Bolingbrook volleyball coach Molly DeSerf blanches when one refers to her as a “relentless optimist.”
It’s arduous, although, to remove any totally different impression of her. Especially when witnessing the way in which she relates messages of positivity each along with her college students and the athletes she coaches because the chief of each the girls and boys volleyball packages at Bolingbrook.
“I’m a positive person, I think, but I like to have positive messaging with a side of realness,” DeSerf stated. “I don’t think you can do this job justice unless you are willing to understand what students go through and be there when they need you outside of the stats part of it. I don’t think that I would love the job if I didn’t know the kids for what they are and what they bring to the table.”
DeSerf’s social media feeds are a fixed supply of positive affirmation — not solely for the athletes in her personal packages, however for just about all the things even remotely related to the scholar physique. When the pandemic led to a disconnect between many college students and their faculties, DeSerf got here to a realization about right now’s youth that eluded or escaped some.
“We realized that there was a ton of stuff that had nothing to do with volleyball, that our kids had gone through and are continuing to go through,” DeSerf stated. “As adults, we jumped back into real life and we expected the kids to jump back into it with us. But there was this whole heap of things that they kind of had to figure out on their own.
“Being with the kids is a very humbling experience, and you realize when some things might have been easier, they’ve gone through things that you can’t imagine. To come here every day and have them give what they give is a very humbling thing to get to be a part of.”
Those challenges, and plenty of others, have stored DeSerf’s plate full. But, after all, as an alternative of looking for a solution to ease these burdens, DeSerf went trying for extra.
It all began as what DeSerf categorized as “a joke” with Bolingbrook boys’ basketball coach Rob Brost.
“She had been saying for a better part of the year, maybe longer, ‘When am I going to be a part of the basketball staff? What’s the deal,’” Brost stated. “And while it started as sort of a joke, but I’d observed what she’d done with the volleyball program on both sides of them, and what she’s been able to do with them from a leadership standpoint. I see the interactions she has with our student athletes and I see the day-to-day interactions that she has with our students.”
DeSerf was adamant from the get-go that she wasn’t fascinated by studying the X’s and O’s of the sport of basketball, and Brost was pleased to permit her to carve out a function in his program in no matter manner she noticed match.
“Her purpose was to take stuff off my plate, and from the second she joined our staff, that’s exactly what she did,” Brost stated. “It started off as a ha, ha, funny, funny thing, but it turned into something moving forward that can probably be used in multiple schools and multiple places.”
DeSerf readily admits she in all probability can’t establish a zone lure. But for her, and for that matter, it was by no means about that. It was a possibility to be taught issues outdoors of her personal consolation zone and perhaps a few issues that she might apply to her personal program.
“For me it was a twofold thing. I wanted an opportunity to not be in charge and to learn from other coaches in a different sport, in particular,” DeSerf stated. “And it was just a reminder of all the things that go on, those kids are new (DeSerf works with freshman basketball players at Bolingbrook) and great and that they are figuring out priorities.”
Brost indicated that DeSerf is a large a part of ensuring that these priorities being developed are the fitting ones.
“We put her in charge of the freshmen. This is the first year we did not have one student athlete with a grade below a C at any time in any class this whole semester,” Brost stated. “I give some of that credit to our freshman coaches, but I give most of it to her. Throughout the entire program she has been invaluable, she downplays with the whole ‘I don’t know anything about basketball,’ but she really underestimates her value to our program.”
And she’s taking again some classes to her volleyball program as effectively.
“The basketball mentality is something we’ve tried to bring into our program,” DeSerf stated. “If we can combine the fluidity of our sport with this gritty, mental fight and battle-it-out mentality that basketball sometimes brings.
“They coach heart, and I think that’s a great thing and finding a way to fit it in with our thing.”
And whereas DeSerf is fast to downplay precisely what she added to the combination, Brost won’t let her off the hook so simply. DeSerf indicated that this was a one-year “experiment,” Brost isn’t more likely to adjust to that preliminary situation.
“She sees what other people cannot see, not only within our student athletes, but within our school and within our teaching climate.” Brost stated. “There’s a lot of things you could certainly be negative about, especially with COVID and all that, but that never hits her radar, but in a good way. She’s not in Never Never Land, she deals with issues that need to be dealt with, but she does it with relentless positivity and it’s really unmatched. She’s constantly looking ahead and looking for solutions for things.”
DeSerf does apply that relentless nature into her personal program, nevertheless it doesn’t come delivered in an over-aggressive manner and is packaged so errors aren’t dwelled on however used as alternatives to enhance. It’s one small piece of what DeSerf hopes scholar athletes take away from the expertise of enjoying in packages she leads.
“I think what I hope they take from our program is … how to work with people maybe you don’t get along with,” DeSerf stated. “I think what we talk a lot about is being a good teammate, and if you are a good teammate, all of that other stuff just follows.”
Brost admits that he can’t even quantify the worth DeSerf brings to numerous ranges and areas of the varsity district.
“I can’t say enough about what she means to our program, and I’ll echo that with what she means to our school,” Brost stated. “The care that she has for every student athlete that’s under her charge, whether it’s a boys basketball player, a volleyball player on the boys’ or girls’ side, the care that she has for those kids is unmatched. I can’t really explain it, you almost need to be in it to understand the extent that it goes.
“She really shows kids that they are capable of so much more than they think is possible. And she understands where they are coming from, and she understands and knows them to the point that she knows what they are going through. She’s empathetic but still has the expectations that they can do it.”
And to the purpose of whether or not Brost will abide to the one-year time period of DeSerf’s apprenticeship on his teaching workers?
“Yeah, that’s not stopping,” Brost stated with a giggle. “We are lucky to have her, and I hope we have her at our place forever, just for the benefit of our student athletes.”