Gibraltar volleyball is in transition this season, and new coach Lauren Bremer hopes to make it a smooth one, continuing the program’s growth achieved under former varsity coach Mike Helm.
“Mike and I have coached together for years and have worked closely to grow the program to where it is today,” Bremer says. “When Mike decided he needed to step back from the head coaching position, I felt I had a unique opportunity to continue the program’s success and further the level of play for our young ladies.”
Bremer, who has been with the program for five years and also has experience as an assistant softball coach, says her previous coaching jobs helped prepare her for the new role.
“It simply taught me how to coach,” Bremer says. “It gave me opportunities to observe the athletes in practice, in games, and around the community. I was able to see how drills or techniques I tried either succeeded or needed re-working.”
Bremer says she also learned a lot about communication, especially when it comes to managing the volleyball program as a whole. She hopes to eventually develop a youth volleyball program to get students involved as early as 5th or 6th grade.
“In season, we have five separate volleyball teams between the middle school and high school, sharing three courts for practice and competition,” she says. “Seeing the program as a whole, communicating well with the other skilled coaches and in turn, providing the players with a high level of fundamental development and a competitive atmosphere became very important to me.”
In that regard, Bremer has succeeded this summer. More than 80 percent of the girls involved in the program participated in some type of camp or clinic, Bremer says. That included an intense clinic put on at Gibraltar in July.
In addition to coaching volleyball, Bremer teaches 11th and 12th grade English at Gibraltar, and advises the Varsity Letter Club and The Viking Voice, Gibraltar’s student newspaper.
“I am the type of person who operates best when I have a lot of balls in the air, and I love every single activity I’m involved with at Gibraltar,” she says. “When it comes to other organizations like The Viking Voice and the Varsity Letter Club, I find that they operate best when the students are doing the creative thinking, the goal setting and the execution of group plans and activities. I am there to guide and to advise the students.”
As far as volleyball goes, Bremer has high expectations for the program, and is focused on generating a high level of intensity in practice.
“The program is coming off a poor season record from 2009, and I would like to refocus the girls’ sights on high levels of achievement,” she says. “They have the skills, the desire, and the positive attitude, and I feel confident that this season will be a winning season.”