My granddaughter played volleyball at Lincoln Southeast High School and University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC), where she received her bachelor’s degree. My husband and I attended her games as often as we could and loved every minute of it. As her grandparents, we always considered her a star, so it was wonderful when she was able to continue her athletic ability in college. And of course, she was a star at UMKC as well. She still holds the record for number of career digs as a libero.

My Granddaughter’s Volleyball Journey

While at UMKC, she received many honors and had a wonderful time. Since she played during COVID-19, she was granted an additional scholarship year. Her fifth year was her participating at Butler University in Indianapolis on scholarship, while working on and receiving her master’s degree. At the end of her master’s year, she applied for several jobs, one of which was to be an assistant coach at her alma mater, UMKC. It was a surprise to her and all of us that she was hired as an assistant coach at UMKC. She was going home. OK, not back to Lincoln, NE, but closer than being in Indianapolis.

The Start of the Season

Her 2023 season started with away tournaments in Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Missouri. UMKC ended their preseason tournaments at home in Kansas City. It was wonderful because now we were able to attend her games more frequently.

Watching Her as a Coach for the First Time

I wasn’t quite sure how it would be watching her as a coach, compared to watching her as a player. Watching her as a player, I was nervous and worried about each and every one of her plays. As a player, if she missed a dig, UGH! If she was successful in her play, I screamed and was thrilled and proud. Sometimes, I’d even pace, walking back and forth in an open row of seats. Now, watching her coach, how would I feel?

A Proud Grandparent’s Perspective

We anxiously watched our granddaughter run the team through their pre-game drills. She looked great and hit balls hard for the team members to return. She challenged them with difficult drills and gave them great tips.

Once the game started, I watched her with interest and found I was not disappointed. She handled herself with professionalism, as a great coach would. I loved seeing some of the girls sit by her after they rotated out of the game. They were seeking her advice. She always responded with nods and motions to indicate where they needed to be on the floor. She was doing a great job!

Reviewing Post-Match Performance

Later, I realized I spent more time watching my granddaughter as she sat on the bench taking notes and yelling out coaching tips than I did watching the game. Every time my eyes shifted to the court, my heart stayed with her, as it always will be. As a bonus, they won the match!

After their win, I asked her what she thought could be improved. The worst thing she felt happen was the post-game food order. It had been delivered to the wrong door, but she spent a few minutes making phone calls to track the food down. Only 10 minutes later, the team had their dinner. Maybe that’s another skill she’ll need to work on—patience.

Nancy Becker

Nancy Becker

Grandkids & Grandparents

I have four grandchildren ages 14-17. In some ways, I’m a very typical grandma, always proud of everything the kids do and wanting to help support them in whatever way I can. In other ways, I’m not very typical. My goal as a blogger is to share my thoughts and experiences that I think are funny and meaningful as I adventure through grandmahood.

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