Monday, 27 May 2024

Banwarth’s Training Expands in Unique Coaching Role

Kayla Banwarth, the starting U.S. Women’s National Team libero, has found a unique way to improve her volleyball skills during the offseason. Unlike her teammates who have overseas contracts, Banwarth elected to stay in Southern California for the second consecutive season to train at the American Sports Centers.

By training in California, Banwarth has been able to get the same quality reps as if she were overseas. While her training schedule is not as busy, she makes the most of her time on the court and in the weight room. The rest of her day is free, allowing her to explore other opportunities.

In a rather unexpected turn of events, Banwarth began her coaching career as a volunteer for the Pepperdine men’s team. This unique situation arose from a conversation with Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball Assistant Coach David Hunt, who recognized her potential as a coach. Banwarth’s dedication and willingness to learn have made her a valuable addition to the Pepperdine coaching staff.

As a libero, Banwarth primarily works with the passers and defense, tracking the opponents’ servers during matches. However, transitioning from the women’s game to the men’s game has presented its own set of challenges. Banwarth has had to adapt to the differences in playstyle and learn more about how the men approach the game.

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Banwarth’s dual role as a player training for the Olympics and a coach for the Pepperdine men’s team has been demanding, requiring her to commute long hours between Anaheim and Malibu. Despite the challenges, she believes that coaching has given her new perspectives on her own game and has made her more mindful of her playing style.

Looking to the future, Banwarth is interested in pursuing coaching after her playing career is over. She values the opportunity to learn from coaching legend Marv Dunphy while continuing to improve her skills on and off the court.

In summary, Banwarth’s decision to train locally and take on a coaching role has been a valuable experience for her. It has allowed her to continue her development as a player and gain insights into coaching at the collegiate level. Her dedication and commitment to both roles have not gone unnoticed by the coaching staff at Pepperdine, who admire her work ethic and passion for the sport.


Q: What made Kayla Banwarth choose to stay in California for offseason training?
A: Kayla Banwarth elected to stay in Southern California to train at the American Sports Centers, where the U.S. Women’s National Team also trains. She found that staying in California during the winter provided her with the same quality training as overseas without the busy schedule.

Q: How did Kayla Banwarth get involved with coaching the Pepperdine men’s team?
A: Kayla Banwarth approached Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball Assistant Coach David Hunt with the idea of volunteering as an assistant coach. Recognizing her potential, Hunt connected her with head coach Marv Dunphy, who welcomed her to the coaching staff.

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Q: What challenges did Kayla Banwarth face transitioning from the women’s game to the men’s game?
A: Kayla Banwarth had to adapt her coaching approach to the differences in playstyle between men’s and women’s volleyball. She had to learn how the men play the game, including techniques such as standing shallow in the court and utilizing quick/bic plays.


Kayla Banwarth, a key player for the U.S. Women’s National Team, has chosen to train locally in California and simultaneously volunteer as a coach for the Pepperdine men’s team. This unique approach allows her to receive quality training while exploring her passion for coaching. Despite the challenges of juggling her training schedule and commuting, Banwarth’s dedication and commitment have earned her the admiration of the coaching staff. Her experiences as both a player and coach have provided valuable insights that will contribute to her growth in the sport.