Student Spotlight: Luke Pfeiffer – Learning to Coach

Luke PfeifferLuke Pfeiffer is a UC Santa Cruz student studying abroad at the University of Leeds. Since arriving in England in January, Luke has had a fun time going on weekend trips, getting to know Leeds and taking part in its active social scene, and becoming involved in his Host University’s sports teams. Luke not only joined the University of Leeds’ football team, but he also coaches the school’s intermediate volleyball team.

I started coaching because of my friend. He plays on the team as a casual, fun, and easy leisurely activity, and their team needed a coach.  I’ve played competitive volleyball (and soccer) for years, and because I love the competition, I’ve added to it by entering tournaments: Beach 2v2’s, grass 4v4’s, indoor 6v6’s, etc.  However, I recently had knee surgery because of a soccer incident, so I can’t actually play for the Leeds University Volleyball Team.  (When I train with the Leeds Soccer Team, I do minimal activities because of the fragility of my knee).  So since I can’t play, my friend suggested that I coach.  I decided to accept this offer because I love sports, I wanted something else to do to enhance my experience besides going to class, and I’ve always had an eagerness to be a coach. 

I’ve always had coaches, but I’ve never gotten the opportunity to use my knowledge to help others. Luke back I thought this would be an interesting, fun, and interactive way to try it out.  Turns out, it’s loads of fun!  I’ve run about 6 training sessions so far and coached about 3 games.  Personally, I think I’ve helped a lot of the members of the Leeds Volleyball Club in developing their skills, making them better volleyball players.  I’ve seen the improvement, whether it be from the beginning to the end of a practice, or over a longer period of training and games.  It’s always such a good feeling to see someone finally be able to hit over the net or pass a ball to the setter, knowing that I’ve helped them accomplish that.  

This has had a tremendous impact on my experience here at Leeds University. Not only have I broadened my horizons and extended my group of friends, but I’ve also acquired teaching and coaching skills that, honestly, I can use going forward in my life.  The greatest part about coaching the Leeds Volleyball Team is that I feel like I’ve helped and improved a big group of students with my own leadership and expertise.