Jim: Pete, having coached myself for 30 some years, either collegiate women or club women right now, there’s always a transition from the club world, high school world to the college world. I found that very prevalent on my side of things. Does the same thing exist on the men’s side of things going from high school to college?
Pete: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, there’s a huge transition for these young men to get to a division one or division two and any even sub-division three college programs. I think number one, it’s a lot of it is the strength training. How can they become, how can they come into our programs being as physically prepared to play at that level to understand that they’re going to be competing against a young men or men that are three to four to five years older than them, that have spent three to four to five years in the weight room training with strength coaches, not only during the academic year but year-round? We try to talk to every recruit that we eventually sign or get committed. Can you get to the weight room on a regular basis during your last year of high school? And I’m not talking once every two weeks, I’m talking four times a week for a long period of time.
Pete: And I think that’s hard for those young men to fully understand and wrap their head around the amount of work that it takes to get prepared. We typically have year-end meetings with our guys at the end of the school year and when we do talk to our freshmen, the first question we ask them is: “What do you think? Were you prepared?” And the answer is always: “No, I never thought I had to get this prepared”. And consequently, they weren’t. I think the other component that comes in the play is, they’ve been exposed to the game, but I don’t think they’ve been exposed to that high-level intricacies of the game that are going on with the college men to where there are blocking systems, there are different offense systems. I think a lot of the coaches have a basic grasp of volleyball in terms of how to play it, but they haven’t really put their kids in a true system.
Pete: And, and let’s do this, let’s be good at this, let’s play a certain way and let’s have a style about us that we certainly have to have to be successful at our level and we find that they come in knowing that, we do have to block, but they have no idea about how we go about performing those skills. And so, the learning curve is pretty steep that first year to not only get them up to speed individually, but then to get them up to speed within our systems in terms of what we’re doing tactically, both offensively and defensively. So, it’s a huge transition for these young men for sure.
Jim: I think on both the men’s and women’s side, you know, they get to a point and they have success because they’re big and tall and they’re made of steel and all that. But all of a sudden, they’re with and against other people that are also big and also tall and also made of steel and they really have to become better volleyball players, not just, you know, I’m bigger than you are so, I win, you know. So, there’s a transition, I think both physically but also mentally that for some, it’s a big hurdle. For some it’s a small hurdle, but either way there’s a hurdle there. Absolutely. Very good.