.

Fostering Leadership Skills

My mom wasn’t just focused on academic growth; she also prioritized nurturing leadership skills in her students. Instead of intervening in conflicts, she guided them in resolving their differences independently. She encouraged them to agree to disagree and find common ground. By using inclusive language like “we,” she fostered a sense of unity and teamwork within her classroom. As coaches, we can apply this approach by empowering our players to take ownership of their decisions and develop their leadership abilities. Encouraging them to collaborate, create their own games, and make choices will help them grow as individuals and as a team.

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Creating a Fun and Positive Environment

My mom always had a smile on her face, making her classroom a fun and inviting space. Her positive energy permeated everything she did, encouraging her students to embrace challenges and become the best versions of themselves. Her ability to make learning enjoyable was a testament to her dedication and love for her students. As coaches, we should strive to create a similar atmosphere where players can learn, grow, and have fun. By infusing positivity and enthusiasm into our coaching, we can inspire our players to reach their full potential.


FAQs

Q: What coaching principles did your mom emphasize?
A: My mom focused on nurturing creativity, embracing individuality, keeping everyone engaged, setting high expectations, fostering leadership skills, and creating a fun and positive environment.

Q: What can coaches learn from your mom’s teaching approach?
A: Coaches can learn to empower their players, tailor their coaching to individual learning styles, create realistic and gamelike learning opportunities, set high expectations, foster leadership skills, and foster a positive and enjoyable environment.


In conclusion, my mom’s teaching principles have had a profound impact on my coaching journey. Her ability to instill a love for learning, embrace individuality, and create a positive and engaging environment sets a powerful example for all coaches. By adopting her principles, we can create a nurturing and empowering experience for our players, helping them develop not only as athletes but also as individuals. Let’s continue to grow the game together and celebrate the accomplishments of others.

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