In this edition of Reed Between the Lines: Sports Editor Scott Reed sits down with Taylor County Middle School Volleyball Coach Kelley Larew
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Grafton, WV and have two children. I have been a teacher for 20 years, and I have coached youth sports for 11 years.
When did you first decide you that wanted to get involved with coaching?
When my son Xander was 4 years old, I assisted with his rec soccer team.
Who is your favorite sports hero and why?
My Dad, Mick Foley, was my favorite sports hero. He taught my brother and I how to play baseball. Baseball has always been my favorite sport. My dad pushed us to be good students and athletes. He made us train hard for our sports, especially track. He taught us to appreciate working hard because the payoff of success was worth it.
How do you deal with players’ and/or parents’ concerns regarding playing time?
From a recreational standpoint, I always do my best to give equal playing time. Even at the middle school level, I try to give ample playing time. Even though middle school athletics are competitive, it is still a developmental period for these young athletes. Sometimes it is difficult for parents to transition from rec to competitive play, so I let them know upfront my expectations.
How do you try to make practices fun?
I like using individual and team competitive drills and short-sided games.
How has coaching affected your life?
Coaching is an extension of the classroom for me. I enjoy teaching children and watching them grow and develop in their sport and as human beings. Coaching keeps me humble.
What is your favorite movie about sports?
Hoosiers and A League of Their Own.
What qualities would make a player a good team captain?
A good team captain should be honest, loyal to her teammates, a leader and a positive role model. She should be willing to help others grow in their abilities on and off the court.
What is the one thing you always do after winning a big match?
Thank them and praise them. Then start preparing for the next match.
What are your best and worst memories in coaching?
The best memories are when the “aha” moments occur and a proud look appears on their face. The worst memories are those when a player loses confidence in herself. It is so hard to build them back up sometimes.
If you could be a successful coach in another sport what would it be?
What one word or phrase do you think describes you?
Tenacious and spirited.
Give me one word to describe your current assistant coach.
I don’t have an assistant coach. Currently it’s just me.
Where is your favorite away venue to coach a match?
I don’t have a favorite one yet.
What would you say to a star player who is really struggling out there?
I would tell her to play her favorite song in her mind and let the music drown out her fears and frustration.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I honestly don’t know. I pray each day for another one.
What do you think you do well as a coach?
I can connect well with the athletes. Building a positive relationship with them is important to me.
How do you plan on improving as a coach from year to year?
I am a life learner. I am always reading and learning from other coaches. In May, I attended a 14-hour coach’s clinic by The Art of Coaching Volleyball, and I will begin the volleyball official certification process in a couple weeks.
What would you tell a kid who has never played organized volleyball but is thinking about trying out?
I would tell them to give volleyball a shot, it’s a fun and exciting sport.
What did you think of these questions?
These questions were fun and thought provoking.
*Each week the Mountain Statesman features a coach or player from a different Taylor County sport. We hope you enjoy the chance to learn a little bit more about them.