It’s been just over a month since my dad returned from his adventure in Zimbabwe, and as I review his emails and pictures, there is so much more to write.
What an awesome adventure! I ask myself, what is it about sport that can connect all cultures, races, and walks of life? There is something magical about athleticism and team sports. For me, volleyball has always kept me in the moment. I mean, really, Eckart Tole could have just said, go play a team sport if you want to stay in the moment. There is a bonus though! The bonus is an amazing connection with other human beings, a sharing experience that includes teaching, learning, mutual inspiration and joy!
Who helped out with crowd funding? Here is a picture of the shirts purchased for the camp…
Vic said the kids were very attentive, polite and enthusiastic, and they covered all the aspects of volleyball using his recently published book, “Radical Volleyball” and the End Point Visualization system.
‘Radical Volleyball’ is co-authored by Dr George Mcmaster and Vic Lindal, published by Dan Doherty and printed in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The coaches of the Starz Academy were required to read the book, and have to review the questions in the book each day.
One of Vic’s favourite phrases is “The best do, what the rest are not prepared to do.” It is such a perfect and concise way to explain something that holds so many back. How many people say that they would like to do something, but never do, or sit on natural talent with no application to use that natural talent to make a big difference in their life? Where do they want to be?
When I grew up, my dad would often say, “Set your goals and do it now.” What is it that makes super talented people at the end of their lives say, “I could have been… “
I believe that to be a good coach isn’t about teaching skills alone, but finding a way to motivate, encourage and come along side the athletes to help them attain the goals they set for themselves.
Vic says, “The best do…” and all the kids shout out, “…what the rest are not prepared to do.” He says it again, and the second time they shout louder, and every time he finds a moment to remind them, he reminds them and they respond with enthusiasm and strong voices!
Vic finds simple phrases, and repeats them so that they stick, and that young athlete will find that on days when it seems difficult a little phrase will pop into their head that says, “The best do…” and that young athlete will find the strength to persevere as they finish that phrase with confidence, “what the rest are not prepared to do.”
I can almost see the determination on the faces of the many athletes that have benefited from this sort of encouragement.
Another important part of Vic’s style of coaching is visualization, and he worked with the athletes to use visualization for every drill and every skill. It was noticeably helpful and Vic said that the key was that the coaches were getting it.
Vic writes, ‘We used the camp as a laboratory for the coaches to learn.’He said that one thing the coaches noted, was how much he asked the players to think. The success of this camp truly is what the coaches can take away from it.
I laughed when I received an email from my dad that said he already convinced coach Roddy to make his tallest player the setter. For those of you who don’t know some of Vic’s ‘against the grain’, yet brilliant philosophies, this is one.
In times past people would make the shortest player the setter, and it became a tradition almost. I’ve seen some coaches just pick the player with the best hands, but even if they had the best hands, if they were the tallest, most coaches put them as a middle blocker.
Let me ask you this… What position on the court has the hardest hitter? Ok, some of you said middle, hopefully most of you said power or left side, but none of you said right side. Who is blocking the left side hitter? Oh… the tiny little setter? That is just one part of it. But that position now has the opportunity to help the middle blocker in both middle and the outside. It seems most teams run a 5-1 system (for those who don’t know, this means one person is the only setter on the team, so when they are in the back row, there are three hitters in the front row, and when they are in the front row there are ‘two’ hitters). The setter is meant to get every second ball. If the setter is tall, hitting the second ball straight over before the other team is set to block would be a lot easier. I’m sure my dad or my brother can explain this concept better, but I remember the many talks about having a tall setter as an option.
Zimbabwe wasn’t just about Vic inspiring, but it also became about inspiring Vic. He told a story of a young lady named Kimberley who got 1800 on her SAT exam. He later saw her studying for a redo. For those who don’t know what 1800 means, let just say that it already gets her full scholarships to Ivy League schools, but she has a goal of 2200. Vic did a little interview and it is posted on YouTube… Kimberley speaks about how her financial degree can help Zimbabwe
Vic had the opportunity to stay in a very affluent area of Harare, Zimbabwe with some wonderful hosts. He said the only difference between this area and Uplands in Victoria, BC (the wealthiest area of Victoria), are the barbed wire fences.
His host and her daughter…
What is so great about Vic, among many things, is his love of connecting with people, getting to know their story, and drawing out the inspiration they have within them. He met another brilliant lady doing great things in Zimbabwe, check out this YouTube interview with Dr. Eve Gadzikwa… Host family daughter interviews Dr. Gadzikwa