Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 10:02 AM
As the new volleyball season approaches, the Campolindo High School team has their eyes set on some big goals. I had the opportunity to talk to Coach Dave Chen about his expectations for the team this season, and he was eager to share his insights with me. First and foremost, Coach Chen emphasized that the team is always aiming to make a late playoff run. However, this year, they are focusing on playing with freedom and assertiveness in high-pressure situations. This mindset, combined with their skill and hard work, could lead them to a successful season. When it comes to key players, Coach Chen highlighted three names - Will Marusich, Will Balassi, and Graham Volk. These three players bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the team. Marusich and Volk are both four-year varsity returners, while Balassi was a captain last year. According to Coach Chen, leadership and experience are crucial factors that contribute to the team's success. Coach Chen also emphasized the importance of selecting the right leadership and captains for the team. He believes that leadership is just as critical as having the right athletes playing in the right positions. A captain needs to be selfless and put the team first, providing support and guidance to their teammates. They also need to foster a culture of inclusivity, where everyone feels valued and supported. One of the ways to create a healthy team dynamic is by having open and honest communication between players and coaches. Coach Chen believes that fostering healthy connections and conversations can help the team grow and improve. He also emphasized the importance of staying healthy as a team and making sure everyone is at a baseline level of physicality. The team is also aiming to be ambitious this season by participating in four tournaments. These tournaments will allow them to test their skills and teamwork in different environments and against different opponents. Coach Chen believes that playing in uncomfortable situations and learning from them will help the team grow and become stronger. The team's approach and goal setting vary depending on the players present and the team's needs. Coach Chen believes that as a coach, their role is to support and guide the team in a way that is most beneficial for them. This means adapting their leadership style to whatever the team needs, whether that is taking a more hands-on role or simply facilitating their growth. One significant aspect of the game of volleyball that Coach Chen emphasized is the mental game. He believes that how a team responds to stress and high-pressure situations can determine their success.