A day in the life: Mary Schindler

By: Cody Vannoy

Sports Editor

Whether it is in-season or off-season, Tarleton Volleyball Coach Mary Schindler always starts her day off in the morning by dropping her son, Ethan, off at school. She then heads to her morning workout with her two assistant coaches. 

In 2020, Coach Schindler led the Texans to a 13-11 record in their inaugural Division I season.
Photo Courtesy of Tarltonsports.com.

Shindler said, “Whichever day of the week it is, we start with our workout at 7:45 a.m.”

After their workout, Schindler and her assistants will head to her office to create a practice plan for the week and game plan for the upcoming games.

“Mondays we’ll come in and watch film on both opponents that we are going to play that week,” Schindler explained.  “[We] assess the difference between those two teams and how we might have to practice differently for each one.”

Over Schindler’s 17 years as the head coach of the Tarleton State University volleyball team, a lot has changed. One of the most beneficial changes is the introduction of film breakdown technology. This allows a coach to plug in a certain player or play and watch it right then.

The Texans getting ready for their next volleyball game.
Photo By: Charles Houston

“There was a time, where I had to watch the film five times to get all the information,” Schindler said. “If I wanted to see the offense, then I watch that for the first time. The next time through, I would watch the defense.”

Not only does Schindler watch film of the opposing team, but she also watches her team’s film. The coach talked about how she will go over the film with her players, so they can learn from what they did well and what they need to improve on.

“The film gives us a different picture than what it felt like,” Schindler explained. “It felt like this, but this is what really happened.”

After the week of preparing for their next opponent, it is finally game day. At 11 a.m. she meets with her girls and gives them some things to focus on for the game. When the meeting is over, Schindler has about an hour before game time to have everything typed out in a scouting report to give to her girls. She will meet with her team right before they go out and play their opponent.

Schindler is a four-time Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year and has 330 wins to her name for a reason. Even in the midst of a crazy schedule, she knows how to coach, and she knows how to gameplan for her next opponent.

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