When I was asked to describe the 2006 Northern Michigan University Wildcat volleyball team in one word it was easy to pick: the one word is POTENTIAL.
I’ve been playing and coaching volleyball for a long time and there is one thing I know about youthful teams and that is the transition period from youthful to experienced is like taking a rollercoaster ride – up and down with moments of exhilaration followed by moments when you just have to close your eyes. All young teams are like this, and this year, the NMU volleyball is like this.
Because we are young, we have not always hit the goals we set for ourselves. As I tell the team, setting the goal is the easy part; achieving the goal is much harder. I have confidence that with enough hard work and patience we can achieve a lot in the future.
Of course, many of the team members are learning to play volleyball at a much higher level than they have in the past, particularly the freshmen. The difference between in speed and strategy of the game at the high school level compared to that at the collegiate level is huge, very big. We have made some good progress at raising the level of our game at times, which indicates to me about our potential in the future.
Different players have stepped up at different times during the year, and I have a feeling a few are on the verge of taking the opportunity to climb into a leadership role and help determine the direction this program takes over the next few years. I am a coach and it fascinates me to watch the growth of players over time, especially of those who become team leaders. Some people say that leaders are born, but I think because respect as a leader has to be earned, leadership is a choice.
Our team would like to thank the fans of NMU and the