Lamb Loves Her Job
11/24/2011...Calgary, Alberta - “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
That is the conviction of Mount Royal Cougars women’s volleyball coach Sandra Lamb.
“I knew ever since I stepped into Mount Royal that this would be the place that I wanted to stay with and be involved with,” recalls Lamb, 38, who arrived to the Calgary school as a walk-on setter in 1993 following her brother Garth Lamb, who prior to playing for the Cougars, had played four season in the WHL and one year of pro hockey with the Nashville Knights.
“I had a couple of friends coming here (from her hometown of Swift Current, Saskatchewan) and I thought it would be a nice school to attend,” recollects Lamb. “Michele Prince was our coach (1992-1998) and it was great being able to have someone with that type of knowledge working with you.”
Prince had a wealth of information for Lamb to absorb as she had been a CCAA All-Canadian while playing for the Lakeland Rustlers (1986-1988) as well as part of the CIS national champion University of Calgary Dinos (1989-1990) with a cup of coffee in the pro ranks 1991-1992 for Glaronia, Glarus in Switzerland.
“I was a setter and she (Prince) had been a setter and I asked her a lot of questions about the game and from the setting perspective also,” continued Lamb.
After three years as a player in which the team won back-to-back ACAC provincial titles 1994-1996, Lamb took a year off to fill the role of assistant coach under Cougars men’s volleyball coach Rod Durrant during their championship run in 1996-1997.
She would return to the hardwood in 1997-1998 and at the age of 25 would take on her present day head coaching duties midway through the 1998-1999 season.
“Yes I was young,” replied Lamb, when asked if at 25 years-of-age the new position may have been opposing. “I had played in the (ACAC) and been under some very good coaches. I was excited about the opportunity as it was the direction I wanted to be in. At that age, to be honest, you were a bit nervous and unsure of yourself. Now you were not only coaching but doing administration work, being a role model, a counsellor and all of the things that come at you all at once. Yes it was a bit overwhelming."
Lamb soon found her coaching groove, guiding the Cougars to three ACAC provincial championships (2007, 2008, 2011) two CCAA national bronze medals (2001, 2004), a 2008 CCAA national silver medal and then a first-ever CCAA national volleyball championship in New Brunswick March 12, 2011 when they defeated the Vancouver Island University Mariners by scores of 23-25, 25-20, 16-25, 26-24 and 15-11.
Lamb has also been named the 2004 ACAC and CCAA female volleyball Coach of the Year and in 2011 was awarded the prestigious Coaching Excellence Award across All CCAA Sports which is given to “the CCAA’s highest coaching honouree is selected based on their contribution to sport, positive leadership and commitment to educational goals.”
Of these accomplishments she states: “The biggest thing I have learned is that to succeed you have to surround yourself with good people.”
The Cougars are presently ranked No. 1 in the CCAA women’s volleyball poll.
“We have the bulls eye on us and we have to live up to it,” said Lamb. “We have a lot of experience this year with some good dynamic fire power.”
Lamb is also the Cougars Community Coordinator, overseeing community outreach programs, including C is for Cougars, Cougars on the Court and KidSport on Campus.
Cougars women's volleyball coach Sandra Lamb doing what she does best