Side Out w/the Ladies: Coach Jon Stenman
Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

     I have always embraced challenges whether in my personal life or in my professional career.  In high school, I challenged myself to learn the game of volleyball as a junior.  By mid-season, I was a starter.  After high school, I decided to join the military and thought the only way to do that was to go the most challenging way. Hence, I joined the Marines and was meritoriously promoted out of boot camp.  Next came college.  I hadn't done so well my first semester before the military, so I challenged myself to do better.  Six years and grade point averages of 3.9 and 3.7 respectively and I had not only a bachelors degree, but a Masters as well.

     There have been challenges in my professional life as well.  As a Marine accountant, I was faced with the challenge of 250 pages of erroneous liquidations against most of the Pacific Marine forces.  In one years time, eleven million dollars were saved and I was awarded the Naval Achievement Medal.  As a young assistant coach, I tackled being a full time student along with coaching duties.  Not only did I graduate Summa Cum Laude, but the volleyball team recorded its highest winning percentage for any four year span in school history.

      Challenges have shaped who I am, but what exactly is a challenge?  Miriam Webster's dictionary defines a challenge as "a summons that is often threatening, provocative, stimulating, or inciting".  That is precisely what myself and the Ladies Volleyball team faces this year. We are presented with a unique situation where we find ourselves with few returners from last year's team, but with a new coach, a few new freshmen, and some familiar faces returning to the Gold Dome. This smorgasbord talent, ability, intelligence and drive will take the court this year as we complete our Division I obligations.

     To an outsider this looks like a pretty large challenge, but this (like most things in life) depends on one's perspective.  If you read further down the definition lines from Webster's, you find this definition: "a stimulating task or problem".   This is how I plan on approaching my first and only year in the Summit League and DI.  Just because a situation may be difficult, does not mean it is not an inviting, or stimulating situation.  After facing and thriving in other challenges in my past, the only question that remains is "If I have successfully guided myself and others through the past challenges, why not this one?"  Why not indeed.......

-Coach Jon Stenman