By Megan Herboth
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - With the UCF volleyball team enjoying a day off from practice today, assistant head coach Michelle Chatman recapped her time working with USA Volleyball this summer.
In her fifth time working with a USA Volleyball program, Chatman was the assistant coach for the USA Youth A1 National Training team, working for a week and a half with high school freshmen and sophomores in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"Being able to teach and mentor the younger kids is a lot of fun," Chatman said. "I'm trying to do my very best to mentor them with all that I can to make it a great experience for them. I get the greatest joy out of that."
Chatman's responsibilities have differed each time she has worked within the USA system. In her first USA Volleyball experience, she was reunited with her former Florida assistant coach, Nick Cheronis, to work a camp in Colorado Springs. Since then, she has worked with the Select A1 team on two occasions and worked a women's college team camp.
This summer, she joined Shelton Collier to coach the youth team through their first cycle, preparing them for the junior national team. Although she has served in different capacities each time, one thing has been constant in each of her roles.
"My favorite part is always the experience with the players," she said. "For me, it's all about the players and the experiences that they have."
Entering her seventh season with the Knights in 2014, Chatman multitasks when working with a USA team.
"It's really nice to be able to sharpen my coaching skills before I get back to campus," she said. "It's nice that I have the opportunity to practice in the USA capacity and then bring that mentality back to UCF."
Chatman and UCF Volleyball, which is presented by Radisson - UCF Area, return to action with the Black and Gold Scrimmage on Friday and open the season with the Radisson UCF Invitational Aug. 29-30 at The Venue at UCF.