The Wolves Volleyball Camp that took place this last week was a huge success. With over 30 kids participating, the gym was abuzz with activity. We caught up with coach, alumnus Olivia Abram who amassed 653 digs in her two seasons as libero with the Wolves from 2012-14.
Here’s what she had to say;
What are you doing since you graduated?
I’m teaching Junior and Senior High English Language Arts with the Edmonton Public School District and have coached the Jasper, Sylvan Lake, and Harry Ainlay Volleyball Camps this summer.
What was the highlight of your College playing career?
In 2014, we earned silver medals at both ACAC Championships at home, and CCAA Championships in Toronto. We came together as a team and it was exciting to see how we matched up against teams from all over the country.
What’s the most special memory you have from your time with the Wolves?
Going to Cuba with the team was an incredible experience. All of my most important memories have to do with building relationships with my teammates and coaches – they’ve made me who I am.
Any funny memories?
So many! Ron Thomson booting the ball out of a player’s hands; Ron screaming at the top of his lungs in a pitch you’d expect from a teenage girl after a player attacked the ball out of the court, and of course Larry’s announcing and howling at the beginning of every home game.
Is there a favourite coach saying you use as a guide when you’re coaching, and have you used it your coaching style?
Ron often said to me “don’t do too much”. I think this is very important for the hyper active overzealous athlete who wants to be perfect. Focus on one thing at a time, then move on a tend to your own “garden”. Jeff Smith focused on “we before me” which is another saying I like to use to this day with my teams. Selflessness is important if a team is to be successful. I will always strive to challenge and push my athletes to stretch themselves the way Ron did to me. He always explained the reasoning behind technical feedback and that is something I pride myself in, as well. His passion and energy that I mirror have also helped with my motivating of athletes.
As a coach, how would you coach the younger you?
I would focus on energy and emotional control. I lost my focus a lot because of frustration and expectations I put on myself. I don’t think mental training, like the training we did with Matt Bain in college can ever be taught too soon.