EDMONTON, Alta. – The NAIT Ooks women's volleyball team took part in the Female Apprentice Coach Program this year put on by the CCAA. Former NAIT Ooks Taylor Card apprenticed under her mentor and NAIT Ooks head coach Benj Heinrichs throughout the course of the 2018-2019 season.
After playing for the Ooks for three seasons, Taylor made the jump to behind the bench and found out that there are some big differences.
"I enjoyed learning how the other side of volleyball works the most. It is a whole new experience being on the coaching side of things and there is so much to learn that you don't think about as a player," said Card. "One of the key things I learned was knowing and making the right decisions is hard. It's difficult to be okay with decisions even though you know it is what is right for the team."
Taylor acknowledges that she impacted the team as much as the team impacted her.
"I think that every player should get to experience the game from a coaching perspective. There is a lot of knowledge to gain that will benefit players in the long run. I feel that having been fresh off the court, I could give specific feedback from my experiences. I focused a lot on the middle blockers. Having been a middle, it allowed me to learn more about the position and use my skills and knowledge to give better feedback to the players."
"Taylor did an outstanding job for us as a Female Apprentice Coach this year. She was involved in all aspects of the program and helped us get better every day," said Heinrichs. "Taylor' greatest impact was working with our middles in all phases of the game and also providing tremendous support for our student-athletes. She's a great leader, and I look forward to having her continue coaching with us in the future."