I am amazed at the reach of my blog and the people I have met while writing about my passion. It’s great to be surrounded by and learn about others with the same passion.
I received a call from Lynn Ray Boren, Head Coach of the USA Deaf Women’s Volleyball Team, to offer a compliment of my blog. For this small bit of attention, I am grateful. Of course we started talking about volleyball (via a “relay operator”) and realized how small the world of volleyball is. When I played at Arizona State University, our arch rival, the University of Arizona, had a phenomenal player on the team, Mike Bruning. Through Lynn, I’ve come to learn that Mike earned a silver medal in the 2005 Deaflympics for beach volleyball and continues to be a top qualifier on the AVP tour. Maybe I’m not too old to stop playing yet…no, I’m sure Mike would beat me up pretty good on the court 😉
Coach Lynn also reached out to me for assistance, to help recognize and promote USA Deaf Volleyball. Lynn will coach the USA Deaf Women’s National Volleyball Team at the 2009 Summer Deaflympics September 5-15, 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan. The players must each raise $4,500 to support the training sessions and trip to the Deaflympics. Each of the players and coaches will host a VPAD-a-thon event, sponsored by Viable, Inc. Viable will match contributions up to $2,250 per VPAD-a-thon. For example, if a player raises $2,250 during my VPAD-a-thon, Viable will give an additional $2,250, enabling the player to meet my fundraising goal. If I raise $1,000 during my VPAD-a-thon, Viable will give me an additional $1,000.
Coach Lynn’s VPAD-a-thon is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, 2009. Please send an e-mail to: Lynn.firstname.lastname@example.org, your telephone number at which you can be reached on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m (E.S.T.) for him to contact you on that day.
For your donation to qualify for a Viable matching contribution, you must do the following.
- Date your check or money order July 21, 2009.
- Make it payable to USA Deaf Sports Federation.
- In the memo line, write “U.S. Women’s Volleyball”.
- Send your donation to this address: USA Deaf Sports Federation
13025 Silver Maple Court
Bowie, MD 20715-1933
Coach Lynn was also generous to answer some questions I had on communication techniques. His answers provided some great insight into many things I take for granted. For instance:
- Since the players are deaf, NO coaching takes place while the ball is in play. It is impossible for a player to look at the ball and the coach at the same time!
- Offensive play calling – serve receive – the middle hitter calls her play first, followed by the outside hitter, and then the opposite.
- Offensive play calling – during play – the players use non-verbal communication and cues are to call a play.
- Anticipation – this seems to be an overriding concept of deaf coaching. Since coaches do not have the advantage of coaching from the sidelines, they teach/coach players during practice sessions to ANTICIPATE every imaginable offensive and defensive plays. They drill the players on many different situations during practice sessions so they become familiar with just about anything that could happen in a match!
Reading the game is such an important skill in volleyball, but anticipate is a better term. Reading simply means watching and comprehending a play in action. Anticipating is reading plus being ready for action.
As Coach Lynn states, “My players compete with a sixth sense.” I look forward to watching the team play in Taiwan in September, but let’s make sure they get there…please contribute to this great cause!