July 25, 2024

USUE volleyball is “Forever Strong”


This archived article was written by: Kayla Newman

Upon concluding their first tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., the volleyball team was heading home to Price after a successful weekend. The team stopped at a McDonald’s in Beaver, Utah, late that night as a last minute pit stop before arriving home. Team member, Mateah Tuckett describes her crazy experience at the McDonald’s:
“As I was coming out of the bathroom, I noticed this older couple sitting there in church clothes. The guy kinda stared me down as I walked out. Just to break the awkwardness of the whole situation, I said hi to them and started to spark up a conversation. They were asking me a lot about the team and volleyball and our upcoming season. When I asked what in the world they were doing in Beaver, Utah, at that time of night, the guy’s wife just kinda smiled and said, ‘well, he’s a little bit of a big deal.’”
The volleyball team soon gathered around the couple as they learned that they were talking to Larry Gelwix, former Highland Rugby coach, and focal point of the popular movie, “Forever Strong.” Being the successful coach that is he is, he offered advice to the team to be not just good this season, but great.
Gelwix told the team of his favorite motto- W.I.N. It stands for “what’s important now.” He told the team that they have to focus on the moment. Don’t worry about the next play or the next game or the next tournament, focus on that play, that ball, in that moment.
The next quote Gelwix gave the team was, “how do you expect to harvest strawberries if there are weeds growing in your life?” By this analogy, he wasn’t just talking about sports, to succeed on the court or field, you have to be succeeding in your personal life, in your school work, in your career and spiritually.
Gelwix challenged the team to not just strive for a good season, but for a great one. He didn’t just want them to settle for being good players, he wanted them to be great. Later that week in practice, the team made that a goal, to ask themselves what they are willing to give up to be great.
The coach promised the girls that he and his wife would attend a conference game later in the season. Each girl got a picture with him individually and as a group. “It was an experience I will always remember, I took every bit of advice in,” says Mckenzie Mott. The team implemented what Gelwix has taught them into their practices, have been striving to be great, and will never forget their “Forever Strong” moment.