Sports

Volleying for a win

Men’s volleyball team welcome new head coach

Men's volleyball coach Sean McKay poses for a portrait in the Campus Centre Gym at SAIT in Calgary on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. This is McKay's first year coaching the SAIT men's volleyball team but he has had plenty of experience involving the sport. He recently played professionally in Sweden and has also achieved a degree in kinesiology and a masters in coaching from Western University in London, Ontario. (Photo by Dawn Gibson/ SAIT)

Men’s volleyball coach Sean McKay poses for a portrait in the Campus Centre Gym at SAIT in Calgary on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. This is McKay’s first year coaching the SAIT men’s volleyball team but he has had plenty of experience involving the sport. He recently played professionally in Sweden and has also achieved a degree in kinesiology and a masters in coaching from Western University in London, Ontario. (Photo by Dawn Gibson/ SAIT)

Sean McKay, the new head coach for the SAIT Trojans men’s volleyball team, is bringing experience and professionalism to an already budding young team.

McKay graduated from Western University with a bachelors degree in kinesiology, and went on to receive his master’s in coaching, at Fanshaw College. All the while playing the position of setter for the Western Mustangs during the 2013-14 season.

After graduation, McKay spent time in the Caribbean, coaching the national team for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. As well, he played at a professional level in Sweden and won a silver medal at provincials with the University of Calgary Dinos.

He now looks towards strengthening the Trojans.

“The team’s fundamentals are strong,” said McKay.

“I believe it will be a smooth transition. The guys have a strong base and lots of talent.”

McKay said his primary focus would be to keep the team healthy while working on technical skills.

The new coach arrived in Calgary just weeks ago from Toronto, but has already begun intensive training with the team, trying to familiarize himself with them and the SAIT facilities.

McKay said he wants to, “establish a new volleyball system.”

Last year’s Trojans had an average season, making it to Alberta College Athletic Conference (ACAC) championship tournament, unfortunately losing out to the Keyano College Huskies, and the King’s University Eagles; finishing the season with a record of 12-14.

“The goal is to take home a medal at the ACAC,” said McKay.

“But we also want to have a balance with [the player’s] athletic careers, social life and grades.”

McKay, a recent graduate himself, said he understands the importance of this balance and the necessity of keeping players in good mental health, all the while trying to “challenge” them.

McKay also mentioned the possibility of a few out-of-town tournaments this season, with one game at SAIT’s sister school NAIT in Edmonton, and perhaps more exotic games “out of province.”

The priority right now though is to continue practice before the regular season begins in mid-October.

An asset to the sport, both as a player and a coach, the SAIT Trojans look forward to a successful season ahead with the guidance of McKay.

The men’s volleyball team begin the season with their home opener, Oct. 14, against the Red Deer College Kings.

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