NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State volleyball coaches went to two conferences over winter break, the SOAR Symposium and the Coaches Clinic at Louis University.
Head coach Donka Sutton traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the SOAR Symposium which was hosted by LSU's head volleyball coach, Fran Flory. The Symposium was for women coaches only and hosted around 50 coaches. During the 48 hours, the coaches heard from Tonya Johnson, LSU's strength coach and a few others. Described as a big think tank, they disccused ways to better team mental health, drills for practice and ways to improve as a coach.
"Attending the SOAR Symposium was uplifting and inspiring as we embark on our 2020 season," said Sutton. "The entire experience opened up the door to conversations that I would have never had the opportunity to have anywhere else. Created by Tonya Johnson the Associate Head Coach at the University of Texas and hosted by Fran Flory Head Coach at LSU. We had on court training sessions with Kathy George Head Coach of Michigan St. and Salima Rockwell Former Penn State and Texas Volleyball Assistant Coach. The most impactful part was the small table talks allowing Coaches to pick each other’s brain. I feel supported, informed and prepared to arm my players and staff as we SOAR into 2020!"
Assistant Coaches Vicmari Cockrill and Tatiana Booth traveled to Louis University in Romeoville, Illinois. Head coach for Brigham Young University volleyball, Heather Olmstead hosted the coaches clinic. The clinic taught the coaches how to operate on a daily basis, mentall and physically. One full day of classroom and video learning gave our coaches a wealth of knowledge to bring back to TSU.
"The Coaches clinic was very informational and beneficial in several ways. I got to meet one of the top volleyball coaches in our field, Head Coach Heather Olmstead," commented Cockrill. "I learned about her and how she runs her program successfully. Something that I learned from her is to always be confident and humble despite the circumstance. Always believe, no matter what the situation is. One thing that I for sure will implement into TSU volleyball, more consistently is to always remind our players of their strengths no matter how they play or the result of the match."
Coach Booth also spoke on the clinic, "Our conference with BYU's Coach Heather was very rewarding! To see how she operates on a daily basis, finds new ways to connect with her team, and her work ethic was truly inspiring. There were many things I enjoyed but one of my biggest take away would be that simplicity is a virtue that should be used more in our field along with finding new ways to present ideas to your team. She touched on ways to mentally reach out to your team that I would love to implement with our team, her vision and direction that she is going with her program was very exciting to hear about. I'm excited to use the tools she taught us at our Coaches Clinic for TSU Volleyball."