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Marble Falls Lady Mustang coaches create opportunities for players to improve

A favorite quote often heard in athletic departments is the definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

At Marble Falls High School, two head coaches added two nights of league play to invite encourage athletes to play this summer in order to get repetitions. In short, they are adding opportunities to play their sports to get different results during the school year.

They soccer head coach Abigail Blunt and volleyball head coach Kait Goertz.

Blunt created a 7-on-7 co-ed league on Tuesdays starting at 5 p.m., a first in the Highland Lakes. Teams from Burnet, Lago Vista, Jarrell, and two teams from Florence and from Lampasas compete with Marble Falls at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive. The field in divided is half so two contests are happening at the same time. Each squad must have four girls on the field at all times. After a goal is scored, the team playing defense puts the ball on the 50-yard line and switches to offense.

Goertz switched nights of volleyball play to Wednesdays in June. Beginning at 5 p.m. at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Circle Drive, teams from Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, Llano and Marble Falls high schools play two matches per night and will call one contest.

Marble Falls Independent School District assistant athletics director and girls coordinator John Berkman commended the two coaches for being proactive in developing leagues to give their players more opportunities to improve. And he cautioned that it’s a step toward other important elements of a team’s success where athletes are building rapport, bonding, seeing each other work together, and getting to know one another better.

“It starts with doing things like coach Blunt and coach Goertz,” he said. “I think a lot of it is encouraging summer workouts and making adjustments to help you be better. Their programs are growing as far as soccer and volleyball. That will allow us to be competitive.”

Berkman defines confidence in a number of ways. One is the athlete herself has self-confidence in her ability and talent to play. Usually that comes from logging minutes playing their sport and in workouts and practices that fans aren’t permitted to see. Another form of confidence comes from knowing the coaching staff — specifically the head coach — and seeing that individual is staying to build a program. Because players see that coach every day, they trust the coach’s direction, correction, instruction and praise since the coach knows the athletes’ strengths, what needs to be improved, and the competition. And because they work together daily, players can believe their coaches when they’re told to perform a task they wonder if they can complete. Since coaches know these players, the athletes can trust the coach wouldn’t tell them to do something they aren’t physically able to do.

Goertz will be entering her fourth year, while Blunt will go into her third year.

“Consistency with coaches goes a long way,” Berkman said. “Kids can believe and trust their coaches because they can see the coaches are working hard for them, they believe them when they’re corrected.”

A constant level of turnover in a program with head coaches doesn’t help a program succeed, he noted.

Coaches being present for voluntary strength-and-conditioning workouts from 8-10 a.m. Monday-Thursday also shows their commitment and dedication to the their sport and their players, Berkman said.

By implementing these activities, Berkman believes success will follow.

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