Keri Coats Journal No. 2

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 09, 2003

OU outside hitter Keri Coats will take Sooner fans behind the scenes as Oklahoma plays its 2003 volleyball schedule. This is the second installment of her weekly journal. We've also added a link so you can submit your own questions for Keri to respond to in her next entry.

Keri, from watching you play this season, I can tell that you are a very good blocker.  I am a freshman on the No. 2 high school team in the state and I am the backup setter.  I am only 5-4 and was wondering if you had any tips for me on blocking?

From Mattie in Oklahoma City


Mattie thanks for emailing, I am excited that your team is doing so well.


Obviously, blocking is a bit more difficult when you're only 5-4 and I am sure you will still grow plenty.  You can use your height to your advantage by putting up a soft block.  I know plenty of players that aren't of ideal height but put up a great block by utilizing a soft block.  To put up a soft block bend you hands back.  You won't block the ball back onto the opponent's side of the net but you can force the hitter to hit off your hands and pop the ball into the middle of the court, making it easier for your team to pass.


Additionally, I would stay a little bit off the net and make sure you tilt those hands back.  Use all you have to swing your arms up as high as you can, and get your arms up over the net.



If you could play any other position besides right side hitter, what would it be?

From Sharice in Boulder, Colo.


I think it would be fun to be a setter. I like knowing the fact that if you put up a good ball your attackers are going to kill it.  On occasion I've had to set my teammates in transition this season and it's a good feeling to put up a good ball and see them get a big kill.  Being 6-4 and having the ability to run a 5-1 system (one setter) would be fun.  Having the capability to dump the ball a lot and swing away like some of the setters in our conference would be nice.


What do you want to do when you're done playing volleyball?

From Jarrett in Ardmore, Okla.


Honestly, I would love to open my own day spa.  Start off small and eventually make it into a resort type business with massage, aroma therapy, aerobic exercises and all that.  Plus all the stuff outside like tennis courts, swimming pools and hiking trails. 


Obviously, I enjoy all this stuff but I wouldn't be trying to just pamper myself.  I figure you should work in an environment that is fun.


Not sure where I would want to open my spa, maybe Arizona.  It has to be somewhere with nice weather during the entire year.




Keri, what's your major and what do plan to do with it after college?

From Teri in Norman, Okla.


I switched my major from accounting to marketing recently.  I was doing accounting to help with the management aspect of opening my own business.  I have a Business Communications class and the idea of being persuasive and manipulating the consumer's opinion is fascinating.  I wouldn't want to do it in a bad way.  Being able to get your point across and have people believe in it is intriguing to me. 


If it worked out  I could market my day spa (to get back to the prior question) and take some massage therapy classes on the side.  Have my hands in every aspect of the business. 




Hi Keri I am a big Sooner fan and loved coming to volleyball matches when I lived in Norman.   Unfortunately, now I live abroad and can't make it out to the Field House.  I have been following the team closely and wondered how you would grade your season thus far?

From Julie in the Netherlands


As a whole I would say maybe a B'.  There are moments where I feel like I played real well, but I still don't feel like I have reached my full potential in any single match yet.  I also have had some games were I feel like played horrendous and those stick in my mind for awhile.


On the whole, I am doing pretty well, especially considering I wasn't a huge part of my offense in junior college. I was more of decoy, but I think I've adjusted well.  So I would put myself at a 'B', but I want to be much better.


The one area I am pleased with is my serving.  I never really served at all, even in high school, I never played back row.  Last year at Southern Idaho we ran a 6-2 offense and I rotated out before I got to the back row.  Somehow I lead the team in aces and I am ranked in the Big 12 (ed.'s note- she is ranked No. 6).  I'm excited about the way I have been serving consistently.


On the other hand, my net play is not near where it should be.  I am used to coming out of a game with at least four block assists and lately I have been struggling to get one or two.  Lately, my hitting percentages have been low and I hate making errors.  Its driving me nuts but I'll continue to improve in both areas.




Well thanks everyone for emailing in questions and please keep them coming by clicking on the link below. I will try my best to answer as many as possible. I want to say hello to my family that emailed in as well, thanks for the support wherever you are.  Last but not least, I have to send best wishes to the mother of our medical trainer (Carla).  She is one of the biggest Sooner fans in the country and the team appreciates all of her support.  Go SOONERS!

- #13 Keri Coats
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