Committed to coaching
From player, to assistant coach, to head coach of the Cougars women’s volleyball team and now a full-time employee with Cougar Athletics, Sandra Lamb has spent the bulk of her adult life at Mount Royal.
It all started in 1993 when Lamb walked onto the campus to begin her diploma in athletic therapy and on a whim, she and some friends decided to try out for the Cougars’ volleyball team.
“It was kind of just a fluky thing, you could sort of say,” she said.
“I wasn’t recruited or anything, it just kind of fell into my lap that there was a team here and I went and tried out and I was lucky enough to make it.”
Now, nearly 17 years later, Lamb still finds herself walking onto campus everyday. In addition to her coaching job, which she took on more then 11 years ago, Lamb was hired on full-time this past August to be the community coordinator for Cougar Athletics.
After finishing her diploma at Mount Royal, Lamb went on to U of C and received her degree in kinesiology.
“When I went to U of C, I still wanted to be involved [at Mount Royal],” she explained. “I don’t know what kept bringing me back here. I guess it was something that made me feel comfortable right from the get-go.”
Although she never envisioned becoming a coach, Lamb said she always had the natural ability to lead.
Even when she wore the Cougars’ jersey as a setter, she said she was always stepping up to motivate her teammates.
“When I was a little girl, I wasn’t sitting there going ‘I want to be a coach,’ it was like wow, when it fell into my lap it was like, ‘I want to be a coach,’” she explained.
“This is something that I’m really passionate about and I’m glad that it happened.”
Second-year player Breanna Estabrook has seen first-hand how passionate her coach is both on and off the court.
“She’s just an all around great coach; she knows the game…she has a very well-rounded look of every aspect of volleyball so she’s a very complete coach,” she said.
“I think Mount Royal keeps her around because she’s very passionate about the game, she’s a good coach and athletes respond well to her and she also has a good record.”
Lamb said she demands a lot out of her players in an effort to make them the best they possibly can possibly be.
She demands a lot of herself as well, taking the time to watch other teams play and learning from other coaches like Shawn Sky, coach of the Cougars men’s volleyball team.
For Lamb, it’s not just the sport of volleyball that keeps her going but her ability to work with young people like Estabrook and the rest of the squad.
“As a coach, you’re not just a coach, you’re a mentor, you’re a counselor, you’re everything,” said Lamb.
“When people come into my program, I hope they walk out a better person as well as a player.”
Even after years at Mount Royal, Lamb said she plans to continue working at the university for the foreseeable future because she’s always loved the atmosphere and what Cougar Athletics stands for.
“I’m very happy, I love what I do and you can’t beat that,” she said.
“Coming to Mount Royal took me on that path to be something that I totally never thought I would be but now I just love what I do.”