2017-11-30 / Sports


Rachel Wallin Rachel Wallin Coach’s Corner features area coaches from various teams to get their perspective on coaching, the rewards, the challenges, their goals, and the benefits of team sports for student-athletes. This week we feature Rachel Wallin, Mackinaw City Comets volleyball coach.

How many years have you coached, and what is your coaching background?

This is my seventh year coaching volleyball for Mackinaw City. I previously coached the Mackinaw City junior varsity volleyball team for three years and the varsity volleyball for three years from 2007 to 2013. I stepped away from coaching after the 2013 season. This year, I was rehired as the varsity coach.

I have been a part of Mackinaw City sports for awhile now. When my father, Paul Wallin, was the girls varsity basketball coach, I was the assistant coach for his last few years in the position. I also coached the Mackinaw City girls varsity Softball team for two years.

What got you into coaching?

I have always loved sports. I played basketball, volleyball, and softball for Mackinaw City when I was a student. Coaching was a way for me to stay connected to the sports I loved. When the opportunity to coach appeared, I went for it.

What is your coaching philosophy/ goals?

My coaching philosophy is that playing sports builds confidence, positive relationships, and gives the players a sense of accomplishment. I want my players to play for the challenge and for the love of the game. I want them to be motivated and I want them to learn to be a team player. Most importantly, I want my athletes to have fun.

What are some of the more rewarding aspects of coaching?

The most rewarding aspect of coaching for me is when I see my players having fun out on the court, even while they are playing an intense game and giving it their all. Those nail-biting games that keep both coaches on their toes is what I coach for. I also enjoy getting to know each of my players and watching them grow as athletes from the beginning of the season to the end.

What is one of the more difficult aspects of being a coach?

For me, the most difficult aspect of coaching has been getting my younger players on the court into a game so that they can have a positive experience. I don’t have a junior varsity team, so I have eighth and ninth graders who are working hard in practices but since this is a varsity team they do not get a lot of court time. If I had a JV team, they would be learning the fundamentals of volleyball while playing against players who have their same skill set.

What advice would you give to new coaches or those wanting to coach?

You have to be committed to coaching and to your team. A lot of your time will go into planning practices, getting to know your team, and preparing for games. There will be nights where you don’t get home until after 10 p.m. There will be nights when your team wins and there will be nights when your team fights a good fight but ends up with a loss. The time you spend coaching is worth it. It is one of the most exciting and rewarding jobs out there.

Who are some of your coaching influences?

The two important coaching influences for me are my father, Paul Wallin, and my grandfather, Glenn Crisp. Both of these men were my coaches at different points in my athletic career. My grandpa was my first coach when I played Little League baseball and I grew up watching my dad coach girls basketball for Mackinaw City. I remember being his team’s water girl and dreaming about the day that I was going to be able to play for him. These men pushed me to always give it my all. I grew to love competition. The teamwork skills and dedication that they taught me are still important in my current life. Now that I am a coach, I hope that I am doing the same for my players.

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