My coaching philosophy is derived from the understanding that athletes at all levels perform best in a positive and competitive environment, with a focus on refining their skills and educating each athlete on the fundamentals and micro aspects of each position, body movement, and the “why” behind each volleyball movement. Statistics are a driving force in my coaching decisions and have proven to set my teams apart for others.
I strive to show each athlete the importance of how teamwork coupled with commitment and hard work, will lead to the development of a well-rounded player. I truly feel that a coach’s passion and excitement for volleyball is infectious and aids in elevating their team to the next level. My goal is to ensure that each athlete leaves with deeper love, understanding, and respect for volleyball.
Best Volleyball Moment: It’s hard to pick one. My favorite volleyball moments are when it “clicks” for the athletes. There’s a moment when all the coaching and reps pay off and it typically happens in one moment one hit, one set, one read; the game slows down and they get it. I live for those moments!
Favorite Movie: Love and basketball
Coaching Philosophy: I believe in keeping practices fun and getting feedback from the players. At the end of practices, I ask my players what they liked and if there was anything that they didn’t enjoy. The drills they like I continue to work in. Those that they didn’t enjoy, I look for other drills to replace with. This gives the players some stake in their growth. I also try to work in a game, even a short one, between drills. Some players will enjoy drill after drill, but I think most participate in sports for fun. So, games/challenges can help to practice what the drills teach in a fun way.
Best Volleyball Moment: Watching my daughters play in their first game/tournament and playing my first game/tournament with my daughter this year.
My Life in Sports: – When in school, I played whatever sport was in season: soccer, basketball, baseball, and I ran track. It wasn’t until after college that I got hooked on volleyball (although I still play basketball and an occasional soccer match). I continue to play in various leagues between North Wilmington and Newark, as well as various tournaments throughout the year.
When I’m not coaching volleyball… I lead an application support team and an analytical reporting team in Wilmington for a global P&C insurance carrier.
Favorite subject in school: Math and Science (physics/chemistry, not biology though)
Last Book I Read: Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson
Favorite Movie: National Treasure
Favorite Quote: “I have not failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A Edison
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Russ Rose, I’ve always been a PSU fan and I’ve been impressed with his career since I began playing volleyball. I actually got to meet him this summer at a coach’s clinic.
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: In high school, along with all the sports, I played the drums in our marching and concert bands.
My coaching philosophy: To create a competitive environment that allows each player to improve physically and mentally. I focus on improving not only a player’s technical skills but their mental skills as well, making them smarter and more strategic players. Most importantly, volleyball is a fun game and players learn so many important skills that can be used on and off the court!
Best Volleyball Moment: Winning a state championship in High School or when I was playing for Delaware Juniors and we won against a 15u team from Virginia where every player was at least 5’10, and the tallest player on my team was about 5’6!
My life in sports: I started playing volleyball in 4th grade because it was one of two sports offered at my elementary school and I fell in love with the game immediately. I played all through middle and high school and started coaching to share my love of the game with others!
When I’m not coaching volleyball: I’m a full-time student at Towson University studying Information Systems, and I also enjoy reading, hiking, and traveling in my free time.
Favorite Subject in School: Psychology or Human Geography
Favorite Book: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Favorite Movie: Hidden Figures or Elf
Favorite Quote: “Do more of what makes you happy”
Person I’d like to have dinner with: My grandfather
Something you probably don’t know about me: I have a goal to visit all of the US National Parks, and I’ve been to 6 of the 62 parks so far! Ask me anytime about any of my adventures, I have some pretty cool pictures!
Coaching Philosophy: My coaching philosophy is that with encouragement, constructive criticism, and ample amounts of playing within a competitive environment will lead to a dedicated disciplined work ethic both on and off the court. I coach with a technical and disciplined mindset but also love to jump in a play with the players. I want players to learn a new skill each time they step into the gym so that they have the confidence to take on any task, both on and off the court.
Best Volleyball Moment: Playing Collegiate volleyball was a great accomplishment of mine, as well as winning the Centennial Conference in 2015 alongside of my teammates from McDaniel College.
My Life in Sports: I started playing volleyball in 4th grade and fell in love immediately. I played throughout high school at A.I Dupont and then onto college at McDaniel College, where I played all four years. I love to compete and have fun while doing so, playing volleyball for me has combined those two characteristics perfectly for me.
When I’m not coaching volleyball- When I’m not coaching volleyball, you’ll find me watching volleyball and enjoying the outdoors, hiking and boating with family and friends.
Favorite subject in school: History, Spanish, and Sociology
Last Book I Read: Last book I read was Becoming by Michelle Obama
Favorite Movie: Any classic Disney movie and/or Dirty Dancing
Favorite Quote: “She believed she could, so she did.”
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: I would love to have dinner with Jennifer Lawrence, she’s hilarious. I love her so much!
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: Ask me about living in another country, I moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and loved every minute of it!
