Meet the volleyball captains
The Chimes interviews head volleyball coach Aaron Seltzer and team captains Abbie Wright and Lindsay Dietzen about the upcoming season.
How do you choose student leaders for your team? Coach: The leaders kind of emerge over the years. We’ve got a fifth year senior, Abbie Wright. She’s been a captain for two years, so that was an easy transition for us. Then we have Lindsay Dietzen. It’s about maturity, it’s leadership on and off the court, it’s how she represents Christ to her teammates, the respect level, how they treat others… it seems to be an easy decision actually.
What kind of responsibilities are put on them as captains? Coach: Well, managing the team. We have some new girls coming in, and understanding the tradition and understanding what importance the Lord plays in the program, and what importance leadership is. Getting the teaching aspects of how everything is supposed to operate and all the things behind the scenes. Setting the tone as practice and leading by example–– being exactly what we want our new girls and our whole team to want. I think those two do a great job of it.
What are the captains’ in-game responsibilities? Coach: 90 percent of what’s done out there has to be done by the girls on the court–– so their decision-making. We do the best we can to train them, but we get in situations where they’re on the court most of the time. But as a whole, whether it’s a match or in practice, they’re the ones communicating, and they’re the ones keeping people focused.
What are some areas you want to improve on from last year? Coach: last year, we were a much better defensive team. We had some girls who had been in those roles for many years. I think offensively is where we need to improve. That was where we really fell short. When we got to the tournament, to the last match, we had nothing left. So I feel like, to make that next step and be in the final-four, we are going to need that offense to be there. And we’ve got the girls to do it, but its going to take some work.
Fill in the blank: if we can accomplish blank, it would be a successful season. Coach: I want to say national tournament, getting out of pool play. That’s our number one focus. I’d like to finish top- three in conference.
How do you feel like the leadership brings God into every aspect of the team? Coach: Well, it’s the Lord, it’s school, then volleyball. That’s what we stress since day one. One of our seniors is in charge of the devotions and what direction that goes. But starting every day that way, starting every match that way is important, but its also everyone’s responsibility. That’s the goal we try to set.
What do you do to earn respect as captains? Abbie Wright: I think treating everyone like we are all one “grade.” There is no hierarchy, but more of including everybody at once and keeping everyone on the same page. Lindsay Dietzen: I’d say bonding is a key aspect. You really trying to spend time with one another, If a girl’s homesick, we try to reach out to them and make sure they feel comfortable in this atmosphere. That’s most important.
How important do you think your on-court performance is to your off-court leadership? AW: I think if you have the leadership ability off the court, and have established that respect in a good way, then I think they will be more apt to follow what you say on the court. LD: I think its one thing if we tell them to work and we’re not working hard on the court ourselves. If we’re putting forth that effort, they’re going to do the same thing.
What are some things you see as your responsibilities as captains? AW: I think its important in workouts that we are one of the first people done with stuff, cleaning up, or the first people to help–– even if its not our job. Just to take on the servant-leadership role, I think, is huge as a captain. LD: Making sure people are on time, and they know what’s going on–– especially the new people as they’re getting into the system of things. Making sure we are on top of everything that needs to get done.
What specific things are you looking to improve on from last year? AW: Staying healthy. Winning those games we might not be expected to win, because we came close on a couple of them. Finishing out those games as strong as possible. LD: Developing a mentality that’s confident. Last year, we got down with people not being healthy, but this year we are healthy. Developing a mentality that we are a good team. And that’s going to reflect how we play on the court.
So for you, if you could get blank done, it would be a successful season? AW: The way a team gels together is key. If we develop a way of playing together, that will be so helpful in beating the teams we know we should beat, and beating them soundly. And, in a way that we are improving every single game. LD: Improving, even when the games are seemingly out of reach.
How do you, as captains, try to incorporate God into every aspect of what you do here? AW : Something that’s really important for us is praying before every practice. Making sure we know if someone is really in need and we are praying for them. And knowing even how we play on the court, we are honoring God––making sure that’s reflected in our play. LD : We also have devotions before every home game, which is really cool and really brings the team together.