I have been reading the blogs on the gold medal squared website for a long time now. It is so strange but there is always one that speaks to me at the right moment. As volleyball coaches, I feel like we are always “Iooking for answers.” I remember reading the blog about Arizona State last month with the quote “Don’t cry that it’s over. Smile that it happened” and it couldn’t have been more perfect for me.

I have been a Head Volleyball Coach at Western Nebraska for the last five seasons. We have made it to the semi final match every year and we won the national title in 2010. This past season we were so close but we lost in the final. We had a great season going 40-3 in the year and accomplished so much as a team, but I was so upset about losing that last game that I couldn’t look past it to see the great year we had. Two of our losses came during regular season to North Idaho and Iowa Western.  We ended up beating both of those teams at nationals in the quarter finals and semi finals, respectively, moving on to the final which showed how much we had improved throughout the year. Unfortunately, we did not perform up to our potential in the final and lost in 3. For a while, I kept blaming myself for it. What could I have done differently? Did I not prepare them enough for that moment? How could we work so hard all year, put ourselves in a position to win a national title, and throw all away in the last game? And I was still asking myself so many questions until I read what Jason said in that article. I was then able to stop for a moment and look back at the entire process. We had 8 freshman, 5 returning sophomores, and 1 transfer. We had accomplished so much with such a young team and in such a little period of time. I am so happy we had the opportunity to be in that final. We put ourselves in that situation. We worked our butts off. We got 2% better. Nobody really believed we would get that far and we did. The best thing about it is that we learned so much in the process and we became a family.  Coaching volleyball is hard, but I love it.

I am glad I got to share a little about my experience this past season. I look forward to sharing more about coaching at Western Nebraska and a two year college.

Giovana Melo
Head Coach – Nebraska Western Women’s Volleyball