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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Constantly Improving



I have been coaching all day today at Cal State Fullerton- my Junior Olympic Volleyball team, Montecito 14-1s. It was their first tournament and, honestly, I could not have bet how they would have done. I figured we would make silly mistakes- rotation errors, communication flaws, missing serves..running into each other on the court. The usual "first tourney" mistakes. However, I was very pleased to see my girls do well- better than most for the first tourney, and most parents also enjoyed the day. That is always a win in my book.

When coaching young adults (I all my 14 year olds this... :), you have to be "tough" without being too negative- encouraging, but not too easy going that they think you don't care about winning. After all, life is a constant struggle to improve- get better, stronger, faster, richer. It is what we all desire. But, to what degree do you coach this? Encourage improvement? Hold athletes accountable?

I told my girls before the day started that I was proud of them- no matter the outcome of the day. AND I MEAN THIS- 100 PERCENT. I didn't used to be that way when I first started coaching....I wanted to win everything, super intense, almost scared kids away I think. However, I have learned the importance of finding the balance between "success" and "winning"- and, to me, just improving in small ways are big wins in your own book.

For instance, tonight- I was sending messages to my coach asking, "what should I grab for dinner?"...(not that I don't know HOW or WHAT to eat...,but I always knows he has a quick answer and very smart about food choices....so I trust that). I was driving home, and he said "salad, with oil and vinegar. Chicken breast, no skin. Oh, and a yam would be awesome." My first thought was, "uh, this is going to take to much work than it is worth...", but I did go to a nice store- bought my protein and salad, and had a great dinner. Small improvements to my past "grab and go" turkey sandwich from Starbucks. It is a constant improvement for all of us- and, if you see yourself making a few better choices each day, that is the important thing. Small steps in the right direction- and making sure that you are recognizing these.

Have a fantastic week!

1 comment:

Cassidy said...

Erika, I really learned a lot at yesterday's tourney. I agree that we are always trying to improve. Thanks :)
I look forward to the next ones!
xo,
Cassidy

P.S.
What is Junior Olympics?

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!