Josh Hamer has been with the Clermont Women’s volleyball program for the past three years. He’s spent a total of fifteen years coaching everything from middle school to high school. He still coaches AAU Junior Olympic volleyball, and previously coached at Cincinnati State, as well as Xavier’s Men’s Club team.
Coach Hamer is recognized for multiple accomplishments, including coaching several Junior Olympic teams that have finished high in the national rankings. The season he spent with the Xavier Men’s Club team, they finished eighteenth in the country.
When he considers his various accomplishments, what he focuses on is what the athletes he’s coached over the years go on to do after sports and school. “To me, my accomplishments are how I’ve helped my players better themselves.”
Coach Hamer’s philosophy on coaching is to basically be progressive day by day. “The simplest answer I can give … is we try to be a little bit better each day, not only as athletes but as people. We work on our character skills as well as our fundamental skills; we believe those are the things that drive winning.”
His inspiration stems from his absolute love of the game. “Volleyball is the ultimate team sport. In no other sport do six people have to work so closely. Your touch on the ball is only as good as your previous teammates touch on the ball. That’s one part; the other part just gets back to helping the athletes reach their goals. It’s such a powerful thing to witness when they achieve those ‘ah-ha’ moments.”
This season is particularly special to Coach Hamer because it’s the first season where most of the team he personally recruited is in place. He’s finally able to see some pay off from the time spent recruiting, and plans to finish with a better record than last year. He also plans to make an impact on the USCAA considerably more this year. In fact, one of his setters, Faith Hensley, is being recognized as USCAA setter of the week. Another player recognized was Madison Jenkins, named the USCAA player of the week. Both were chosen from among eighty different teams throughout the program.
The team consists of fourteen players on the roster, which is an average-sized team for the USCAA. Although they’ve recently beaten teams with over twenty players, the coach’s goal is to get his team to a solid sixteen players. Last season, they finished with nine players, but now have the privilege to rely on a solid fourteen this season. Five of the players are returning and the other nine are freshman. That’s another challenge they’re facing: being competitive with a roster consisting of so many freshman.
However, during the past two weeks, the team has really picked up the pace by flipping the record from 1 – 3 to 8 – 5. On September 9th the team played a triple header and managed to get a win in all three games. The girls grinded through an exhausting thirteen matches but managed to keep control the entire time. Turning the corner so sharply gave them a much-needed morale boost, and helped them understand what they’re actually capable of.
This past weekend the girls fell to the 2016 USCAA national champions as well as the 2016 national championship runners up. It was a significant challenge, but there’s still a few loose ends to tighten with the season record currently 8-9.
Next up on the schedule is an away game versus Clark State at 6pm. Be sure to wish the ladies luck!