NYC Volleyball Clinics

Staten Island, NY – Volleyball clinic by Marco Altieri (guest appearance by Yours Truly)

Reach the PSAL city finals and a former Olympian will notice.

At least that is the case with this year’s Susan Wagner varsity volleyball squad, which appeared on two-time beach volleyball Olympian Lina Taylor’s radar after their magical run in the playoffs.

“I was on the PSAL website and was intrigued that Susan Wagner was the only school in the semifinals not ranked in the top four,” said Taylor who identified her own volleyball career to the same underdog challenge the Falcons faced. “I was not always the most athletic so I had to find other qualities within myself to help motivate me.”

A native of Bulgaria, Taylor had the dream of playing in the Olympics planted in her mind at the age of five after seeing the Olympic torch pass through her hometown. After moving to the United States at 17 and leading her alma mater,  the University of Idaho, to four conference championships, a determined Taylor taught herself the discipline needed to succeed in her sport and make her dreams a reality.

“I came across several challenges, but I learned to manifest my dream by finding my strengths, practicing and making the commitment,” added Taylor who reached that goal by representing Bulgaria in the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens games. “I want to share that same message with young athletes and help them realize the gifts that high school sports can teach them.”

After Taylor recognized Falcons’ coach Marco Altieri’s talented coaching techniques demonstrated through his team’s undeniable chemistry on the court, she reached out to the veteran coach and explained her program’s mission and Altieri could not help but be interested.

“They weren’t the tallest out there, but I saw them come together like a team and play above individual talent,” added Taylor, who praised the Falcons and their coaching staff. “To take the talent and make it work, that is one of the greatest contributions from a coach”.

MISSION SOAR

Through her “Mission Soar” program, Taylor hopes to empower students by teaching them how to manage their time and overcome pressure in order to excel in sports and school as well as providing training in resilience and goal setting. By teaching students these mental tools, Taylor believes the lessons lead them to discover their own hidden talents and succeed.

“Lina believes in the healthy outlook on sports and has incredible insight to guide students to achieve success on the court and most importantly in the classroom,” said Altieri, who will have Taylor attend one of his clinics on Dec. 14 to speak to the kids. “It will be a great opportunity for the athletes.”

Taylor’s presence is only the icing on the cake for Altieri’s eight-week clinic held on Sundays. “My goal is to introduce the sport at a younger age and hopefully get travel volleyball upcoming in our borough,” added Altieri.

Read the whole article here: Two-time Olympian to attend volleyball clinic

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