Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Mike Soltau may be a young head coach for James Logan High School, but he knows his stuff. Soltau came back to Logan to coach the boys’ varsity volleyball team. Volleyball is his passion. He was not able to continue the sport, so he did the next best thing, coach volleyball.
Because he is a young coach, it is difficult to get the respect from other coaches.
“It is very difficult to be a young head coach because the older coaches think I can’t handle it,” said Soltau.
His players respect him very much. He admits that there was a communication problem among his players early on in the season due to the unfamiliarity among them. However, the team became more comfortable with each other.
“If there are any problems, I let them deal with it. It is not up to me. Now they socialize on and off the court,” said Soltau.
He says that his job is to teach the game of volleyball along with the skills. The mentality comes from his team. He can direct them as much as he wants, but it is up to the team to give the results on the court.
Soltau was the assistant coach for the girls’ varsity volleyball team, and the JV girls’ head coach. His mentor was Danielle Anderson, the girls’ varsity volleyball head coach.
“I’ve learned a ton from her. Danielle gave me a new approach to the sport,” said Soltau.
He learned how to handle himself during difficult situations. He also learned the different techniques, such as “Tanden,” a volleyball technique that focuses on improving passing skills. Anderson also gave him a new approach on how to be a more confident coach and the different ways to support his players. He believes that volleyball is not an individual sport; it takes the whole team to win.
There are some challenges of coaching, such as establishing a fine line between coach and friend. Some players know him as a player, and it’s hard to get the same respect. But all in all, his team gives him the respect.
“He makes sure we have fun, but also get our work done.” Said Raymond Rollan, a senior on the boys’ varsity volleyball team.
The varsity volleyball team is doing well with a record of 7-3. They recently finished first in the consolation bracket at the Deer Valley Tournament.
Soltau has been playing volleyball for 12 years. He was a 4-year varsity volleyball player at Logan from 1998-2002.