Occasionally, something magical happens during the volleyball season and when they occur, I like to share them with the community…
Below are emails I have received from our players. Emails like this make my day, make my year, and keep me rocking for the year ahead.
Player Story 1
“Dear Coach Kris,
I hope you all had a lovely summer!! We just started High School last Wednesday, the 15th. The freshman volleyball open gyms went from July 30th to August 2nd, and from August 6th to August 9th. Volleyball tryouts went on from August 13th to August 15th. I am not going to lie; they were very intense. Most of the things they said at the open gyms were what I learned through Vibe: wide base when passing, play smart, superman extension when setting, etc. They said they would have about 12-14 girls on each team. About 30-40 girls were there. 7 girls were asked to move up and tryout for JV (none of them made it). The coach said that after Wednesday’s final tryout, there will be a piece of paper posted on the gym door with the list of who made the freshman volleyball team. Right after that final tryout, everyone was rushing to see if they made it or not. I am extremely happy to announce that I made the High School freshman team :). I was completely overjoyed with this. Another cool fact I may add is that three girls who were on Vibe last year tried out and they all made it on the team.
The reason of me sending this email is because I want to thank you for all the effort you put in, support you gave, and techniques you taught that most likely helped me achieve a spot on the high school volleyball team. When I look back on my athletic ability and remember when my “growth spurt” was (from becoming below average to really good), I think about this past club experience with Vibe. I think of Vibe as my “second family”.
Everyone there is so nice and caring and they always look out for each other. They are also very understanding and full of excitement and energy. I remember before I played club, I could barely serve over the net. Now I can both masterfully overhand serve and jump float/serve. All the things you taught me during practice payed off.
The things I thought didn’t really matter like trying to save a ball rolling down the side of the net, and watching where the servers foot is because that will be the area of the direction where the ball will go and many others helped a lot.
Another thing I would like to thank you for is for making me play a variety of positions. During that time, I thought you were completely crazy; putting a 5-foot player who can only get about an inch of her hands above the net as an outside hitter during the two biggest tournaments of the season (Reno and the Sacramento one). Changing from setter to libero, then to occasionally opposite hitter and outside hitter (when not many people showed up for tournaments) was really helpful in the long run.
When the coach asked us what positions we play/have experience of playing, he was surprised and impressed that I could dig, set and hit.
Probably one thing I completely regret about my club season experience was my overly dramatic reaction at that practice when you told me I was going to change into a libero and stop setting. I was crying the entire time and being a “whiny cry baby”. I even remember me after practice trying to listen to the music in my car to drain out and forget what just happened with a bunch of soaked tissues in my hand as you both were talking to my mom about the change. I never would have guessed that this would help me so much in volleyball.
Vibe didn’t just help me improve in volleyball, it helped me make more long-lasting friends in the Danville/Alamo/San Ramon area. I remember that before I did Vibe, I knew no one from this area. I only knew people in the Lafayette/Walnut Creek area (where I used to live and where I went to school). From Vibe, I made 8 new friends. On Wednesdays (Vibe Athenian practice days), I was so excited to practice with my team; it was my highlight of Wednesdays. I was so excited to play volleyball and see everyone. Even though there were a few cliques in our team, I think we were still very “closely knit” and bonded well. I love my team so much that it even made me rethink about where I wanted to go for high school! I think my favorite part of club was the tournaments. Although we didn’t win every game, it was still fun to improve and bond, or as me and my team-mates call it: go on “adventures”. I was so disappointed when the club season ended. I always look through my old phone to relive the great memories from the all the pictures I took. Those memories are the kinds that made you laugh, smile, and ones you would hold in your heart forever. I still see and hang out with the people from our team. And I will continue to see some of them when we play them in a few weeks!! So thank you for probably the best volleyball experience I have ever had. I will always look back and remember what a great and special time I had with you guys. I hope to see you again some time in the future!
Oh yeah, I kind of said this already in a bunch of different ways but hank you… for everything.”
Player Story 2
“Hi Coach Kris,
M daughter plays for MVVC 15-1’s(the team you played on Sunday) as the libero. I wanted to tell you what your words meant to her. They made her season! She needed to hear that she was doing well as a player.
She has been a right-side hitter, as she is left-handed. She had to transition this year to libero and has been privately coached, and trained hard all season only to remain as the #2 libero. She felt she was getting better but has never received acknowledgement from her coach. She had a meeting with her coach before Reno, where she thought she was going to be named the #1 libero for the tournament. Instead, the coach told her that they were adding another girl into the mix as a possible libero. She felt pretty defeated, now she was not only competing against the 1st libero, she was now competing against 1 additional girl for potential play time. Her coach told her that if she wasn’t chosen to libero …. that she would only be serving in Reno. We have told her to just stick with her training, and don’t let the discouraging words of her coach defeat her. Luckily, she was able to play libero in Reno, as well as the other 2 girls. My daughter, according to many parents on the team, should be the only one playing libero. The coach is just not giving her that opportunity for whatever reason. He has never acknowledged her efforts for her development in her position.
We appreciate, tremendously, you taking the time to say a few kind words to her. It meant that someone, finally acknowledged, that she can play that position.
I just thought I’d let you know the level of encouragement you gave a girl that felt defeated.
Thank you so much.”
Player Story 3
“Hey Dynomite coaches, players and parents,
I for one am so very proud of this past season, a season that really was a tale of two halves. The first half of the season was a struggle for players and coaches (and even some of us parents) to find our way and to find a path to play more as a team. The second half certainly saw a dramatic turnaround of team sportsmanship and camaraderie … of playing together … and of winning. The winning part, at least for me, is not necessarily the key ingredient here, but the coming together as a team—in good and in hard/tough times—is the key, and the Vibe Dynomite team showed us in the second half that they were up to it. Congratulations ladies!
I’m not sure if the players and coaches knew this, but us parents adopted a theme (chant) during these past few weeks to help encourage the team to play and stay together and strive to do your best. Even when you were down and the score was not in your favor, we chanted “we’ve got this”, and it was our way to letting you know that we had confidence in you and that we were supportive of you. It embodied so much more than a chant to help you win … it was our rallying cry to try and help keep your spirits alive on the court (and off), now and hopefully well into your futures.
Coach Lauren and Coach Cole—thank you so very much for taking on the task, the challenge, and hopefully the blessing of leading these girls into battle throughout the season. It’s not an easy task, and yet you did so with the same level of enthusiasm and sportsmanship during both halves of our season. Yes there will always be some decisions that leave some of us scratching our heads wondering what’s going on and why you did what you did. I guess that’s just part of life, and part of the job of leading and coaching. We entrusted our girls to you and they are better off for it … and better volleyball players because of it. Of that I am sure, and so very grateful.”