Ace of Hearts
Pomfret welcomes new varsity volleyball coach.
Before practice officially begins, the girls varsity volleyball team gathers in the Olmsted Student Union to stretch and loosen up before the work begins. They chat about their classes, last night’s advisory dinner, and playing sports in college. In the middle of the chatter is the new Varsity Volleyball Coach Maddy Hart — an ace hire.
Coach Hart, while new to Pomfret, is not new to volleyball. She has been playing since she was in fourth grade, following in the footsteps of her older sister — who introduced her to the game. It was not long before Hart was playing for her school’s team and in club leagues. During her high school senior year, she was named the Avon High School’s Volleyball Player of the Year, broke single-season school records in kills and points, and earned All-Conference and First Team All-State honors. She received multiple Divison II scholarship offers but ultimately chose UConn for their Animal Science program and competitive club volleyball team. Currently, she is a senior and serves as a captain of the university club team. She is a natural player and leader — having coached summer camps and serving as a mentor and captain to her teammates. Her experience on the court is evident in the way she offers her players a correction on technique and turns raw power into bullet serves over the net. “My favorite part of coaching is the 'aha' moments — where I can see the reaction on their face when everything clicks. It makes me want to show up every day and coach them,” said Coach Hart.
My favorite part of coaching is the 'aha' moments — where I can see the reaction on their face when everything clicks. It makes me want to show up every day and coach them!"
— Coach Hart
At the start of practice, Coach Hart helps her players get warmed up by getting involve, passing the ball to a player while offering suggestions to better position themselves under the ball or where to direct a pass. “The girls are very receptive to having someone that knows the sport and show them how to perform the skill,” said Coach Hart. She tailors her feedback to each athlete, having figured out what they need to hear to improve.
Coach Hart is connecting with the student-athletes in unique ways off the court as well. “Before practice, I have had some conversations with the players. We talk about college schedules, playing sports in college, and family issues. They just pick my brain about everything college and life,” shares Coach Hart. “Having those conversations is just an added bonus of being a coach. It's not just about volleyball when you're helping them in every single way that they need. Being a coach, you're able to help them as a sports mentor and I’m also able to be an outside world mentor, which is incredibly special.”
Coach Hart has an optimistic outlook on the season. “The team demonstrates a high level of commitment and teamwork. They show me that they want to be on the court every single day. On the first day, I met the team, I could see that they had some great tools, and now I am helping them figure out how to use them in the game,” shared Coach Hart. “We are working on confidence, making positive mistakes, breaking down skills, and improving on our technique.”
Be sure to catch Coach Hart and the varsity volleyball team at their next game at home in Corzine Athletic Center or on the YouTube livestream.