This is the message coach Russ Rose relays to his No. 1 women’s volleyball team [12-1, 2-0 Big Ten] when struggling.
How players choose to respond to this seemingly simple order from Rose varies, but junior Lacey Fuller has her own way of dealing with it.
“Personally it makes me mad [when coach says, “do better”], so I just go out there and try to get a dig and hopefully other people get mad, too,” Fuller said.
It seems to be working for Fuller, who has registered 62 digs thus far in 2012, already eclipsing her 2011 total of 59 digs.
As a coach who claimed his 1,000th career victory in 2009, Rose knows his way around the block and how to approach players in an effort to get the most out of his team.
While some coaches have let their tempers flare against Penn State this season — including Nebraska coach John Cook, who was penalized with a yellow card last Wednesday — Rose chooses to generally stay away from shouting, pacing along the side of the court and ruling through intimidation.
Rather, he rules with a notebook.
There may be no more feared image in women’s volleyball than Rose sitting on the bench with his legs crossed, straight faced with pen-in-hand, scratching ink to paper.
In interviews, Rose is very open with his thoughts on the team’s performance, frequently griping about certain aspects he is disappointed in.
Despite his openness, when Rose speaks negatively about the team, he speaks in generalities, never publicly singling out individuals for a poor performance.
“I would never say if anybody’s stock dropped because that’s unfair to a kid,” Rose said earlier this month after his team suffered its lone loss of the season against Oregon State.
But behind closed doors is a different story, Rose hinted.
“I don’t feel like there’s ever a reason to have lied to a player,” Rose said. “They know what the deal is when they come to school here and that’s what it is.”
Rose acknowledged players might not like what he has to say, but believes his critiques are vital to their progress.
This recipe Rose uses seems to work, as his teams have collected five national championships and he’s trained 33 All-Americans along his 33 [going on 34] years leading Penn State.
One of those All-Americans is current junior Deja McClendon, who claimed Rose’s preparation to be great.
“[Coach] tells us a million times at practice what we need to do,” McClendon said. “Everyone knows, or should know, what they have to do — especially in a game.”