This past weekend we had a match at Iowa Wesleyan. After the match several of the girls and myself stayed an extra night and went to watch a volleyball match at the University of Iowa. It was homecoming weekend for the Hawkeyes and the campus was alive. Before the match we had some time to kill and we cruised the parking lot where tons of tailgaters were lined up to support their team. We met a very nice couple and of course we asked for a tour of their ridiculous RV (it’s what we do). It was very impressive, but what was even more impressive was their love for Hawkeye football. They were alums and everything they owned seemed to have the Hawk on it.
Next weekend we celebrate our homecoming and I couldn’t be more excited. I have been around GC Volleyball in some capacity for 27 years now and I have loved every minute of it.
We operate with one fairly simple principle; we value people and relationships above all else. When you build something that conducts itself in such a manner, you give people a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. Once you have established belonging and purpose you can determine what the function of that group will be. Ours happens to be winning as many volleyball matches as possible.
Once you have been in this environment and you sacrifice so much to work with others towards a common goal it becomes part of you, something you will always identify with.
When you look at our coaching staff you always see at least one alum, on occasion we have 2 or 3. They have been a part of something special and they want to continue that tradition for the next generation of kids.
We ask so much of our players and there is a high level of accountability in our program. The accountability rarely comes from me at this point, rather it comes from the captains and the upper classmen. It has been passed down from the players before them because each class understands the importance of protecting what we have built.
At the beginning of every season we layout all the expectations for a member of this team and we are very upfront and clear about who we are. The culture is the most important thing we have and we protect it with all that, at all costs.
Once the expectations are clear and our players know who we are we ask them to join our team. Joining this team should never be taken lightly, it’s not for everyone. If they choose to join us, they let us know they are “in”. Once we establish who is “in”, the season officially starts.
It’s an experience players will never forget and it’s always here for them, that is the beauty of the culture we have built, its something that sustains itself for generations. We want this to be a place that alums can always count on and a place they can always return to.
We want them to be “Forever in”