Five questions with Allison Randall

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday throughout the offseason, we’ll catch up with volleyball support staff for five questions.

Allison Randall | Strength and conditioning coach

Q: You have worked with different sports over your career in training them. What makes volleyball special and specifically this team?

RANDALL: “Volleyball is an interesting sport because they have a ton of enthusiasm, especially when they are playing. I think the unity within the team with building that culture is really special, and just having the number of people you have on the court at one time, the energy and positivity that you get from the sideline – all of that is really contagious. They are enthusiastic and are in it. I think they give 110 percent when it comes to every point and they just try to go as hard as they can.”

Q: Is there a moment that stands out with taking over Tech's volleyball team when you saw a breakthrough?

RANDALL: “I began working with them last fall, so I only had them a little bit before the season. We started to build a little bit of culture there. As the matches went by and they kind of got used to me and I got used to them, there was one match in particular. I think it was against Wake Forest.

“Usually when we come out, we have a breakdown, I tell them to be ready to go, they get on the line and they get ready for my go commands. But this time they were intently looking at me, like, ‘Come on coach, tell me to go, I’m ready,’ and that was a different energy and a different aggressive mentality that they had that day. I was like I don’t have to do anything; I don’t have to hype them up or anything (laughing) because today they came to play.

“Seeing a difference from going through the motions to actually making those motions that day, I saw a change in the program.”

Q: What has been a staple of your strength and conditioning programs?

RANDALL: “I have a couple things that I really think are important. No. 1 is accountability and that is always going to be important, with making sure they are doing what they are supposed to do, they know what each other is supposed to do and holding each other accountable, whether I’m watching or not. Also, making sure that if one person doesn’t know, then none of you all know. If one person knows, it is your job to make sure everybody knows. If you know what the command is, if you know what we are doing next, then nobody should be out of the loop at all. So making sure communication is on point.

“No. 2 is the effort. I’m not expecting anybody to come in and have the biggest squat in the room or the biggest clean, but the effort isn’t going to be debated at that point. You come in and give 110 percent every single time and I’m happy with that. So give me that effort and I will hold you accountable and you hold me accountable as well.”

Q: You just recently earned your doctorate. What was that feeling of accomplishment like?

RANDALL: “Oh man (laughing) … it was kind of like a weight lifted. I want to say within the last couple weeks I actually got my actual letter, like, letter of completion. You know you defend, then you have to make your final edits, then you have to submit your ETD, then they have to get it back to you and then you have to do more edits if needed. So, all of that was going on even after the defense date in March. I wasn’t like done, done, officially Dr. Randall, until last week with rights and privileges and all that (laughing).

“But once I got that letter, it was great. I mean, I want to say I took a semester off between my bachelor’s and my master’s degrees and then my master’s degree and my Ph.D. program, and just kind of doing the work and, now, I’m finished. I’m relatively young and I have the rest of my life to coach and learn as much as I can in my field. But it is good, it’s good for me to have this accomplishment because I’m really interested in it.

“But it’s also good for them to see, seeing me in a position, even as a coach, earning the highest degree possible, working hands-on with the student-athletes and working with administrators in that setting. It is good to be visible and let them know that it’s possible. It is beyond me and having the nice, fancy hat on Thursday. It’s for the student-athletes seeing that you are more than just an athlete, you are a scholar. It doesn’t have to end at your bachelor’s degree, but if it does, that is certainly fine. But whatever you are going to do, do it all the way. It’s about being visible and showing them what that looks like and being the best role model I can be so I can uplift others.”

Q: With the student-athletes back home for summer, what do you like to do in your free time during the summer?

RANDALL: “Let’s see, I like to go nap (laughing). So I’ll be catching up on some sleep this summer. But I do like outdoor things, so going to the river is always fun and hiking on the cascades. Also, hanging out with the family that I usually don’t see throughout the year and friends, with trying to be as social as I can, when I can. You know, once the students get back, you get full-go and it’s no real stopping.

“I like the movies and to grill. I like me time and self-care, which I think is important, especially after this long season and school year.”

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