Mark Kaufman | Head Coach | Women’s Volleyball | Johnson State College

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

Basic skills, of course, are the foundation of a recruit, but they must be paired with a desire to learn more about the sport; its strategies, offense/defense interactions, and overall match progressions. When a recruit has the desire to improve and hone their own skills – and can put that desire in place within a team atmosphere – I have found a true champion.

A new collegiate athlete must exhibit the belief in team and in self, that when coupled with “coachability” becomes more than a strong individual.

Could you give an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

I am fortunate to coach an athlete who took up volleyball last season (basketball and softball were here previous sports) who wanted to learn a new sport that would last beyond college. She was already a strong athlete with good competitive qualities, and she quickly learned the rudiments of volleyball. She gave more than was ever asked – practicing outside of called practices, working on her basic skills, improving her vertical leap, improving her explosive speed and reaction times – and she asked for help often from both team-mates and the coach. She is a starting player this season with good stats at the net and is highly respected as a team leader and motivator by her peers. She shows the best that a collegiate athlete can be, and what they can become.