Finn Wilkins '23

Coach Smith during a timeout vs. Millbrook

What is your background in volleyball?
My experience with volleyball began in the 7th grade when a good friend of mine asked me to try out for the volleyball team with him. I didn't really have any interest in it but told him I would give it a shot if he wanted me to. Lo and behold, I fell in love with the sport. I played six years of high school volleyball, one year on a club/travel team, and was fortunate enough to play four years of varsity volleyball in college. Even though my days of playing competitively are over, I am blessed to remain involved in the sport through coaching, thanks to Berkshire. 

What is the most difficult part of coaching volleyball and how do you overcome those challenges? 

Coaching is vastly different from playing, and I'd say the hardest part about coaching is coping with the fact that you no longer directly impact the game, outside of creating starting lineups, making substitutions, and calling timeouts. Ultimately, the players are the ones in the arena. How does one cope with this reality? I cope by trying to instill in my players the love for the game that I possess. If you don't love what you're doing, you won't work as hard at it, and you won't grow and improve nearly as much as someone who does love what they're doing. I do my best to teach the game of volleyball in a fun and inclusive way to develop that love and passion for the sport.

What do you look for when recruiting possible Bears? 
For this system to work at its highest efficiency, I need players that buy into this culture. When recruiting new Bears, I'm looking for student-athletes who share that love for the game (or are open to trying it!), ones that know how to work together with their teammates, and are coachable and receptive to feedback. I want players who want to get better and are committed to working as hard as they can to improve. If you love the game, can put the team before yourself, and are committed to consistently working hard, then I've got a roster spot for you.

See below for a gallery of photos by Finn Wilkins '23.