Ask Assistant Coach Kim Oden

Nov. 30, 2000

Hi Kim! I was just wondering what the road trips are like. Are they stressful, or are they kind of fun? Do they get kind of hectic? Like, have you guys ever missed a plane? Do you usually leave in the mornings or at night and let them go to class during the day? Thanks for your time and congratulations on a great season!!! I can't wait for next season!

Thank you for your question about our road trips. The answer is that our road trips are fun, stressful, hectic and sometimes tiring. Over the course of a season, we usually get to travel to at least one location that we haven't been before. There we are afforded the opportunity to see new sites and meet new people, which is fun. During Pac-10 travel, we get to see familiar places and old friends, which is also fun. Road trips are stressful because the point of the road trip is competition and victory, which creates a certain amount of stress for student-athletes and coaches. Road trips are hectic because a typical day may entail going from the hotel to team practice, back to the hotel, to team meals and back to the hotel, then on to a room for film meetings. Also, the student-athletes must get homework done and sometimes they must fax or email their assignments back to professors by the specified deadline. Finally, road trips are tiring because after playing a match until 9:00 or 9:30 p.m., getting out of the gym at 10:00 p.m., grabbing something to eat, getting the necessary physical therapy, and packing up everything, we are tired. Add to that that half of our flights this season have left at 6:00 a.m. or 7:00 a.m. and that also contributes to the tiredness. One reason we leave early is to get the student-athletes back to campus as soon as possible after competition so that they can get to the libraries and computer labs. Denise Corlett, the head coach, is very committed to missing as few days of school as possible and she plans our travel accordingly.

Eugene Chen (Washington, D.C.)
I've been watching Stanford volleyball for several years now, and I think this is one of the worst seasons they've had in a long time. How much did Logan Tom's absence in the beginning of the season affect the composition of the team overall? And how long do you think it'll take before this team develops back into a real powerhouse?

Al Kirkland (San Diego, CA)
What was the main problem this year? I think that the team lost more games this year than the total for the past four. Are the other teams just getting better, following Stanford's lead in recruiting and opportunities? The recruits seem to be the best, and I'm sure that next year will be a banner year again. Still have a chance to go all the way this year, as the playoffs were made. Now just to win about six in a row and there will be another banner at Maples. Good Luck.

(Kim's answer to both questions) I hear in both of your questions an expectation of excellence when you watch Stanford Volleyball. I believe that is a great achievement for the student-athletes, coaching staff and administration, all of whom have worked very hard to build this program into one of the premier women's volleyball programs in the nation. I take issue with your statement that this year we are not a 'real' powerhouse, because I believe we still are. We were ranked #1 in the nation in a pre-season poll, one of our student-athletes was a starter on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team in Sydney and she has come back to play on our team and played well, in November, two of our student-athletes were awarded All-Pac-10 honors and one of our freshmen was chosen on the All-Freshman Pac-10 team, we made the NCAA Division I playoffs for the 20th year in a row. There are not too many programs in the United States that can say that. True, we have lost more matches this season than we or our fans are used to, but sometimes in sports it works that way.

The addition of Logan Tom a third of the way through the season really boosted the level of play in our gym. She is a special player with a lot of talent, and I expect her to get better in the future.

Al, you're right, we still do have a chance to go all the way, and we will give it our best shot.

Brandon Young
I was just wondering what are the ankle braces that the women are wearing now? I know the preference was towards the Active Ankle, but now I see there are more of the other kind on their ankles. They look more comfortable. Good luck in Santa Barbara.

Our student-athletes wear ankle braces made by a variety of companies. What you see them wearing are determined by their personal preference for fit and comfort.

Kevin Fredricks (San Mateo, CA)
How much advice were you able to give to Logan Tom concerning the Olympics and do you still have a role with the National team? Good luck in the NCAA Tourney!

Thanks for your question. I did not know Logan personally until this season at Stanford. I, like every other coach in the United States, watched her play during her high school career. I really enjoyed watching the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team compete hard and exceed everyone's expectations in their performance at the Olympic Tournament. As for my role with the National Team now, I am a board member of USA Volleyball and through that I have some contact with the current team. I have and always will keep in touch with the program and support it any way that is helpful.

Ingrid Newland (San Francisco, CA)
Kim, I know it hasn't been that long since you played collegiatelyJ, but how much has the game changed since your graduation and are you in favor of going to international scoring? Thanks and hope to see you in Richmond where we belong!

Thank you for your question and for implying that I'm really not that oldJ! The game of volleyball has changed a lot since I was in college. One way it has changed is that when I was in college very few if any collegiate teams ran the 'slide' or one-footed takeoff play. Now, 95% of collegiate teams at all levels (Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA) run the 'slide'. Another way that it has changed is that the current student-athletes are taller and more athletic than the student-athletes in my day and there are more of them playing.

To answer your other question, yes I am in favor of international scoring. At this time, junior club volleyball uses the rally score format as does the National Team in its worldwide competitions. The collegiate level is the last level to employ rally scoring. I believe uniformity at all three levels would decrease confusion among spectators and provide a consistent format for players to use.

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