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how does struggle create success?

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Charli Turner Thorne, Arizona State University Head Women's Basketball Coach

Listen as Charli Turner Thorne gives her answer to the question: How Does Struggle Create Success? There is no success without struggle. There is no growth without failure. Success starts at the end of your comfort zone. Teaching your athletes that there is no such thing as failure - everything is a learning opportunity - will help to cultivate a growth mindset. Embracing failure is necessary at this high level of play, especially for high female competitors who may lack self compassion when they do not achieve what they want to.

Listen | 1:10
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Charli Turner Thorne,

Arizona State University Head Women's Basketball Coach

Transformative approach to coaching: Put the woman ahead of the athlete. Make sure they are in a good place as a person first before focusing on their identity as an athlete. How we help athletes personally as well as professionally can be equally beneficial and create a championship culture.

Listen | 0:48
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Carol Hutchins,

University of Michigan Head Softball Coach

Hear from Winningest Softball Coach in NCAA History Carol Hutchins as she discusses the importance of humility. Nothing teaches you better than failure. You must walk away humbly from these types of situations and recognize where you can improve for next time. The 24 hour rule is a great winning strategy to come back the next day with a clean slate and not continue to bring up the negative emotions and judgement that came along with a loss.

Listen | 1:21
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Brittany Abercrombie and Carly DeHoog,

Professional Volleyball Players

Set small, specific commitments before each game or practice to hold yourself accountable and have something to focus on while practicing your craft. See your game or practice for what it is; how did you perform objectively? Take what you learn from those experiences and move forward with that new knowledge to apply in future situations. Learn what to filter in and tune in to with all the noise surrounding you, especially in a game, to find what can calm you and get you back on track.

Listen | 4:16

how do you recruit?

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Kirsten Bernthal-Booth,

Creighton University Head Women's Volleyball Coach

As a woman and especially as a mother, women coaches on average carry a higher level of empathy when it comes to coaching players; however, this does not mean they can stop working hard or being a great teammate. Role modeling that players can achieve whatever they want in life will give a good example to players and show the type of development you are looking for in your program. Cohabitating personal and professional aspects of life is what Kirsten looks to emphasize in her own organization.

Listen | 2:28
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Sharon Clark,

Butler University Head Women’s Volleyball Coach and Current President of the American Volleyball Coach’s Association

Your ability as a player to have a conversation with a coach will let them know if you are able to come and compete in their program. Sharon’s winning strategy is to be very clear and communicative with athletes as to how she coaches as a female. Some players may prefer having a male coach for whatever reasons they give, and you must develop some thick skin and realize that those athletes wouldn’t be a good fit for your program. Being able to be emotionally intelligent when having discussions or interviews with players and looking for signs of what you are looking for is a good way to recruit; you just need to know what you’re looking for. Ask players what coaches they have had in the past and what they liked and didn’t like about those individuals.

Listen | 2:29
how do you win every year?
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Kirsten Bernthal-Booth,

Creighton University Head Women's Volleyball Coach

Listen as Kirsten Bernthal-Booth gives her answer to the question: How Do You Win Every Year? Confidence breeds winning. Fostering the level of expectation while playing at a highly competitive level comes with communication, adapting and adjusting, and never staying comfortable. Getting outside your comfort zone drives you to be better and advances your program, especially from a recruiting perspective.

Listen | 1:16
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Carol Hutchins,

University of Michigan Head Softball Coach

Listen as Kirsten Bernthal-Booth gives her answer to the question: How Do You Win Every Year? It is never given or guaranteed that you will have a successful season or be a champion. Do not take a single day for granted. It is important to teach your athletes to be consistent in your own self and your emotions as you go along with wins and losses. Stay in the moment; take what you learn from failure and move on. Ups and downs are a part of the game, and finding something you can take away from the downs and keep focusing on the ups will propel you towards success using things under your control.

Listen | 2:26
how do you train
with purpose and passion?
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Sue Enquist, Former UCLA Head Softball Coach

Listen as Sue Enquist gives her answer to the question: How do you train with purpose and passion? Everybody’s job at their respective role is to make the lead person the most uncomfortable. Usually within teams there are multiple players on your roster at each position; never accept that secondary role, execute your job of pushing the person in front of you to make yourself and that person your best self as an athlete. Organize it in a way where they can objectively evaluate themselves and their teammates without emotion.

Listen | 4:28
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Brittany Abercrombie, Professional Volleyball Player

It is important to connect with your why. Why do you play this sport? Everyone’s answers will vary, but being intentional and keeping your why in the front of your mind will help you to keep going and push forward. Ask each individual on your team why they are here, what do they want while they are here, and why do they want this.

Listen | 1:03
how do you change and win?
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Angie Akers, Retired Beach Volleyball Player and Current Head Netherlands Beach Volleyball Coach

Listen as Angie Akers gives her answer to the question: How do change and win? Pay attention to how players receive feedback you are giving them as coaches. On a general level, female coaches are more apt to give feedback in a positive, caring way, whereas males are more direct and may come across as more stern. Though this is definitely not true for all female and male coaches, it is still important regardless to understand your players and the ways in which they take feedback. Are your players more responsive to hearing feedback in a direct, harsh tone? Or are they more likely to succeed if it is brought to their attention in a more empathetic manner? Somewhere in between?

Listen | 0:58
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Melissa Luellen, Auburn University Head Women's Golf Coach

Listen as Melissa shares her answer to the question: How do you change and win? Embrace challenges and anchor in your competitive spirit to help move through tough patches. Surround yourself with those who love the game as much as you and emulate the same level of passion that you do. Find your philosophy and what you stand for and be able to back it up. Recognize who your role models are early on and ask questions.

Listen | 1:39
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Melissa Luellen, Auburn University Head Women's Golf Coach

Rest and recover. This can appear as many different things depending on the person. Find something that re-energizes you, whether that be physically resting, spending time with family, or going out with friends, and make sure to carve out time in your schedule to do these things. Rest and recovery is equally as important to training and preparation in order to come back refreshed and sharp. 

Listen | 3:03
how do you have a successful career as a...?
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Sharon Clark,

Butler University Head Women’s Volleyball Coach and Current President of the American Volleyball Coach’s Association

In the coaching arena, men are usually compared to women no matter what the accomplishments are. Due to gender stereotypes and societal norms, men have more room to be more aggressive, assertive, or loud compared to women. When women act this way, it becomes more to do with their gender than it does their coaching abilities. Being able to recognize this within yourself and others will help to rid of bias and keep women in the coaching industry.

Listen | 0:46