|Pink Out game for cancer research|
|After game hugs|
Volleyball became his athletic outlet by default. “I had a few friends that played on the college’s men’s volleyball team and I gave it a shot. It was a fun team to play on and I followed a few friends to Obispo,” the coach says. He stayed for 20 years. “I played three years there, graduated with a degree in Physical Education.” In 1981, the year following his graduation, Cummings began his coaching career as an assistant on the men’s team. The next year, at the tender age of 24, Cummings became the team’s head coach. His tenure was short lived as at the completion of his debut season; the university disbanded the men’s program.
|All practice drills are scored|
|Believe the warning|
|Over the top|
|Coach Cummins, 2018|
Jonesboro is both the cultural and economic center of northeastern Arkansas. The city’s population has exploded, more than doubling between 1980 and 2010. No letup in growth is expected as local civic leaders marketing efforts purport the town as a regional center for manufacturing, agriculture, medicine, education, and trade. The area embraces, at least on the overt surface, its diversity. The latest census figures show the racial makeup of the city as three fourths White and 19% Black. The growing Hispanic community claims a 5% slice of the population. Twenty three percent of the city’s residents live below the poverty line. The iconic author, John Grisham was born in Jonesboro in 1955, son of a cotton farmer/construction worker and a stay at home mother. At age five, his family relocated to Mississippi.
|"What ya doin here"|
Cummings disagrees with the legendary hoops coach. He says it might be different for a woman coaching men, but for him, gender is a factor that cannot be ignored when a man coaches teenage girls, that the Psychology of Coaching applies equally to both genders. “Of course, I have been on the women’s side for many years but when I did transition to women’s volleyball (from men’s’), the physical size and strength were different and had to be adjusted for.” But what about the mental side, I ask? Cummings softens now some from his answer to my original questions of the importance of the mental side of coaching, admitting that the girls tend to be more motivated by compliments than by derogatory criticism, than boys.
|Assistant Coach C C Smith|
Cummings. “You saw after the game tonight how the parents were on the floor congratulating the kids. I have never felt parental pressure or interference here. We have always both pulled in the same direction.”
“I fast tracked through the state department to get my certification. I enjoy working with the younger kids,” he says of his class rosters comprised of first through sixth graders.
|Avicenna, he would have|
made a fine volleyball coach
In November, the Hurricanes capture the state Class 5 state championship. They sweep all four state matches 3 sets to none.