Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Men’s Olympians Inspiring the Future of Volleyball

Men's Olympians Giving Back to the Game

In the world of sports, retirement doesn’t always mean leaving the game behind entirely. Many athletes find fulfillment in giving back to the sport that has shaped their lives. This holds true for Olympians, who continue to make a difference long after their competitive days are over. In this article, we highlight three men’s volleyball Olympians who are actively involved in coaching and supporting the next generation of athletes.

Riley Salmon: Pursuing His Passion

After an impressive career in volleyball, including a gold medal win at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Riley Salmon found himself seeking a new direction. He pursued a corporate job with Nike and even started his own volleyball club in Houston. However, something was missing. It was during a conversation with his former coach on the U.S. Men’s National Team, Hugh McCutcheon, that Salmon realized his true calling.

Salmon’s passion lies in working with men’s volleyball, and he recently accepted a position as the head men’s volleyball coach at the University of Jamestown. While pursuing his coaching goals, Salmon is currently coaching a boys youth A1 team at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale. His ultimate aspiration is to work with the U.S. Men’s Team, and he understands that this journey will require time and dedication.

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Sean Rooney: Embracing Coaching

For Sean Rooney, a two-time Olympian who won gold in 2008, retiring from the game didn’t mean letting go entirely. Rooney, now 36, found his way back to volleyball through coaching. He started as an assistant for his college coach, Marv Dunphy, at Pepperdine until his family had to move. Rooney’s coaching journey then led him to the Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas, where he coaches for Team Rockstar 16-1 out of Southern California.

Rooney’s love for the game and the opportunity to inspire young athletes are what kept him involved. He witnessed the growth and development of the Junior National Championship over the years and is excited about the future of the sport he holds dear.

Kevin Barnett: A Different Perspective

Kevin Barnett, another two-time Olympian, contributes to the boys volleyball community in a slightly different way. He supports his son Rees and his club team SCVC, which recently claimed victory in the 17 Open Division at the Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas. While watching his son play, Barnett admits that it can be challenging to remain calm and composed.

Barnett believes that boys volleyball benefits from the availability of men’s volleyball on the internet. Young players have access to tournaments like Volleyball Nations League, where they can watch and learn from the National Team athletes. This exposure fuels their enthusiasm and passion for the sport.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Both Rooney and Salmon have found that their players are eager to hear their Olympic stories. They have shared their personal journeys, highlighting the determination and perseverance it took to reach the highest level of competition. These stories serve as a source of inspiration for young athletes who may feel that their dreams are out of reach. Rooney’s non-traditional path to the Olympics, coming from a junior college volleyball background, resonates with many players.

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The involvement of these Olympians in coaching and supporting young athletes demonstrates their commitment to the growth and development of the sport. Their experiences and expertise enhance the quality of training and mentoring available to the next generation of volleyball stars.

FAQs

Q: How did Riley Salmon transition from playing volleyball to coaching?
A: After retiring from volleyball, Riley Salmon explored corporate life and started his own volleyball club. However, he realized his true passion was coaching men’s volleyball and accepted a coaching position at the University of Jamestown.

Q: How did Sean Rooney get into coaching?
A: Sean Rooney started coaching as an assistant for his college coach, Marv Dunphy. He then found his way to the Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas, where he currently coaches for Team Rockstar 16-1.

Q: How does Kevin Barnett contribute to boys volleyball?
A: Kevin Barnett supports his son’s club team, SCVC, and recently witnessed their victory at the Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas. He provides invaluable support and encouragement to his son and the entire team.

Conclusion

Retirement doesn’t mark the end of an athlete’s involvement in their sport. Olympians like Riley Salmon, Sean Rooney, and Kevin Barnett are proof that their passion for volleyball lives on. Through coaching and supporting young athletes, they inspire and nurture the next generation of volleyball stars. Their dedication ensures that the sport continues to thrive and evolve, creating a bright future for boys volleyball. Visit Alpinetgheep to learn more about our commitment to the sport and how we’re making a difference.

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