Name: Stefano Papari Hometown: Rome, Italy Team Coach: Coed Volleyball Degree: Master’s Degree in Sports Science Previous Coaching Experience: 15 years of volleyball coaching experience among female, male, and coed teams. He coached in the Italian Volleyball Major League and the Bulgarian National Team, with whom he participated to the 2012 World League and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Favorite Quote/Motto: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn!”
…More about Coach Stefano
1. What do you like the most about coaching at JCU? The thing I love the most about coaching at JCU is that you can find true champions even in second-division categories. I coached at every level, and from my experience I can honestly say that the real champions are not those who play in the major leagues. Here, at JCU, I always find a few excellent players both on a technical/tactical and personal level. And coaching them is a huge pleasure for me.
2. What is the biggest challenge you have ever encountered while coaching at JCU? My biggest challenge traced back to the first year of coaching at JCU when we played a very tough final game against a much stronger team composed of players who regularly played volleyball in important clubs. However, despite we only had a 3-month preparation, we were able to play the Final at our best, finding good tactical solutions, which ultimately brought us to win the Championship.
3. What do you expect in your players? What is the most important characteristic they should have? I expect my players to always have a winning attitude. They must have willingness to work out and play with commitment, continuity, and trust. This is the only way to improve and reach a good technical level even for those who have never played volleyball before.
4. Any comments about last Season?
It is quite hard to comment on this last Season since we have been particularly unlucky. Unfortunately, we had many players who got injured during the Season, and we were never able to line up the best team. Of course, I have to give many thanks to those players who despite their injuries always followed the team and those who adjusted at their best in many occasions, often playing in different roles from their own for the sake of the team.
5. What are your goals for next Season? The goal is always the same: to create a cohesive group that has fun and wants to win.