Getting to know Erika Chidester
Aug. 9, 2011
Can you detail your coaching path to Long Beach State? I played five years of college volleyball for Coach Gimmillaro from 2001 to 2005 at Long Beach State. After graduating from college I coached at the University of La Verne for two seasons while obtaining my Masters degree in business as a graduate assistant coach. That winter I interviewed for a position back at Long Beach State, where I took over for my former assistant coach, Debbie Green. I'm so happy to be back home at The Beach and I can't believe I'm starting my third season already. Outside of college volleyball I have coached club volleyball the past 10 years. I have coached at every age level from 12s to 18s. I'm currently affiliated with Golden West Volleyball Club in Anaheim, Calif.
Beyond winning a championship, what are your goals for the upcoming season? First and foremost we need to make a national presence in our first three weekends. We have a huge opportunity to turn some heads nationally if we take care of business. Second, we need to win conference and carry that momentum into playoffs. If our team stays healthy I have high hopes for these players.
Who is an exciting new player we will see on your team next season? This is a tough question because you will see eight new faces on the team this fall. That's a huge group to come in one year. So, I will not pick just one but I will say that these young women coming into our program will not disappoint. Beyond volleyball skill, these girls are wonderful people who I can't wait to start working with on a daily basis.
What is your recruiting philosophy?
Being a former player at Long Beach State I naturally gravitate to kids that remind me of past players in our program. It seems like all the time we talk about "Kid A" having this trait of so-and-so and "Kid B" having this similar mannerism, etc. I love competitive and compassionate players. We are honest as coaches with our recruits. I really believe in the tradition of this program and university and I hope to portray that to young athletes we bring to the campus. Philosophy is such a hard thing to put in a nutshell but when I see a recruit I like, I envision them molding into our system and I picture them with their teammates and the interactions that take place player-to-player and coach-to-player.
How important are the summer months to the development of your team? The summer months are the time that you instill the most trust in your players. We cannot have scheduled practices or workouts so you hope the players are dedicated and determined enough to prepare on their own for the start of season. From day one of practice you are only three weeks away from VERY important preseason matches. Our teams that continued to prepare over the summer allowed us to hit the ground running in August.
If someone asked you for a recommendation where to eat in the Long Beach area, where would you tell them to go? In downtown Long Beach, hands down, Parkers Lighthouse. In Belmont Shore, hands down, La Creperie. You are talking to a LB person, who has one favorite restaurant anyway?
Outside of coaching and sports, what are your hobbies? Shopping, and I am very good at it, no joke.
If you had a weekend off during the season and you weren't allowed to work, what would you do with the free time? Lay out to work on my tan and then go shopping at my two favorite stores: Lulu Lemon and Nordstroms.
What vacation spot has been your favorite to visit? -Cabo, enough said!
Dodgers or Angels, and why? Lakers or Clippers, and why? -Dodgers because I grew up in a Dodger household and if I said Angels my dad and brother would hurt me. Although I only watch baseball if I go to the actual stadium. You will not catch me watching baseball on TV, no way!
And the real answer.... LAKERS! I watch ALL their games.... and why??? That's a stupid question, who wants to watch LA's junior varsity team, the Clippers!