All’s well in the Coast Union volleyball world, as head coach Pam Kenyon is healthy, cancer-free and still excited about coaching as she enters her 25th year at her alma mater.
“I really like coaching. I like it a lot,” Kenyon said before a practice session on Monday, Aug. 17. “It’s the best part of my day.
“I just enjoy being with the players. They interact with me, more so than you can in a classroom full of kids. I love my teaching, but the interaction I have with my volleyball team is special.”
Kenyon was diagnosed with colon cancer in the fall of 2013. But having immediately entered a strong counteractive program and maintained a positive outlook on her health, she has kept the cancer at bay.
In the foreseeable future, she will continue with a preventive program.
“I’m going along with the maintenance program, which will continue for quite a while now,” she said.
Every other Monday, she goes into San Luis Obispo to get an infusion of a “targeting drug” that is designed to attack and kill any new cancer cell growth in her body.
The procedure is not painful and does not make her ill. “But it takes time out of my day,” which means the high school on occasion brings in a substitute to handle her science classes.
Asked whether she has stuck by a tried-and-true workout strategy for getting the players in shape at the start of the season, Kenyon explained that “every year is different. You have to look at it like this: Do they need conditioning? What does this new group need? Do they need to touch the ball more?
“This is a year when not a lot of this group played club ball — they didn’t play year-around — so we need to touch the ball as much as we can,” the coach explained.
The conditioning that the 2015 varsity team will engage in — including the weight training some players did in the summer, under the supervision of Tim May — entails “hustling after balls,” Kenyon said. “It will be pretty much 21⁄2 hours of ‘hit a ball and run after it,’ or ‘short bursts.’
“There is no walking,” Kenyon asserted, with that patented coach’s smile.