Osage volleyball coach Andie Olson has a variety of off-the-court activities that aid her players’ on-the-court production. Olson, who has coached the Green Devils’ volleyball team for most of the past 17 seasons, implements a series of team-building activities that she believes enhances team chemistry, which translates to a more cohesive and cooperative unit on the court.
“I could see the impact that it was having on the kids,” Olson said. “They were buying in a lot more.”
Olson has introduced these activities to her teams for most of the past decade, but she began putting a greater emphasis on them about six years ago. What started out as spaghetti meals has evolved into much more.
At the start of each season, the Green Devils volleyball players, including the freshman and JV teams, camp at Cedar Springs Camp & Retreat. Other times, they’d pitch tents outside at Olson’s house.
Progressive meals are another team-favorite. The girls will go to one player’s house for an appetizer before heading to another house for salad. From there, they would go to another house for a main dish and a final house for dessert.
Olson will also implement activities depending on what’s happening on the court. For instance, if players are struggling to keep the ball off the ground, the Green Devils will engage in activities that help build trust. If they’re not talking enough on the court, they’ll put an emphasis on communication.
"They are literally connected, and it shows," Olson said "And we talk about the off-court stuff and how it translates to on (the court). You can look to your left, you can look to your right, you can look across from you; those are your best friends. They truly believe that, they really do.”