VBN Weekly Blog

June 24th

Q&A With Matthew McCarthy

Matthew McCarthy is an Assistant Coach for the Men's Volleyball Program at Lewis University. The 2015 NCAA National Assistant Coach of the Year, McCarthy is also one of the top sand volleyball players in the Midwest. I sat down with Matt to learn a little bit about his experiences as a player/coach.

How long have you been playing sand volleyball?
MM: I started playing sand 10 years ago. The last three years I've traveled the country competing in some of the top domestic events.

What do you do during the week to prepare you for tournaments?
MM: Weight training, volleyball training/drills, swimming, stretching/yoga, visualization, and ice/recovery.

Do you have any tournament-day routines?
MM: No routines really. I do try to rest and hydrate the day before an event.

Sand is starting to explode on the juniors scene: What are some reasons you think it's good for young players to play sand volleyball?
MM: It's so much fun! Do you really need other reasons? But if you do:  It is a great sport to keep in shape physically and mentally.  The physical demands are apparent but it is also a very technical sport with a overwhelming mental component that takes on both team and individual sport mentalities.

If you could offer some advice for aspiring sand volleyball players, what would it be?
MM: Challenging hard work is ahead of you but it is a whole lot of fun.  Stay in the present, embrace the struggle and enjoy the moment.

When you're not dominating on the court you're busy on the sidelines for Lewis University: What led you to start coaching?
MM: For the most part we are always coaching or being coached with whatever we do in life, I just do it with volleyball.

What do you think is the biggest adjustment for student-athletes when transitioning to being a collegiate athlete?
MM: Time management and eating habits is the biggest adjustment off the court. Pace of the game, blocking, weight room and film are the biggest adjustments involving college volleyball.

What is the most common mistake(s) you see recruits make when contacting you?
MM: Not having the "important" information readily available on the email. Name, position, height, approach touch, graduation year, gpa,  test scores, and a video link of highlight and raw game film.

What are some attributes that you feel separate the student-athletes you recruit more aggressively from the rest?
MM: Everyone is looking for the 6'10 kid that jumps out of the gym, but personality on and off the court is just as important as physical attributes. We look for the leaders, the team players, and the hard workers.  If you get the right mix of those types of players in your gym, you will be very successful.

If you were to give a piece of advice to recruits in regards to contacting a coach for the first time, what would it be?
MM: Be concise and bold.

If a student-athlete wanted to obtain more information about your school, how would you recommend they do so?
MM: Do your research first online about the school/academic side, then let the coaching staff know you have done this. It shows initiative and that you are interested. Then inquire with the coaching staff about the athletic side.

- Contributing Editor Bryan McDermand

Progression Volleyball Consulting LLC