Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back in the States, and to my fellow Yanks currently living abroad. I’ll be celebrating the holiday with my housemates on the weekend as we all have commitments today (including coaching for me), but I figured I could still take some time out to give thanks. So here are some things from the last 12 months I’m thankful for in a volleyball coaching context.
First and foremost, I am thankful for the truly incredible experience I had coaching the Exeter University women to the BUCS national semifinals in March in Edinburgh. It’s something that will stay with me the rest of my life. Not only am I thankful for the commitment and effort of the players in the squad, but also for the outstanding support the men’s team provided (they didn’t end up doing too badly at Final 8s in their own right), as well as the coaching assistance of Steve and Kyle in helping get the team there.
I am thankful for Alberto Salomoni at SC Potsdam and Ruben Wolochin at TV Bühl allowing me to spend time when them and their teams during pre-season training, and especially for Mark Lebedew at BR Volleys allowing me to visit with him and his team before the German championship finals, connecting me with Alberto and Ruben, and letting me tag along to Poland with him to watch some of the men’s World Championships in September.
I am thankful for being able to share a loonnnggg dinner in Seattle last December with former player Alanna where we reminisced about the old days, talked about all the great things her teammates are currently up to, and made fun of the English. 🙂
Finally, since I have very likely coached my last match in UK volleyball, I am thankful for my time in England allowing me to reconnect with a long-time passion, make loads of new friends, and get exposed to the game from a number of different perspectives we often don’t get coaching in the States.