CASSTOWN — When Trina Current was playing volleyball for the Miami East Vikings, she didn’t necessarily believe everything her coaches said.
Particularly that part where her coaches would say things like “I just want to see my players get better. Winning doesn’t matter as much as that” — which made what she said when asked about how earning her first victory as a coach stand out.
“I felt accomplished, but I don’t look at the wins,” Current said. “I watch the game. I get so into the game. And I like seeing improvements (in my players). I want to see them improve. I don’t necessarily look at the wins. Winning is just adding to it — especially when we blow a team out, because obviously we’re doing something right.”
It’s always interesting to see things from the other side.
And that’s exactly what Current is doing now. The 2014 Miami East graduate, who was a member of the volleyball team’s Division III state championship squads in 2011 and 2012, became the Vikings’ new junior varsity volleyball coach this season, having recently transferred back home from West Virginia State University. And even though she hasn’t been coaching long, she’s already learned plenty.
“I always thought that was a lie,” Current said about her old coaches saying winning didn’t matter, only showing improvement. “I thought they were lying about it. Then, like, you see it happen and it’s like, ‘Aw, we worked all the time on that in practice, and they finally nailed it once.’ It’s just like, ‘Yes!’ It’s a great feeling. And I’m not just saying that as a coaching thing, either. I’m being completely honest.”
The Miami East volleyball team, which won its third state championship last season, found itself in need of a junior varsity coach at the start of this season. So head varsity coach Dan Peterson asked head football coach Max Current — who happens to be Trina’s dad — if she’d be interested.
“We needed a JV coach, and it was kind of late in the spring,” Peterson said. “We thought we had someone and they couldn’t do it. We were in the weight room one day, and I asked Max if Trina would want to do it. He said he’d say something to her, and a couple of days later, I get a text from Max with her number. When you get a text from Max Current, you know it’s serious.”
“I was at school one day and my dad texted me and said they needed a JV coach,” Current said. “I started asking questions, said I’d never met Dan, so I’d want to meet him if I’d do it. I talked to (her former coach John) Cash about it, and he said that Dan was pretty much like what we did and that he thought I’d be good at it. So I talked to Dan and told him I was interested.”
“I talked to her one day to see if we meshed,” Peterson said. “After that, she was on board.”
Her transition from player to coach wasn’t immediate.
“I’m not going to lie — it was really frustrating at first,” Current said. “It was just really hard at first, so I just took a step back and decided I’d explain to them what I see and what goes through my head, what I’d do in a situation. Now it’s easier. I wouldn’t say it’s second nature because I’ve been coaching, what, five weeks? But I think I’m adapting pretty well.”
“I know it’s her first time coaching, so there’s that moment where you’ve got to find your footing,” Peterson said. “Once she did that, found her footing and found her way, she’s been great with them.”
And when she does find she needs help, she has somewhere she can go to for advice.
“I go to him in certain situations, things I’m not sure about,” Current said. “And I go to him often like ‘you’ll never believe what happened in practice today’ — and he’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve seen that one before.’ And I get to see him a lot more now. I’m here at school five or six days a week, and he’s here seven days a week.”
Under Current, the Viking JV team was 5-1 as of Wednesday.
But she’s also figured out that the wins aren’t what’s important — and that’s no lie.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.