WICHITA, Kan.—In three of the past four years, the eight seniors on Northwest’s volleyball team have been faced with three different coaching staffs. Each have brought with them different techniques, making the transition difficult for the girls each year.
“We are always going to be a team,” senior Kelsea Brittain said. “It’s usually difficult at the beginning trying to mold with a new coach, but we stick together and it all comes together in the end.”
“Team chemistry is the foundation of our success,” Smith said. “We have talented, skilled, experienced players who strive to be the best teammates they can be.”
Brittain particularly enjoys Smith’s encouragement at games and practices. She thinks that he knows what he is doing, and does a good job working on every skill necessary for consistency.
“He’s really been able to build off the traditions that coach [Diane] Popp set for the program,” Brittain said. “He is great at motivating us during games and is always pushing us to reach our full potential.”
During timeouts, Smith can be heard asking his players motivational questions such as “Are you having fun?” or “Are you playing together?” He also reminds the girls that every player is important to the game and success cannot be achieved without teamwork.
“Our strength is definitely the bond the players have with each other,” Smith said. “Opponents should quickly recognize they are facing eleven unified athletes who will be there for each other for every point of a match.”
Senior Shayla Cotman agrees with Smith’s methods of teamwork, and feels that the effort of each player is necessary for their wins.
“I don’t know if I could even pick any stand out players because if it weren’t for all eleven of us, we wouldn’t be winning like we have,” Cotman said. “That’s the one thing we can control is how good of teammates we are to each other.”
Cotman hopes for a win against Kapaun Tuesday, October 2 at Northwest to take first in the City League.