Another highlight of my time at the University of Minnesota was the opportunity to not only meet Lindsey Berg, but get to know her. She was able to work with the coaching staff and provide us a different perspective about the team. As with any outside point of view, it is always invaluable, but coming from a two-time Olympian, her knowledge is an added dimension.
Lindsay will be the first to tell you that she does not have aspirations to coach, but her feel for the game, her instincts and emotional flow is what is extraordinary. I was fortnate to sit next to her during a couple matches. She is constantly reading opponent movements, especially before the ball is even served. Plotting and planning the areas of weakness to attack. As a play transpires, she is continually adjusting. I could hear her talking under her breath as a rally unfolded; where to set, the tempo, and her frustration that she was not on the court to exploit the opponent. She is a competitor. Her thought process was incredible to listen to.
Off the court, she has a ‘presence’, an ‘it’ factor. She is extremely personable, exudes confidence, and you are drawn to what she has to say. She is an obvious leader and tells it to you the way you need to hear it. If you have an idea of what Lindsey is like in your head, you might be pretty close, just multiply her presence, knowledge, and leadership by 10. She really is all that.
Lindsey was just coming off knee surgery after the Olympics, but I had an opportunity to set a few balls with her. Her movement is so smooth, so fluid. Her hands are so quick. She cleanly picks the ball out of the air and “pops” it wherever she wants it to go. I’m assuming its a setting style that Lindsey grew up with in Hawaii, but Mike Hebert teaches “punch” setting which is this clean quick movement that Lindsey displays. I wonder if Lindsey got it from Mike or Mike from Lindsey?
I will add the thing that threw me for a loop about Lindsey is her other passion for fashion. She is a “fashionista”, a connoisseur of style. Check out her website, www.LindseyBerg.com and you’ll see what I mean; likely not what you expect.
Lindsey Berg, another great experience at the University of Minnesota.