Coach Dawn Redd recalls witnessing the setbacks a high school women’s volleyball team was experiencing due to a troublesome teammate. Though the team was talented, its overall performance depended on its emotionally volatile star player.
“Everyone looked up to her,” said Redd, Beloit College’s head volleyball coach. “When she was up, the whole team was up; but when she was down, the whole team was down.”
To solve that problem, Redd suggested that the coach challenge the star player to be a leader, to reduce her playing time if need be, and to empower the rest of the players.
Over the course of her career, Redd has become all too familiar with the problems that plague female teams and prevent them from success. Thus, she recently compiled her experiences into an e-book called Coach Dawn’s Guide to Motivating Female Athletes. The 56-page guide offers specific steps to increase the competitiveness of female teams, and is available for $10 on her blog, Coach Dawn Writes.
One of the major hurdles Redd addresses is what she calls “girl drama.” While every team is bound to experience conflict, she warns that girl drama, or “cattiness” between team members, can be resolved and is not something that needs to be accepted.
Redd also offers her expertise on her blog, which gets 600 hits a day and is followed by 350 subscribers. Updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, she writes about coaching techniques topics such as “How Sports Make People Smarter” and “3 Things Women Should Do In Order To Be an Effective Leader.”
Up next, Redd plans to spend the summer writing what she describes as a “coach’s manifesto.” Longer than her e-book, this will explore team chemistry and her beliefs about coaching, among other things.
“I love coaching, and I love coaching women,” Redd said. “I believe in the power of sport to teach winning and losing with grace, to inspire its participants to excel, and to create a common goal for the greater good.”
For more information about Redd's blog, watch her talk about it here.
SOURCE: Dawn Redd became the head coach of Beloit College’s Buccaneer Volleyball program prior to the 2007 season. She has led the squad to appearances in the Midwest Conference Tournament every season with Beloit, including earning the #2 seed and advancing to the Championship match in each of the last three seasons. Redd earned MWC Co-Coach of the Year honors in 2008. Previously, Redd served as head volleyball coach for St. John's School in Houston, Texas, and the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. She earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Redd can serve as a media resource on topics related to coaching female teams, volleyball, or her e-book and blog. A full bio is available here.