Scott Davenport: A World Championship winning coach and his ‘surreal’ journey
Scott Davenport with world champions Sarah Pavan (left) and Melissa Humana-Paredes at the Gstaad Major in 2018
If you take a right at Hermosa Beach Pier and walk towards the iconic Manhattan Beach, you will usually see Scott Davenport coaching beach volleyball. He is the head coach of current world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes and the Canadians both suggest that Scott has a special talent for seeing things that other coaches just don’t.
Davenport says the team's 2019 season was ‘historic’ as they swept the world's best away, winning the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg, the Vienna Major, the 3-star event in Edmonton and the AVP stop at Manhattan Beach.
“We are always looking to improve in everything but specifically we’re focusing on being more of a threat from the service line. I’d also like to see our first ball kill percentage improve on both sideout and in transition.”
Davenport, 48, started coaching in 1998 as a way to pay his bills whilst playing on the prestigious AVP Tour. In 2010, whilst coaching indoor, a former beach partner asked for his help and that's when his journey to a World Championship winning coach begun. His journey to the very top of the coaching ranks hasn’t been plane sailing and is a path that included the tragic loss of his wife Wendi and mother to their two children Luke, 10, and Devin, 5, to cancer in 2017. An unimaginable circumstance for most people. Thankfully Scott has found some peace in coaching the sport that he loves.
“That was a very difficult time and transition for our whole family. There’s no way to prepare for something like that. The hardest part for me is seeing my kids go through losing their mother and the effect it has on them every day.”
When asked to sum up what juggling his family life with coaching the world champions is like, Scott explains the reality of being away from home for periods of time and how he balances it with coaching.
“It’s probably the most difficult thing for me to do. Especially now that my kids are participating in many different activities. I’d like to be able to share those experiences and be there to support them, more often. My family and friends help out with taking care of the kids while I’m away. Luckily Sarah and Melissa are very understanding with life priorities. So we find a happy medium when it comes to scheduling my travel during competition season. And we have an amazing team around us that fill in the gaps, where needed. But it’s definitely not easy.”
“As the saying goes, ‘it takes a village’.”
Sarah Pavan on Scott Davenport:
Read more: Talking with the world champions (Part 1 - Melissa Humana-Paredes)
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