Boomer Elmsdale
Thu, February 22, 2024 at 04:02 AM . California
As the volleyball season approaches, Coach Lillian McCandless of JW North High School shares insights into the team's aspirations, challenges, and preparations. With a focus on present-moment awareness and trust, the Huskies are gearing up for an exciting journey filled with growth, camaraderie, and the pursuit of postseason success. Setting the tone for the season, Coach McCandless emphasizes two key themes: being present in the moment and cultivating trust. These guiding principles reflect the team's overarching goals of enjoying every victory, trusting themselves and their teammates, and ultimately, securing a spot in the postseason. Highlighting the top returning players from last season, Coach McCandless introduces a group of dedicated seniors—Jasper Ang, Bryan Fokwa, Khari Garner, Mack Lyons, Cordae Sims, Leo Wongvaravipat, and Robert Shaw. These players have shown immense dedication and resilience, weathering the challenges of the past year and honing their skills in preparation for their senior campaign. In addition to the returning veterans, Coach McCandless identifies several new players expected to make an immediate impact. Defensive talents such as Ruben Carrillo and Avan Reyna, along with the return of Mack Lyons, who took a hiatus to pursue track and field, bolster the team's depth and versatility. Leadership plays a crucial role in the team's success, and while specific team captains may not have been named, Coach McCandless emphasizes the importance of trust and camaraderie among players and coaches alike. Building team chemistry and camaraderie is a priority for Coach McCandless, who orchestrates team bonding events and opportunities for players to get to know each other off the court. A recent trip to Long Beach State University to watch a match provided the perfect setting for players to bond and forge connections beyond the volleyball court. Motivating players to push themselves to their full potential is rooted in trust and high standards. Coach McCandless encourages her players to give their best effort both in and out of the gym, knowing that trust and mutual respect form the foundation of their collective success. Preparing for the season comes with its challenges, notably in bringing less experienced players up to the level of competition required for their league. However, Coach McCandless remains optimistic, knowing that hard work and dedication will help overcome any obstacles that may arise. The team's schedule is packed with tough opponents, each presenting an exciting challenge and an opportunity for growth. Despite the tough competition, the Huskies remain focused on their goal of postseason play. Reflecting on her coaching style, Coach McCandless acknowledges the importance of continuous learning and improvement. Attending coaching clinics and strengthening coaching skills have prepared the coaching staff for the upcoming season, ensuring they can provide the best support for their players. The mental aspect of the game is paramount, and Coach McCandless looks forward to seeing her players implement the mental skills they've developed over the years. With a focus on communication, trust, and resilience, the seniors are poised to lead by example and guide the team through any challenges that may arise. Training and conditioning are essential components of the team's preparation, with the JV coach playing a pivotal role in elevating the program and impacting players for years to come. Acknowledging the team's strengths in cohesion and trust among senior players, Coach McCandless also recognizes the need to address weaknesses, particularly in bringing newer players up to speed. Building a well-balanced team requires effort and commitment from every member, and Coach McCandless is confident in her team's ability to rise to the challenge. Coach McCandless's coaching philosophy centers on developing the whole person, both on and off the court. Empowering her players to navigate life's challenges with confidence and resilience is paramount, and she strives to instill lifelong skills that extend beyond the volleyball court. Communication is key to the team's success, with verbal and nonverbal communication serving as the bedrock of trust and teamwork. Keeping the lines of communication open ensures that players can overcome challenges and work together towards their common goals. Balancing academics and sports is a priority for Coach McCandless, who models dedication and commitment for her players. By fostering open and honest communication, the team collaborates to find solutions that support each player's academic and athletic pursuits. In closing, Coach McCandless expresses gratitude for the opportunity to coach such a talented and resilient group of players. Regardless of the season's outcome, the bonds forged and memories created will last a lifetime, leaving an indelible mark on both players and coach alike. As they embark on this journey together, the Huskies are poised to make the most of every moment and overcome whatever challenges lie ahead.