After a great four-year career with the Briercrest women’s volleyball team from 2008-2012, where she led Briercrest in service aces her final three seasons and set a Briercrest career service ace record, Carlee (Leclerc) Quiring returned to Briercrest to help coach the team for the 2013-14 season.
Briercrest women’s volleyball coach Nolan Weinmaster reflected on the year with his former captain and outside hitter as his assistant coach, and what the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program meant to the program.
“It has been such a blessing to work with Carlee as a player and now as an assistant coach with our team!” Weinmaster said. “To have someone who cares deeply about our program and each of the girls, and who wants to invest a lot of their time into what we are doing here has been amazing.”
“Receiving the grant from the Female Apprentice Coach Program was an answer to prayer because we were able to benefit so greatly from her being involved as an apprentice coach with our team this season!” Weinmaster continued. “She helped our team to achieve its’ highest ranking during our 17-year history in the ACAC and showed such great care for our players throughout the season. While helping our players grow as athletes and people, she was able to further develop her coaching skills and philosophy as well this year, and take further steps with NCCP certification.”
“Carlee is a highly organized and intentional leader who really models servant leadership by putting others first. She will make a great head coach someday and will be an excellent model of character for the young people she mentors! It is also great for the players on our team to see Carlee involved in coaching now as hopefully it will continue to inspire some of our current players to get involved with coaching when they finish their playing careers. Thanks to the CCAA and Sport Canada for providing this great opportunity for Carlee and our women’s volleyball program here at Briercrest!”
Quiring, a Winnipeg native, answered questions about the program, and her experience at Briercrest.
Q: What did the Apprenticeship program mean to you? How did it assist you?
A: The apprenticeship program meant a lot to me. I was planning on coaching with Nolan regardless of getting accepted into the program or not, but being able to participate in the program meant that I could focus on coaching and putting everything I had into the program and the girls on the team. It allowed me to go to school in Regina working on my education and continue to work in the sport of volleyball, which I love.
Q What did you learn through coaching?
A: I learned so much through coaching. It is different way to look at the game. You look at it more technically, trying to see how to fix something rather than just playing through it. I learned to look at the game through the eyes of a coach rather than the eyes of a player. It is a different role and you interact with the girls in a different way; in a good way, both in volleyball and in their lives.
Q: How did coaching help you with your schooling experience? Were you able to apply the learning to other areas?
A: I am in education so any coaching experience is good experience. I will be able to apply my learning to coaching young ones when they are first starting out. It is a good age to be coaching because they are just learning about volleyball and how it could become a part of their life. I want to be able to share my love for the sport with these young people so they can learn to love it the way that I did.
Q: What was the mentorship process like? What were the biggest take-aways that you learned from Nolan?
A: The mentorship process was awesome. I was able to see what the season looks like from start to finish. I was able to learn about year plans, how to organize and how to plan practices at different points throughout the year. It was wonderful to work with Nolan because he is so knowledgeable in the sport. He was able to teach me how to look at the game in a different way and how to break things down so that we could find where we needed to change something. I think that was the biggest thing I learned from Nolan; how to think and look at the game differently.
Q: What is special about Briercrest? As in, what brought you back to coach after graduation?
A: Briercrest allowed me to play the game I loved for four years while getting a quality education. Briercrest gave me so much and I wanted to give something back. I loved the sport and it was hard for me to let go of playing even though I knew it was time to move on. I wanted to be involved in coaching somehow so that I could keep being involved in the sport. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. Briercrest was the place that I wanted to do this.
Q: How do you feel you grew through the experience?
A: I feel like I was able to grow as a coach in all ways. I did not know very much about coaching volleyball. I knew about playing and what I needed to do while I was playing. I feel like I became a better coach and I learned about how to look at the game differently. I feel like I was able to go up to girls and talk to them about what they were doing with more confidence. I grew from a playing into a coach over the past year.
Q: What was your biggest highlight from this past year?
A: My highlight from this year was the girls finishing 4th in provincials. It was the best the program has ever done and it was amazing to be there with them.
Q: How will you use this experience in the future? Coaching? Apply to other areas of life?
A: I will use this experience to help little ones learn the sport of volleyball. That was my goal all along to learn as much as I could from Nolan so that I could go out and coach little ones about the sport and how they can get involved.
Q: What is your plan for the future? Where are you now? What are you doing?
A: Right now I am about to enter my last year in the education program at University of Regina. I will be interning in a grade one classroom in the fall. In the future I will be an elementary school teacher. At this moment, Cody (my husband) and I will spend the summer in Caronport while he starts full time work and I get ready for my internship!