Helena Magazine

Sports Q&A: Amanda Livingston – Helena High School’s new head volleyball coach

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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 What made Helena the right place for you? 

From very early on in the interview process I sensed that Helena fosters a sense of excellence and family. It’s a system that pours into their faculty and students and creates a culture of high standards both academically and athletically. There is also a sense of community that is very appealing to me, everyone has been so welcoming and encouraging since I have been hired.

Excitement wise, what are you looking forward to as the next coach of the volleyball program?

I am very excited about this upcoming season as the next coach of Helena Volleyball. We have a very young and talented group of athletes that I have high expectations for this season. We have three returning seniors who have brought great leadership on and off the court so far and a great group of freshmen who are phenomenally talented. And last but not least, we have a very strong sophomore and junior class who have a ton of volleyball knowledge and experience. All of this combined makes my job as a coach very exciting!

You were at Tuscaloosa County recently, what will that experience do to help you here at Helena?

Tuscaloosa County was in one of the toughest Areas in 7A in the state. Because of that we had to be mentally tough and competitively ready for every match. Competing on that level and going against the top teams in the state made it to where we couldn’t always let the scoreboard reflect our growth as team. I feel that preparing the girls physically, mentally and developing a competitive mindset will help me as the coach at Helena.

How long have you been in coaching and what inspired you to do it?

I have been coaching for over 20 years. I started coaching a travel ball team when I was right out of high school and after several years of coaching a club team a local private school approached me about coming to coach and teach at their school. After one year of coaching and teaching I was hooked. I went back to school to get my teacher certification and then was blessed to be able to go back to my alma mater, Tuscaloosa County High, and teach and coach there for the past 13 years before coming to Helena.

As far as the team and community goes, what can they expect for you heading into this first fall?

Hard work and passion. I am a very hard worker and often don’t know what to do with down time. I am also very passionate about the sport of volleyball. I enjoy developing athletes and running a competitive program. I ask the girls almost every practice, “What type of legacy do you want to leave as a Helena volleyball player?” or “How do you want  the outside to see the Volleyball Program?” Again, scoreboards don’t always reflect the team growth that is taking place. I feel that the team and community can expect to see me working hard and pushing the players to play as competitive as they possible can for every point in every match all season long.

What is it that makes Helena an attractive place to be a coach?

One of the things that makes Helena an attractive place to coach is the community. Everyone I have meet while at the school or out in the community has been so welcoming and supportive. As a new coach, in a new school system and community that is very exciting and refreshing.

What do you enjoy most about coaching?

I enjoy watching my players grow, not just on the court but off the court as well.  As a high school coach, you meet them as young girls and by the time they leave the program they are young women. I have stayed in contact with a lot of my former players from years past and I am so proud of the young women, wives and lately mom that they have become.

Going into the 2023 season, what are the expectations for you and what will it take to get there?

My expectations are simple…we want to compete. When Helena walks into a gym we want are opponents to know that they have a battle ahead of them. What it is going to take to get us there is buy in. Every player, everyday has to buy in to the process of working harder, getting mentally tougher and competing with each other and with their opponents. My goal is for each player to wake up, go to school come to practice or a match and be better than they were yesterday.

For those interested in joining the volleyball program or getting their kids involved in the sport, what would you say to convince them that it is a good idea?

For anyone who is interested in joining the volleyball program or becoming more involved I encourage them to try the sport, attend a camp, play for a rec team or come out and watch one of Helen’s matches. . Volleyball is a sport that is growing in this state and once someone plays it or gives it a try they love it, because it is so fast paced and exciting. You play 25-point games and no point is ever the exact same. But don’t take my word for it, come out this season and watch the Huskies play