The new gal in town, Patty is one of the fresh faces in UTS Volleyball club, but is no stranger to the sport. She played setter/hitter at the University of Virginia with a full scholarship, something with a lot of players aspire to. If that’s not enough, she was the captain, and judged MVP for 3 of the 4 years she was there!
What is your current involvement with the sport? At present, I’m coaching the UTS Women’s division I team and enjoying it!
Tell us about your history with volleyball. My Father put a volleyball in my hands at age 5 but I didn’t start playing seriously until I was 12… Before that I would go and watch the High school team play and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to be on a team and wear those “cool knee pads!” I played 4 years in High School in Minnesota and was then given a full scholarship to play at a the University out in Virginia for 4 years. I spent many years running summer camps in different States and I coached one year at a college before my Australian husband whisked me away to the Land down Under! I played club with the Wallabies for at least 7 years in Melbourne and then got busy raising my family. We lived in Melbourne for 11 years and ended up moving to Alabama in the States where I was able to Coach Brittany’s high school team. The highlight of those years was getting to Sub-State and State playoffs.
What’s the most important factor for improving your game? Tough question. It depends on how experienced you are as a player. For a beginner, learning technique is crucial to forming good habits to build on and improve, and being teachable is a critical quality in a player. For the advanced player, who has already developed good technique, mental toughness becomes a big factor as the emotions have a way of impacting the consistancy and quality of their game.
Describe your coaching style. Flexible. If the environment is fairly social I am more laid back, but if the environment is quite competitive, I can get intense. But either way I am a coach who pays attention to detail ie: technique in the volleyball skills. I love to encourage and try and get the best out of a player, especially in coaching girls, I get a much better response when I stay positive
What are you priorities for the girls? For the team I would love to see the girls improve as individuals and improve as a team with each tournament we enter. Perhaps develop in our passing to run more combinations and enjoy a flow in the game that comes with time.
What’s your fondest memories in the sport? I think over-all my college years of playing volleyball have been my fondest memories, we were tight like a family and our coach was so inspirational. Competing at this level was really awesome. In the coaching arena, going to the Elite Eight in High School with Britt as starting setter (as an 8th grader, most girls were 11th and 12th) was like a double bonus as mom and coach.
And what about life outside of volleyball? I grew up golfing as a youngster and would have pursued golf in college if my passion for volleyball wasn’t so strong. I love the game! One of my hobbies is writing and performing comedy for various venues, I also love to read and go to movies and I married the best Australian on planet earth:)