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Coaches motivated to give back


For many of us, the word “coach” evokes the image of a large figure in sweatshirt and sweatpants, blowing a whistle and screaming different plays or directions to a less compliant group of players. But the job of a coach is far more than just giving orders to a group of individuals.

Kevin Hambly, the head coach of Stanford women’s volleyball, said his drive continually pushes him to help better the team as a whole, not only for volleyball but also to empower the women in their personal lives.

“I love helping college-age women with their transition from being a kid to an adult,” Hambly said.

Hambly ’s motivation to coach was helping others succeed in his passion.

The characteristics of being a coach can always be difficult, according to Hambly, but he said coaching has helped him to become a better person as well.

“I have learned to see different people’s view on the world,” Hambly said. “I think it helps me with perspective about everything. I also think some of these amazing women (on the team) help me be a better dad to my two young girls.”

Danny Dye, Paly’s swimming and diving head coach, said the motivational drive that pushes him to continue his job is the many memories formed along the way.

“There are a lot of coaches and athletes over the years that have made the Paly swim team a special place with many memories,” Dye said. “So what keeps me coming it is being a part of that family, and year in and year out welcoming the new members to the team. You connect with the athletes and want to be a part of helping them to be better, while they in turn do the same for you.”

Coaching helps with learning from mistakes, and coach Dye agrees with Hambly that coaching has helped him to grow as an individual.

“You make mistakes, you don’t always get it perfect,” Dye said. “Just like the athletes you coach, you learn to grow and improve. Coaching has helped me to learn how to adapt and make changes for the team, but it translates to life!”

In addition, Jenny Crane, head coach for the Paly field hockey team, said she had a couple of drives when choosing to coach the group.

“First, I really wanted to get the program off the ground and implemented,” Crane said. “Stanford is right across the street and is one of only three division I teams in California (the others being Cal and Davis). Field Hockey was a highlight of my own athletic career and got me a scholarship to Cal — I wanted to spread this opportunity to other athletes. In coaching, my desire is to ignite a passion for the game in these athletes and pass on as much knowledge as the players can absorb.”

Crane said she is motivated to get out to the field everyday and coach by the team and individuals.

“Thus far, field hockey has had a great turn out of polite, passionate and dedicated athletes,” Crane said. “They are grateful everyday we’re out on the field and have genuine curiosity and drive to learn the game and improve their skills. Field hockey requires athletes to be vulnerable by participating in a sport they have never played before, and these athletes’ willingness to show up and persevere is heartening for a washed-up athlete like me to be part of.”

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