Coaching Philosophy: I believe that athletes perform best, at any level, when learning in a positive environment at a competitive-appropriate level. I coach with a combination of truthful, specific praise and constructive criticism with high expectations of a dedicated work ethic. I believe positive reinforcement opens an athlete to hear and heed the necessary corrections that will lead to the development of a well-rounded athlete and competitive teammate. I coach technical skill AND mindset. Practices should be fun and focused, while allowing athletes to work outside their comfort zone and make mistakes. My hope is that those I coach leave with a deeper love and understanding of the sport, and skills that translate both on the court and in life.
Best Volleyball Moment: Coaching a team that placed 2nd in the American Division of NEQ, and also when a former player became a high school coach
My Life in Sports: I have experienced volleyball from every angle over the past 30 years: coach, official, statistician, player, and parent. I have a passion for the sport! I love to compete! From a very young age, I always felt the call to “beat the boys” at whatever sport was being played. Girls organized sports became available to me in middle school. This is when I joined the volleyball team and fell in love with this fast, dynamic sport!
When I’m not coaching volleyball… I’m watching volleyball! LOL! I also have a full time career managing a Global Customer Care group. I love spending time with my family and enjoy quiet time on my patio overlooking the water.
Favorite subject in school: P.E. Class and Philosophy
Favorite Book or Last Book I Read: Most Recent: Wolfpack by Abby Wambach Favorite: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Favorite Movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding – hilarious!
Favorite Quote: “Judgement is the denial of oneness” – a meme I came across
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Sarah Thomas, first female NFL Referee I would love to hear her story!
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: Ask me about my childhood in the Black Hills of South Dakota!
Coaching Philosophy: My coaching philosophy is to create an environment in which players can learn and grow. I want to help players understand why we teach them to play a certain way. I think that players play at their best when they understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. By developing their “volleyball IQ,” players gain the ability to make game-time decisions that characterize smart volleyball players.
Best Volleyball Moment: Placing 3rd in the National division at USAV Nationals with the 17-Granite team, during the first year of ECP-Delaware.
My Life in Sports: I started playing volleyball when I was in the fourth grade. I played club for 9 years at many different clubs in Delaware, and played varsity all four years in high school at Padua Academy. I played at ECP-Delaware during its debut season my 17s year and again for my 18s year. I now play D2 volleyball at Jefferson University.
When I’m not Coaching Volleyball… I’m a student-athlete at Jefferson University in Philadelphia studying biochemistry and playing D2 volleyball.
Favorite Subject in School: Chemistry
Favorite Book: The Shining
Favorite Movie: Silence of the Lambs
Favorite Quote: “Great moments are born from great opportunity” – Herb Brooks
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Misha Collins
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: I love to travel, and my goal is to visit every National Park!
Coaching Philosophy: Create an environment where athletes are learning and competing and understand growth is a process. Each member of the team is a valuable contributor to the team’s success, regardless of how prominent some players’ roles may be. Constructive criticism allows for growth in our individual game and strengthens the team. All progress is worth celebrating and should be celebrated. Hard work, feedback, praise joined with fun leads to limitless possibilities on and off the court. These are the things I hope every athlete I coach learn during their journey with me.
Best Volleyball Moment: Knocking a team out of contention for the State’s tournament, after they put “Good Luck at States” in the marquee.
My Life in Sports: I thought I was going to be a gymnast, until I didn’t stop growing…..I was introduced to volleyball in the 8th grade and never looked back. From volleyball player to coach, I love every aspect of the game and enjoying watching the sport continue to grow. I’m competitive by nature, so I have a love for most sports or any competition really.
When I’m Not Coaching Volleyball: I’m coaching volleyball at Jefferson University or organizing outreach opportunities at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County. I have a huge family and I love spending time with them all!! After all I’m everyone’s favorite
Favorite Subject in School: Math (except geometry)
Last Book I Read: The Coldest Winter Ever
Favorite Movie: Adventures in Babysitting or Love and Basketball
Favorite Quote: Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. –Oscar Wilde
Person I’d like to have dinner with: My Grandmother – I miss her!
Something you probably don’t know about me: I cry during most movies, even the comedies
Chris Smith is the Director of East Coast Power Chesapeake.
He helped start East Coast Power Delaware and fielded 10 teams in the inaugural season. Two teams qualified, and both of the teams were head coached by Chris. The 16 Delaware and the 17 Granite team posted excellent results the entire season. 17 granite finished among the best of the best at every tournament they went to, including nationals in which they received the bronze medal for a 3rd place finish in the 17 national division.
The club then expanded with the addition of a branch in D.C. becoming East Coast Power Chesapeake. Prior to this season Chris has qualified 11 teams in 6 seasons including an open bid being Delaware’s first ever open bid recipient as well as a 5th in 13 national division, the highest finish of a Delaware team ever until the 3rd place finish with 17 Granite in 2019.
Chris has coached for Delaware juniors, Brandywine and East Coast Power. Across all three of these clubs his teams have always demonstrated the competitiveness needed to be relevant on the national scale as well as the regional scale.
He has spent two seasons as a Division II college coach where his team went from last place in the conference to making the conference tournament in just two seasons.
He also spent two seasons at Delaware Military Academy leading them to a 32-1 record over 2 seasons and a state title. During that time DMA fielded one of only 12 athletes to ever be named a 3 time Gatorade player of the year in setter Sydney Fulton.
