The team concept is simple, on paper.
Putting it into practice is much tougher, and Kamehameha-Hawaii’s Guy Enriques is one coach who is well aware of how much of an uphill climb it is to get everyone to put team first and individualism second.
“Everyone talks about team, but can you walk the talk?” said Enriques, the Warriors boys volleyball coach who is on Oahu with his team for the ‘Iolani Invitational. “I like to relate team to family. How many kids treat other people’s parents with more respect than their own parents? I think everyone can raise their hand on that one. You’re putting on a show on the outside. But why aren’t you showing respect to the people who truly matter to you? That’s what a team does.”
During the summers, Enriques runs the Guy Enriques Team Camp in Oregon and Washington. He gets 80 to 100 teams attending each year. He added the word ‘Team’ to the official name within the last few years.
“We put the emphasis on people skills because people skills are going to be the most important thing when your backs are against the wall,” Enriques said. “Volleyball is a vehicle. It’s an opportunity for me to teach life skills. For these volleyball players, who they become as a person after they leave the program is far more important to me than how good of a volleyball player they are.”
During his trip this week, Enrques and his assistant coaches wanted to see who would step up off the court with a simple test.
“We left the ball bag outside of the bus and we wanted to see who would pick it up and bring it on the bus,” he said. “We would hope that everyone who saw it would pick it up, but it turned out to be the one we expected it to be, a sophomore.
“We are constantly looking for our players to show proof that they’re doing the team stuff.”
Enriques mentioned the Positive Coaching Alliance, a national outfit with a branch in Hawaii headed by former Punahou athletic director Jeaney Garcia as an organization dedicated to putting emphasis on team values more than individual accomplishments.
“The PCA is interested in developing great people who are responsible, unselfish, with goals, a work ethic, and playing your role in team sports with purpose.”
Hanale Lee Loy, a middle blocker for Enriques’ Warriors, is a prime example of that type of athlete, the coach said. Lee Loy was one of four Hawaii high school athletes who received a $2,000 scholarship from the PCA this year.
Enriques, whose son Evan Enriques starred for the Warriors and now plays at Stanford, doesn’t exclude himself from the list of people who need a reminder that the team concept is the most important thing.
“Once in a while, I’ll start to lose my cool and get upset — and that’s not helping the team at all — and an assistant will have to give me a tap on the back as a reminder for me to take a breath and relax,” he said.