July 13, 2011
Each weekday in the month of July, MGoBlue.com will feature an interview with a U-M head coach. On Wednesday (July 13), head volleyball coach Mark Rosen talks about his 2011 group, Camp Michigania and riding around in his 1978 Volkswagen.
What makes the summer in volleyball so unique?
I think that it is interesting how hard the players go in the spring, how they are in such great shape and focused on their game and then it just completely shuts down where they are 100 percent on their own during the summer. I think it is difficult for some of the younger players who might not be self motivated yet, but it is good for some older players to get some down time. I think with our sport being a fall sport, you have to come back from summer and be on your game immediately even though the last three months you have been on your own.
Why are the summer months so important to the development of your team?
It is the time where they have to do it on their own. We can't push them or tell them what to do or challenge them in the gym here. You have to hope they have the self-discipline and the understanding of why it is so important to improve while away. I think, once again, it is easier for the older players and a little harder for the younger players. They go home and disappear for three months, how are they going to be when they come back? We have had really good success in the past with our group always being self-motivated and having strong leaders to keep everyone going during the summer.
What do you see as the team's biggest strength heading into this season?
I think it is the combination of experience and youth. I think we have a really experienced core around a youthful setting position. The setting position is critical, just like the quarterback position in football. It is scary to have someone new in that position after four years of Lexi Zimmerman. But I also think it is awesome because we have such a veteran group around our setter. We have veteran outsides, veteran middle blockers, veteran right sides and a veteran libero. I think we will control the ball well and have a lot of people who know what to do with the ball at the end of the rally. I think that setter position will have a little less pressure on them, which is good because the person needs to get their feet on the ground and get comfortable, whether it is Catherine Yager or Lexi Dannemiller.
What was your first summer job?
I worked at a sign painting shop painting signs. It was the same summer I worked in a veterinary hospital as well. I did x-rays and that was back when x-rays were actually film that had to be developed. I would also clean the kennels and just assist the veterinarian with anything he needed.
Interestingly enough, the sign painting job was the only job I have ever been fired from. I felt really bad, but the owner wanted me to work weekends all the time. I was working every day of the week, and then he would ask me to come in on the weekend. Finally, one weekend, I had plans and could not come into work. We had an argument and he ended up firing me. He tried to get me back in the coming weeks, but that was when I ended up working at the veterinary hospital.
Do you have any special travel plans this summer?
My family and I are going up to Camp Michigania when all of our summer camps are done and before our camp starts in August. It is a great chance to be with family and get away. The vibe up there is what I love the most. It is a cool, educated group up there. It is laid back, the kids can have their independence and we can relax before starting our season.
What is one unique thing you have done since the season ended?
We got our 1978 Volkswagen bug out and running again. It is a great summer car, and Leisa and I have a great time driving it.
Past MGoBlue.com Summer Sessions
Head Men's Soccer Coach Steve Burns (July 12)
Head Women's Cross Country Coach Mike McGuire (July 11)
Head Men's Cross Country Coach Alex Gibby (July 11)
Head Women's Soccer Coach Greg Ryan (July 8)
Head Men's Tennis Coach Bruce Berque (July 7)
Head Men's Track & Field Coach Fred LaPlante (July 6)
Head Water Polo Coach Matt Anderson (July 5)
Head Men's Swimming & Diving Coach Mike Bottom (July 1)