A constant student of the game, Chris has participated in the sport at every level as a coach, player, and official. He’s attended numerous coaching clinics including Gold Medal Squared, Art of coaching and several others.
Coaching Philosophy: This will be my first year as a coach, but learning from prior coaches I believe in repetition and positive reinforcement.
Best Volleyball Moment: Winning ECC’s (East Coast Conference) my sophomore year of college at NYIT.
My Life in Sports: I started playing volleyball my freshman year of high school, which led into club volleyball and then into a collegiate career.
When I’m not coaching volleyball… I work full time as a project engineer at a construction company in Delaware. I work within their design build department; choosing finishes, flooring, etc.
Favorite subject in school: Lunch
Last Book I Read: The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Favorite Movie: The Heat
Favorite Quote: “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Miranda Lambert
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: Ask me about my time in New York City while I was in college.
Coaching Philosophy: My goal with coaching is to help players to better understand the game both physically and mentally. While volleyball is a physically challenging sport with all of the different positions that can be played, I have always believed that it is just as mentally challenging if not more. In practices it is important to develop your skills on the court so that you can perform better in games, but players also have to work to develop their “Volleyball IQ” so that they can make quick mental decisions in pressure moments in games. As coaches I have always believed that it is our goal to provide players with feedback and direction to improve. On top of that, one of my main goals with coaching is to help each player to develop the ability to analyze their own play. For me, this skill was one of the most beneficial skills that I developed as a player and a skill that I think every player wishing to play at a high competitive level should work to gain.
Best Volleyball Moment: In High School, winning 4 State Championships, the 4th one coming my senior year in a game where we lost the first two sets and came back to win in 5. In College, being named a 1st team All American twice.
My Life in Sports: I have been around volleyball for most of my life. My sisters have played since they were young so i was always watching them at tournaments and school. I didn’t start playing until my freshman year of high school, and only tried it because my sisters convinced me to. From there it quickly became my favorite sport and I went on to play all throughout high school and college. After I graduated, I started helping with the team at Ursuline Academy and decided that I wanted to start coaching and helping younger players grow their skills and love for the game.
When I’m not coaching volleyball… I am usually either working as a Software Engineer or hanging out with friends.
Favorite subject in school: Either Discrete Math or Computer Science
Last Book I Read: I Am Pilgrim
Favorite Movie: Any Movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Too many great movies to pick just one.
Favorite Quote: “Find your grandparents or someone of age. Pay some respect for the path that they paved. To life, they were dedicated. Now, that should be celebrated.” -Twenty One Pilots
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Tyler Joseph
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: At some point in my volleyball career, I have played every position except for libero.
Coaching Experience: I am originally from Long Island, New York and I played volleyball through high school. I then played for four years at Marymount University as the Libero. I began coaching during my late high school years and coach in college; local camps and clinics. I officially began coaching club volleyball 3 years ago at different clubs, all working with the 15 and 16 year old age group. And for the last 2 high school seasons, I have coached the JV team at West Potomac High school.
Coaching Philosophy: My number one goal when coaching is to promote the love of the game. I also think it is extremely important to also encourage young women to push themselves to be the best they can be both on and off of the court. I hope to create an environment in practice that allows girls to try new things and make mistakes, to learn how to push themselves, and how to overcome adversity. I spend a lot of time on fundamental skills and enjoy strong competitive game play as well!
Best Volleyball Moment: As a player, I have many memorable moments and experiences but nothing comes close to the feeling I get when coaching and something just clicks for a player. I have a number of instances in my head where a player repeats back to me something I have said 100 times but, you can tell that, for them, it now finally makes sense. Seeing that change in a player and seeing the growth of all of my players is always a great moment.
My Life in Sports: I have always been a “Tomboy” I started playing baseball around 6 years old, playing on a team with all boys and my love of sports grew from there. I went on to play other sports but, fell in love with volleyball the very first time I played in 7th grade. Sports have been an anchor in my life; a source of stress relief and have helped me become the person that I am today. One of my biggest goals as a coach is to have my players have the experience I had with volleyball, to not only grow as an athlete but also grow as a person.
When I’m not coaching volleyball… I work as a pediatric physical therapist helping kids with developmental disabilities reach their goals. When I am not working or coaching, I enjoy putting together 1,000+ piece puzzles and gardening.
Favorite subject in school: Definitely science. I have always been a big science nerd with my favorite topics being human anatomy and kinesiology.
Favorite Book or Last Book I Read: Favorite: “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult. Last Book I Read “Where is the Mango Princess” by Cathy Crimmins
Favorite Movie: Finding Nemo & The Proposal
Favorite Quote: “Just keep swimming” – Dory I like this quote because it is relatable to many scenarios. When it comes to volleyball I find that I repeat “next ball” frequently to myself and to my players for the same reason. There is never a time to just give up and get frustrated to the point of stopping, but sometimes you need to remind yourself it’s okay to make mistakes, I just need to keep trying again and again until I get it right.
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Ellen DeGeneres
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: I earned my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2018, so during the day I am Dr. Cassidie Watson PT, DPT.