As I mentioned in this post, one of the things I did during my AVCA convention trip to Seattle in 2013 was meet up with one of my former players. She played for me as a setter back when I was at Brown. Unfortunately, her experience was not a great one for a variety of reasons. I found out earlier in 2013 she was playing for Team Northumbria in NVL Super 8s. That’s England’s top league (since re-named). She played professionally for a few years in Belgium and Holland. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that.
We met for a short while at the NCAA Division I semifinals, as she was there with her mother. Then she and I had dinner together the following night. It was an amazing 4-hour conversation. Naturally, we talked a lot about the old days. It was really interesting to share our perspectives on those times with each other. There were some surprises. I won’t go into the specifics, but it had to do with team dynamics and player/coach interactions.
At least as rewarding for me was hearing what she’s done with her life. And how happy she is knowing where’s she’s had to come from. It’s one of the rewards of the being in the coaching game. We get to see how players mature and grow in the years after we work with them. We even get to become friends with them. It’s this sort of thing that made me think about going back into collegiate coaching full-time again and reinforces my own coaching philosophies.
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