Coaches are an integral part of any athlete's sporting experience. All coaches are not created equal, but we found some pretty motivating and inspiring individuals at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix this past weekend. They let us take a peek into their psyches, as they shared with us what they wish other people knew about being a high school volleyball coach.
The answers these coaches gave varied, but there was a common thread that wove through them all. Each of them expressed how much they care about their players and how they want to create a positive experience and fertile learning environment for their players to succeed on the court and far beyond.
It's never about winning, it's about the product of winning, it's about the effort to get better.
"I wish they knew to stay positive. By and large coaches are here for the girls -- to make them better players and people. When we hit negative energy, it's hard for coaches to overcome." -- James Johnson, Seton Catholic (Chandler, AZ)
"I wish they knew we are trying to make your daughter better, not trying to be mean. It is nice [parents and fans] understand the game better than they used to a few years ago, but sometimes that can work against you." -- Sharon Vanis, Hamilton (Chandler, AZ)
"It's never about winning. It's about the product of winning; it's about the effort to get better." -- Bret Almazan-Cezar, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, CA)
I wish they knew how much I care about their child regardless of how much playing time they get.
"I wish they knew that I wish I had a magic wand to make things better, like creating chemistry and the willingness to fight for every point." -- Lamar-Renee Bryant, Xavier Catholic Prep (Phoenix)
"I wish parents knew we agonize when we have to critique a player to make them better. It hurts us to see them upset. That to me is pretty hard." -- Ben Maxfield, Corona del Sol (Tempe, AZ)
"I wish they knew when they see things that are statable it isn't the whole story, there are a lot of unstatable things that go into being a good teammate. Are you present? Do you have a good attitude? Those things matter when choosing a lineup." -- Julie Vastine, Millennium (Goodyear, AZ)
I wish they knew we are trying to make your daughter better, not trying to be mean.
"I wish I could get everyone in. It's hard to see them on the bench. It hurts that I can't get everybody in. I wish they knew how much time we take out of our own life to research, to get stats to try to win these games, and how much of our own time to figure out strategy to help them win." -- Jackie Wallace, Deer Valley (Glendale, AZ)
"I wish they knew how much we wish we could play everyone and how playing time doesn't reflect how important each individual is on the team." -- Tanya Jarvis, Bishop Moore (Orlando, FL)
"I wish they knew how much I care about their child regardless of how much playing time they get. We always stress being role models for God, to leave Mater Dei with the idea of how to be a successful person in life." -- Dan O'Dell, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)