Sharing the Game She Loves

Introducing Peggy Shelton, Head Volleyball Coach

Peggy Shelton swam and played baseball and even football in high school. She tried basketball and soccer. A self-professed “tomboy,” she tried01 everything she could. The one sport she didn’t play? Volleyball. The new head coach for girls volleyball at MICDS found her love of the game in college, where she walked onto the team, embraced the sport, and wound up earning herself a scholarship.

The love affair with volleyball continues to this day, and she shares that passion, along with a commitment to helping prepare student-athletes for the world beyond high school, with her teams.

Shelton’s coaching career kicked off with her daughters’ CYC volleyball teams, eventually moved to competitive club teams, and then to high school. Her coaching philosophy is student-centered and she strives to nurture and mold her players. “By molding, I mean developing the student-athlete so they become the person they are meant to be and are in a better position to strive to reach their goals,” she said. Her players learn all aspects of the game, developing into solid teammates no matter where they are on the court. “I like to share things we learn as a team on the court and explain how they transfer to real-life situations,” she said.

Shelton is always learning herself, as well. She regularly attends coaching conferences where she receives hands-on training and shares knowledge about new products. And she credits her players as being her best instructors. “I get so much back from these players,” she said. “I continue to be amazed at how much they give me. As long as I’ve been in this game, I learn something about myself, about coaching, and more, every single time I go out,” she said.

Shelton has all three Upper School teams—Freshmen, Junior Varsity, and Varsity—practicing together. “The younger girls can’t learn if they don’t hear the same thing the older players hear,” she said. She also supports the formation of strong bonds between her student-athletes: “We create a sisterhood, where everyone understands peer expectations and what is socially acceptable. Sometimes players learn more from their peers than from me,” she said.

She fosters team spirit by establishing a big sister-little sister program and encourages collaboration on and off the court, sets up study groups, and uses bench time to teach. She asks players to leave drama at the gym door and encourages open communication. She learns about her players’ future plans and works with them to achieve their goals. “It’s not just about the sport,” she said.

“It’s about adding something to these young lives and what they’re going to do in their future.”