Meeker native coaching volleyball

By Petty Officer 1st Class Latrice Jackson
Special to the Herald Times
MEEKER | Becoming a coach and mentor for a young girls’ volleyball team was not what Petty officer 1st Class Dusty Winkler, recruiter, Navy Recruiting Station Kansas City, thought she’d end up doing when she signed her daughter up to play.
Winkler, a native of Meeker, Colo., said she became involved with the Belton Recreation Center‘s“awesome” girls’ volleyball team after helping her daughter with different volleyball techniques.
“Once the girls noticed she was improving they started asking me for help,” said Winkler. “After I started going to the practices and helping out I realized that I liked working with the girls.”
The team has a game every Saturday and Winkler said she is at every event assisting, guiding and motivating them to do their best.
Winkler added that the head coach is a great mentor to the girls as well, and without her the team wouldn’t be who they are.
“She makes sure the team is not focused solely on winning but improving their skills, and ensuring they have fun,” said Winkler. “That is our whole focus with the girls.”
Winkler added that her experience coaching the girls has also helped her connect with athletes at the local schools she recruits in.
“I have been able to connect with athletes in my high schools by talking about how we play and the struggles we have,” said Winkler. “They in turn give me guidance on different practice techniques and strategies to use.”
Winkler added that these shared experiences have given her an opportunity to positively represent her command and raise awareness about the Navy throughout the Midwest community.
“It is key to our success for everyone in the community to understand that we are here to mentor, guide, assist, train, provide and represent what we as Americans are all about,” added Winkler.