Friday, March 14, 2014

Going back, telling "Our Volleyball Story" one more time.

To all of you who have been visiting this blog, and like our story, I'm re telling it in order over at gracefaithcourage.blogspot.com .  As much as I love the stories here, they are hard to navigate.  There you will find the pages are in order, and there are notes about this story on the home page.  occasionally I will redirect the reader back over here, for more of the story.  Hope this works!!!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Jam the Gym 5

So proud to announce the line up for Jam the Gym 5!
Kiski Area vs. Plum
Point Park vs. Carlow
Weds. night, Sept 3, 2014
Be prepared for a night of reflection and celebration!
Five years of great volleyball, great friends and great causes!
We will again be supporting the Jaime Vick Moran Scholarship.
Make plans to join us!
More details to come!!!
Jam the Gym is FIVE!!!
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Athletes Abroad/More than a good read!

In the past few days I have been reflecting on the past year, and why I believe volleyball peeps, this ever widening support group of players, coaches and fans, are the best.  After happening into the National Team on twitter thanks to the caring and compassion of Alisha Glass, Christa Harmotto, Cassidy Lichtman, and the rest of the team, Ellen twitter "Coached" with Karch.(The Canyon, The Other Side of The Canyon, here on this blog)
Jam the Gym came and went, but we kept in touch with our new friends through their personal blogs, and USA Volleyball's website.  We stayed up late and got up early to watch matches in both Serbia and Japan.  

During this time, with the use of @JamtheGym's twitter account I have followed, and gained the following of many more in the international volleyball community.  I find their lives so interesting and their "stories of the road" so compelling.  Twitter has become this incredible tool for reaching out and learning, and I think that's its best purpose.  Social media, for all it's problems and failures is making what used to be "big ol' world" much smaller.

In the past few days two of my favorite "follows" have unified many of the personal blogs of not only international volleyball players, but American athletes playing professional sports all over the world.  Rachael Adams (@RADAMSS) and Geena Urango (@urango) have created a very interesting blog called Athletes Abroad(@AthletesAbroad1 on twitter)  The subjects covered are vast and divergent, but center on life as American's in foreign countries.  Helpful tips on travel, food and beverage, and culture are witnessed from the eyes of American athletes.  They even gave me the chance to ask Ten Questions, and had US National Team middle hitter Max Holt answer them!(http://athletesabroad.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/max-holt-questions-for-a-pro-athlete/)

You might ask why I believe this to be so important.  Our country is represented in the world community in so many ways, and by so many people, and not many of them are good.  We cannot depend on television, politicians, and news media to shape the world's perception of us.  These kids are on the front lines, playing sports, interacting in the world as Americans.  They are a more accurate representation of  America and Americans that anything else.  It would be a mistake for us not to learn along with them.  For this reason take the time to follow along with their exploits at http://athletesabroad.wordpress.com/
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Senior Night 2013

I've been tailing Coach Toy to volleyball matches for a very long time now, and in those many years I've witnessed at least 30 Senior Nights.  They always challenge me emotionally.  Time has always been my least favorite of God's creations, and "Senior Night" is a true indicator that time has indeed marched on.  This year, however will be even more difficult, for reasons I hope to explain.
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Surviving and Transforming Through Life

Freshman Defensive Specialist/Outside Hitter Carlow University
Lyndsey Weiser
Written about her experience playing through the last few years at Kiski Area for her first major college writing assignment.  Well done Lynds!


Surviving and Transforming Through Life
In May of 2012, while watching a junior varsity softball game against Gateway High School with my fellow varsity team members, I noticed that my knee was locking up each time I stood.  I thought it was nothing since my knee always had some slight pain.  However, this particular pain would prove to be much more serious than anticipated.  It was finally time for varsity to warm up, so we started our normal routine.   My knee was hurting a bit more than it normally did, and as I made a particular movement, something happened that hurt more than anything I have ever experienced in my life. 
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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wrapping up Jam the Gym 4

     And so, after so much build up, hype, and anticipation, Jam the Gym 4 is history.  So many great moments, but we'll get back to that later.  First I have so many to thank!
     Jam the Gym is not possible without terrific participation from our local communities.  From the students who have always provided energy, to the administration, teachers, and fellow coaches, who are always looking for a way to help.  The local businesses who donated goods and services for our chinese auctions, and the many fans who came to the gym on a hot September night to support our cause.  There isn't even a way for me to thank everyone, but I must highlight some noteables...
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Rectangle

A four sided geometrical shape.

 According to Wikipedia, "A rectangle is any quadrilateral with four right angles."   

In our case it's 30' X 60', bisected in the middle.  Two squares, as it were.


A rectangle or a refuge.

Is there something magical about rectangles?
Not all of them...

The rectangle has been a place we have gone in difficult times.  

Times have been difficult, but inside the rectangle we have found...

...solace

...togetherness
...support
...each other.

Our rectangle must have invisible sturdy walls.

The pain, worry, and sorrow we have felt rarely gets in.
The respect, admiration, and love, never get out.

So what is this magical place, what does one need to gain admission?
Pull up your knee pads.  Lace up your shoes.
The rectangle recognizes only one division.
The net that bisects it.
In truth it is a false barrier, because even though it divides a dozen people in half,
It cannot contain the respect one six has for the other.

All over the world, twelve people "square off" on these rectangles.
Games are played, practices held, dreams are made, winners crowned.
But the real purpose, I think, is that we find one and other.
There is no concept, strategy, or philosophy greater or more important than this.

So what stops us from taking what we have learned inside the rectangle and out into the world.
Nothing.





At Kiski, we have found that the magic has nothing to do with the rectangle itself, but rather in the people we choose to share it with.  Our sense of peace, through what has been a difficult time, has more to do with being together.  All athletics share the commonality of "TEAM" or better yet "FAMILY".
But our's were surely built...

inside the RECTANGLE.

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