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Volleyball - Girls
The Hawai'i Preparatory Academy volleyball program has consistently enjoyed success under a coaching staff with national and international experience.
Volleyball is a fun, fast-moving team sport that offers a student athlete an opportunity for personal growth and lifelong friendships. Practices are diverse and dynamic to challenge the player's physical, mental, and emotional capabilities. Achieving control and balance is the foundation for a team's success and good team chemistry can make the experience magical.
In the fast-paced action of a volleyball match, the ability to focus allows players to shake it off after losing a point or serve. Since all players make mistakes, it is essential, Head Coach Peterson says, that "players learn how to get up and go forward."
Attending practice of a Peterson-coached team is almost as much fun as cheering the team on during a match. During practice, the bursts of silence between plays is as intense as the set for a spike,as graceful as the arc of a subtle return that slips in for a point. Serve, dig, set, hit, score. As the players move in well-rehearsed synchrony, the game flows. It is a joy to watch.
And that's a big reason why Peterson coaches.
"I love to watch the blossoming of players, teaching them how to work as a team," Peterson says. There's a Zen-master approach to her coaching that has parallels in professional sports. Peterson says she loves "watching the players learn how to be in the 'here and now.'"
"It's much like the game of life," Peterson says.
Few coaches in the history of Hawai'i Preparatory Academy (HPA) athletics bring as much experience to the game as girls volleyball coach Sharon Peterson. The Ka Makani are perennial contenders in league and state competition. Yet, not all the players on the team walk on with tons of experience.
Peterson has proven she knows how to bring out the best in all levels of her athletes. A two-time Olympic Games competitor, and seven-time All-America player for the United States Volleyball Association, Peterson racked up more than 500 career victories and seven National Championships as a college coach prior to joining HPA's athletic program in 2003.
Her deep, high-powered experience gives Peterson an edge in leading her players to levels of teamwork that often is as surprising to experienced players as it is to newcomers.
Peterson's approach to conditioning and practice might focus on mastering the fundamental techniques of volleyball. Yet throughout, there also is an emphasis on balance of another level.
"The mental part of the game requires being able to focus, to be emotionally in control," Peterson says.