Coulter’s court approach emphasizes positivity

Eckerd senior passes own lessons to young Beach Tritons

Joelle Coulter, Eckerd College
Eckerd College outside hitter Joelle Coulter at a practice last Friday morning. While the fifth-year leader is dedicating her attention toward winning, she is also focused on creating positive memories with her teammates. (Shaelyn Winters/Toronto Observer) 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Eckerd College outside hitter Joelle Coulter has learned the importance of preserving a positive mindset throughout her beach volleyball career.

Coulter originally attended Marshall University, in West Virginia, where she competed in two seasons of indoor and beach volleyball.

It was at a beach tournament in her junior-year where she decided to tryout for – and eventually succeeded in transferring to – Eckerd College.

That experience as a late arrival to the program is what inspires Coulter in her leadership role amongst her teammates.

“Because I transferred as a junior and I’m a fifth year now …  I think that I came in with my role to always be positive” Coulter said, at practice this past week.

“I feel like I’ve just built more on that and have gained more confidence to just speak out and understand it’s okay to be stern with freshmen and just everyone else in the team, like keeping everyone accountable and everything like that.”

The athlete was raised in a volleyball-oriented family and grew up playing alongside her two sisters, Haley and Gabrielle. In reflecting on her improvement as a competitor throughout her career, Coulter acknowledged the maturing of her mindset as a crucial asset to her success.

“I would say being able to be coached is the biggest thing. I think when you’re younger, it’s like you’re just in your head a lot because you’re just … you’re young,” Coulter said. “But I think just understanding that no one’s out to get you, they just want to help you.

“And just being flexible with that.”

It is this mindset that has also allowed her to appreciate small successes despite inevitable mistakes.

“I just keep looking forward. I don’t like dwell on what just happened. I just have short term memory when it comes to playing,” Coulter said. “We just come up with a game plan of how to fix what mistakes we’re making and just stay positive and I just smile. I like to have a good time and everything.”

While Coulter does not yet know where her volleyball career will take her in the future, her positivity radiated while speaking of her goals for the ongoing season.

“(My goal) is to try to win as most games as possible and to just have a good time with my team,” Coulter said. “I think the memories that we make are more important than the wins. Like, that’s what we’ll remember in the end.”

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Posted: Mar 26 2023 5:11 pm
Filed under: College Sports