Kamloops, BC—Whether you are a student or a volleyball coach, your thirst for knowledge should always continue. That philosophy is taken to heart by a number of coaches at Thompson Rivers University including the boss of the WolfPack women’s volleyball team.
Chad Grimm is just back from Anaheim, California.
That was the venue for the U.S. National women’s volleyball team’s evaluation camp. The Americans are preparing for some upcoming international events this summer including the Pan American Cup. Grimm was on hand as a guest coach for five days.
“They had a pretty big squad in camp as they were putting together their roster,” Grimm says.” I got to observe and partake in everything they were doing.”
Grimm got the opportunity through an old connection with TRU. Jon Newman-Gonchar was an assistant coach with the WolfPack for a half year starting December 2005 with Pat Hennelly’s program. He is one of the assistant coaches with Team U.S.A. Grimm’s friendship with Gonchar resulted in this experience.
The Americans are ranked second in the world in women’s volleyball. Grimm says he learned a lot. “Their head coach (Karch Kiraly) was named the best volleyball player of the last century. He is legend. You walk in and it is a bit intimidating. But they were very welcoming. They let me partake anything that I wanted to do. They showed me their whole operation. “
Grimm said with the size of their squad, they needed an extra hand running some of their drills. “I got a lot of information,” he said about what he learned most about the experience. “ Their resources are endless so seeing why they run what they do based on the numbers they have…the structure of their practices was interesting to see. “
He continued: “Some of their skill development: why they run certain things. That was very helpful. They are on the cutting edge of things that are coming up. Taking a look at what they use to get the best out of their players.”
Grimm hopes to utilize a lot of what he learned during the camp when he returns to coaching the WolfPack in the fall. “Obviously we can utilize some aspects immediately. In some cases we will never be able to use what they do because of resources at their disposal. Obviously the level of their players is very high. I can’t take what they have and put it into our team because it won’t work. But, some of their structure and how they run their practices are definitely some things we can use.”
As much as Grimm learned from his time there, the Americans learned from the TRU bench boss as well. “Not only the coaches but player agents were asking about some of our Canadian players. I also talked to an agent who deals with tours for Asian teams about coming here. The U.S.A staff was curious about what I observed. It is different when someone who isn’t with your athletes all the time comes in. They were open to what I thought about what they were doing. It was good conversation all around.”