Why do we coach?...

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DAVID BERRY

Ioften get asked: ‘Dave, why do you coach?’ Some­times the an­swer is quite sim­ple – ‘why not, what else would I be do­ing with my time?’

From an in­di­vid­ual per­spec­tive I have things left on my bucket list that I haven’t achieved as yet, but the main rea­son is to help young vol­ley­ballers be­come the best they can be.

There are still those out there who want to learn and im­prove, even to­day.

As coaches we are en­trusted with a po­si­tion be­cause we have ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge on our side.

We want to pass on as much of this ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge to as many as we can, in the hope that as the years go by, those who have ben­e­fit­ted will step up into coach­ing roles them­selves, while play­ers get to taste the ul­ti­mate for them.

For those play­ers it doesn’t mat­ter whether or not that is play­ing at the high­est level or be­ing the best they can be to keep their do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tions strong.

It is at the do­mes­tic level that we all start from with a broad tal­ent pool at our dis­posal. It is those who have the want and de­sire who even­tu­ally make it to the top, and as we have seen in more re­cent times, their coach or coaches have played a mas­sive part.

As coaches, many peo­ple along the jour­ney in­flu­ence us. My first coach was John Brumby when he was a young teacher at Ea­gle­hawk High School. John later be­came premier of Vic­to­ria.

I was then for­tu­nate to learn from the best when I started out on my state coach­ing ca­reer.

To­mas San­ta­maria was the doyen of Vic­to­rian and Aus­tralian coaches. What he didn’t know about vol­ley­ball wasn’t worth know­ing. I ab­sorbed as much from him as I could and I even do so to­day.

I have been lucky to have spent some time with the Aus­tralian youth pro­gram and learnt plenty from those coaches, which in­cluded Olympians and coaches from a suc­cess­ful Queens­land state pro­gram.

In more re­cent times I have learnt from former Aus­tralian cap­tain and Olympian Luke Camp­bell, as well as all coaches in­volved in the state pro­gram.

As a coach we take as much from as many coaches as we can. We fil­ter out what we don’t need and at the same time back our­selves.

We in­vest in what we do. If that means one-on-one ses­sions with play­ers re­turn­ing from in­jury or who want to learn more, then we will do it. If your play­ers are still ask­ing ques­tions, then they want to get bet­ter. It’s those play­ers who drive us to be the best we can be.

On Satur­day night I was lucky to be awarded the State League Premier Women Coach of the Year as voted by my peers. It was in recog­ni­tion of my Phan­toms girls who made fi­nals in their first year in the premier divi­sion of state league.

To see play­ers such as Kara John­son, De­laney Wills and Jess Radford – all ladies, as they are now, com­pared with when I first started coach­ing them as young teenagers – play­ing in the premier divi­sion of vol­ley­ball in the state makes me proud. On the same night Josh Gor­don was pre­sented with the best libero award for premier men.

If you as a coach be­lieve you know ev­ery­thing, you are wrong be­cause you should never stop try­ing to be the best you can.

If you as a coach be­lieve you can never learn any­thing, you are wrong, be­cause you never stop learn­ing no mat­ter how much ex­pe­ri­ence you’ve gained.

If you as a coach be­lieve you’ve got noth­ing more to give, don’t stop be­cause you never know what might be around the cor­ner.

HON­OURED: Vol­ley­ball Hor­sham’s David Berry, right, and Josh Gor­don with their awards.

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