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So you want to play in college?

By HiP Staff, 04/25/19, 3:45PM CDT


We sat down with Lindenwood Coach Ben Duckworth to get some insight...

  1. I see you have a really strong schedule at the start of your season playing big guns UCLA, USC, Penn State, and Long Beach. How do you prepare for these games and how do you use them to improve for the later part of the season?

We prepare for these matches exactly like every other match we play. These are teams we expect to play every season and ultimately playing a non-conference schedule like we did this year will help prepare us for conference play. In order to win our conference we have to test ourselves early in the season.

  1. You have multiple HPSTL alum on your team: Pappas, Brewster, and Stevenson. Please give us a little insight about each of these kids and what they bring to the team.

Adam Brewster-I don’t know how to express how valuable he was to our offense and team as a whole. Being a 4 year starter and captain of our team he has overcome countless injuries and keeps coming back for more. He will be near impossible to replace moving into next season.

Nick Stevenson-He is such a calming presence on the court for our team. He brings an incredible level of ball control and defensive vision to our team as well. We played a lot of younger guys this season and having guys like Nick and Adam on the court to guide and lead them was incredibly important for our team.

Alex Pappas-The simplest way to explain Alex’s role and importance to our program is work horse and competitor. He is always in the gym and weight room and leads by example with how much he wants to be successful at our level that it becomes contagious.

  1. How do you think your background and training with HPSTL has prepared you to play and coach at this level?

HP prepared me extremely well for the next level. Playing especially I would have never reach the level I did as an athlete without my experience at HP in high school. As a coach I had some unbelievably great coaches throughout my playing career that I try to base my coaching style after. I try to take a little bit from each coach I’ve had and make their impact on me my own when coaching my players today. The experience to go back to the club as a coach after my playing days were over was another experience I’m extremely grateful for which HP gladly provided to me.

  1. What advice would you give to current HPSTL high school players that are preparing to play at the college level?

Listen to your coaches! They helped prepare me to play and coach at the highest level and they will continue to do that for many more players to come. They have such a wide range of knowledge to help kids reach their goals just like they did for me. Now I get to do what I love everyday!

  1. What advice would you give to current college players that are looking to coach after college?

Be a student of the game. Even as a coach now I am constantly asking other coaches questions and for their opinions to continue to improve what I can provide to my players. There is always something to learn from asking questions, listening to various coaches and watching video of yourself playing but also watching higher level volleyball such as collegiately or professionally.

  1. Now that your season has ended, what were your goals going into the season and how were the successes and failures of the season handled? Did you meet your goals?

Our main goal as a team was to finish in the top half of conference which we did not achieve. However, we entered playoffs playing some of our best volleyball of the season with a post season draw we thought gave us a reasonably chance to advance. We fell short of our goal to win a post season match or two but as a whole was a great experience for our program and returning players to use as motivation in the offseason as we look forward to year three as a staff. We push for our players to watch a lot of video to continue to learn from their experiences and I believe the last month of the season our team really bought into that philosophy.