Setting Up for Success

Coaching can be like parenting. Sometimes you need a new voice to teach the same lesson.

The Windsor volleyball program is bringing in a pair of strong voices this week. Former collegiate All-Conference players Taylor Leath and Carnae Dillard are guest coaches for this year’s pre-season camp. 

Taylor leath standing behind a teenage girl on a basketball court 

“Volleyball is kind of universal: pass, set, hit. We want the kids to have fun. To us, fun is playing volleyball the right way and we want to teach them the right way,” said Leath, who played three seasons at the University of North Carolina before playing a final season at Penn State. 

Not that that way is any differently than how Windsor varsity coach Scott Symons and junior varsity coach Katie Rogan have been teaching. 

“Some of the things they’ve said are the things that Katie and I have said, so it’s nice to get that feedback that we’re doing the right thing,” said Symons. “But, Katie and I get to learn as much as the kids do this week.”

The focus at the start of the three-day camp has been fundamentals.

“It’s a different perspective than Katie and Scott,” said volleyball player Jillian Barnes. 

“I think they’re tough on us but it’s to get us better,” said volleyball player Lucy Beattie. 

Leath and Dillard, who was a two-time Conference USA Player of the Year, don’t want their impressive resumes to get in the way of learning.

Two young women kneeling on a basketball court 

“They’re quiet, but it’s better than some of the schools we’ve been in terms of players wanting to learn,” said Dillard, who played at North Texas University and is now an assistant coach at the school.  

“We’re both previous All-Americans. It can be intimidating to make a mistake, but I think they’ll get loud, get more comfortable,” said Leath.

“You’re trying to impress them so you’re trying your best,” said volleyball player Cadence Pierce.  

Whether the guest coaches are teaching new techniques or reinforcing old lessons, the goal is to give the players something to help them improve this season.

“We want to combine what they’re teaching us with what Symons and Rogan are teaching us,” said Barnes.

“We always talk about adding things to the toolbox, some things they can draw upon during the season. Whether it’s a winning culture, technical things, just adding a couple of tools,” Said Leath.

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