Shymansky’s passion sparks volleyball culture

Head coach Bond Shymansky brings his experience and love for the Hawkeyes to the Iowa volleyball culture.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa head coach Bond Shymansky speaks with members of the media during volleyball media day in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. The volleyball team will host their Black & Gold scrimmage tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Carver, which will be free to the public. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Anna Kayser, [email protected]

Last week, Iowa volleyball head coach Bond Shymansky received a contract extension, which will keep his “True Mental Toughness” culture in the program through the year 2022.

Since being named the head coach in 2014, the program has steadily improved.

Last season, Shymansky led the team to its best season in the millennium, finishing with a 19-13 record.

“This is my 20th year of collegiate coaching, so with that comes experience, maybe a little bit of wisdom,” he said. “People get fascinated with the idea of culture, and certainly we’ve impacted that in our program as well, but we’ve really had to start from the ground and start building just volleyball.”

His “True Mental Toughness” culture in the program has helped his players build both personal character and the volleyball skills and techniques that help form a team’s identity.

“I think all those things are starting to come together now, and that’s why we’re seeing more victories,” Shymansky said.

He has been a lifelong Hawkeye fan, coming out to support different teams in Carver-Hawkeye since he was a little kid.

He got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa, and as an undergraduate, he played for the men’s club volleyball team.

“Learning the ‘Fight Song’ and all of those things, it translates and it gets into your blood,” Shymansky said. “I’ve just always been a Hawkeye, and so that phrase is really true: ‘Once a Hawkeye, always a Hawkeye.’ Now, I get to wear the Tigerhawk on my chest proudly every day, and it’s really a lot of fun.”

Holding such an major role in a major Iowa squad is a dream come true for Shymansky, but he keeps his focus on bigger feats that his team could achieve.

“I tell my team one of the best walks in my day would be to walk through that tunnel onto that championship court in Carver,” Shymansky said. “It’s just really a unique moment, a special moment that I never would have dreamed that I’d be here doing it. But now that I am, I just keep my head down and keep working really hard to make sure that that dream of our program becoming nationally successful, that that dream becomes a reality.”

As a coach, he brings out both focus and intensity in his team. His coaching style motivates the players to work their hardest for the betterment of the team, so they can reach their goals.

“He’s just very passionate about the game and very intense about it,” senior libero Annika Olsen said. “His intensity brings out the intensity in us and allows us to be willing to put in the hard work and know it’s not going to be easy. But we’re determined to be successful.”

Off the court, he has shown a softer side with his players. He makes it known that they’re not only volleyball players and makes himself available to talk about schoolwork or any other aspect of their lives.

The Iowa volleyball team’s personality is nothing short of silly and sassy, which Shymansky doesn’t miss out on.

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