Cami Dodson, volleyball coach at Sugar-Salem High School, retired from her position on Dec. 6. She fell in love with volleyball as a player in high school. Since then, Dodson has had a rewarding 20-year career in coaching. In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, she shared the most rewarding thing about being a coach.
“We’ve hung five state tournament banners under me. We’ve been in the top four for about nine years, and that’s wonderful, but the biggest payoff is when I see it all come together for the girls, the lightbulb moments when they’ve worked so hard trying to figure out a skill or a dynamic and all of a sudden it clicks,” she said.
Despite her success and early love for the sport, Coach Dodson did not always have the vision to become a volleyball coach. She recalled the events that led her to begin her coaching career.
“I actually never had ideas of grandeur to coach … when some members of the community had found out that I had played all through high school (they needed some coaches for a club) and convinced me to coach because I didn’t have any experience. And, I went to the first practice, came home, and looked at my husband and said ‘I love that!’ and I was hooked ever since,” she said.
As a coach, she recognized that each role on the court is so intertwined that if the team has a disconnect, it will show in their performance. As a result, Dodson prioritized team bonding over winning. She knew that connection was an important ingredient for success. She described this dynamic like a jigsaw puzzle with each individual player coming together to form the big-picture team.
Dodson currently works as a librarian for the high school. Although she is still figuring out retirement plans, Dodson intends to take care of her mother and celebrate Christmas with her family. She looks forward to taking part in family traditions this Christmas season.