National Coaches Day with Coach Donald

Riley GriffithAthletics, Faculty Spotlight, Spotlight

Coach Meredith Donald

Meet Coach Donald.

St. Luke's: What do you coach?
Coach Meredith Donald: Volleyball

SL:   Why do you coach?
MD:   I coach because I love helping kids become better not just in volleyball but in life. I love the sport and I love teaching lessons through the sport. My coaches were my biggest role models and I wanted to be that to other kids.

SL:   How did you come to be a coach?
MD:   I became a coach my senior year of high school. I was an assistant but fell in love with helping other people learn the game that I loved so much. I realized my senior year of college I could not live without the game and being part of it. I wanted to give back to the sport that gave so much to me. Volleyball taught me about life. It felt great to be part of something that was bigger than myself.

SL:   What is your coaching philosophy?
MD:   I want to develop every player as a whole. My desire is for them to not only be the best player they can be but the best person they can be. I want my players to learn how to work with others and work toward a common goal and make good decisions. Little things matter, being disciplined not only applies on the court but off the court.

SL:   What is a typical week like for one of your athletes during the season?
MD:   A typical week for my athletes during the season demands a lot of their time. We are usually always on campus at 6:00 a.m. On game days we do yoga or some type of stretching. Other days we are running or working out at 6:00 a.m. also. After school if we do not have a game we practice until 5:00. That is everyday except for Friday, we get here around 6:00 a.m. to run for the week. For every ball we do not give effort to, we run a lap around the track.

SL:   What expectations do you have of your players?
MD:   I have very high expectations for my players. My players turn in grade sheets to me every other Friday. They attend study sessions or get a tutor until the grade is up to a C or higher. On game days we wear chapel apparel to the game. We have to look the best to play the best. We always follow school rules. The whole team runs when someone gets in trouble because our actions always affect someone else. They run what is called Cecile's (I will let them tell you about those). We are always 15 minutes early to any commitment. Being on time is very important in life. If you miss practice or workouts you do not play in the game. If you miss practice or a workout you do not play until it is made up. We do not cheat reps... ever... if you do you will be kicked out immediately. Lastly, we always respect each other. We are one big family that loves volleyball.

SL:   What do you consider "successful" in terms of coaching?
MD:   A successful season is not defined by wins and losses. It is defined by developing the player as a whole. When players leave your program are they a better person? My goal is to help them leave prepared for life. I want my players to learn to make good decisions and learn from their mistakes so in life they think about others not just themselves. I want them to learn to work hard at everything they do and to never give up. If they have that mentality in life they will be successful at anything they want to do.

SL:   Why do you enjoy coaching athletes at St. Luke's?
MD:   I enjoy coaching at St. Luke’s because I love kids. My girls make my bad days good and my good days even better.

SL:   What do you do in your spare time when you are not coaching?
MD:   When I am not coaching I love working out and playing golf. Most of all I enjoy time with my family.

Thanks Coach Donald  for helping St. Luke's celebrate National Coaches Day!