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From being a student-teacher to becoming a coach for two of Townsend Harris’s athletic teams, Dalia Avivi has come a long way.
Ms. Avivi took over as the head coach for the boys volleyball team last year, as Physical Education Teacher Lauren Caiaccia became Athletic Director and could not coach more than one team, having already coached girls varsity basketball. The boys varsity volleyball team won 8-2, advancing to the quarterfinals of the playoffs before being defeated by Fort Hamilton. This loss capped off a very strong season for boys v o l l e y b a l l , with Ms. Avivi coaching for the first time and learning about the sport simultaneously.
Howe ve r, prior to entering the THHS community, Ms. Avivi was the coach for a soccer club in Manhattan and also a professional Olympic-style Taekwondo fighter. One thing she appreciated while competing at an Olympic level was being able to “participate in the high intensity workouts and compete around the world while representing USA.”
Ms. Avivi, having now taken over as coach of the girls varsity volleyball team, can apply the skills she gained from coaching the boys varsity volleyball team. She reasoned that the boys’ “intensity and focus on one point at a time” was the key to winning matches and advancing in the playoffs. During the season, Ms. Avivi was somewhat of an understudy to Ms. Caiaccia, and it was with her help that Ms. Avivi could grow within the sport of volleyball.
Ms. Avivi also noted that Ms. Caiaccia held the members of the boys volleyball team to a high standard, which is important in building a relationship between the coach and her players.
On a personal note, Ms. Avivi enjoys the outdoors and likes to spend her free time playing soccer, going to the beach, and hiking. A philosophy that Ms. Avivi holds to be very important when it comes to coaching is teamwork and creating long-lasting relationships.
She said, “My focus for the girls’ varsity volleyball team is to advance through our division and make it into the championship. During [the team’s] practices, I focus on establishing a learning environment where the girls constantly progress and strengthen their volleyball knowledge and skills.”
Ms. Avivi also added, “One of the things I love about coaching is watching the girls after a match or a practice and how they interact with each other. They share how they felt about the drills, points we scored, errors we made, and personal things. They talk about things like how school is going, or what they’re doing over the weekend. It’s really amazing to watch how they are improving their skills and how close they have gotten as a team and hopefully, [they] maintain it for years to come.