May 23, 2024

What makes Dante Alinsunurin a good coach? NU spikers offer a glimpse

What makes Dante Alinsunurin a good coach? NU spikers offer a glimpse

If there’s one coach who has seemingly dominated the men’s volleyball scene in the country, it has to be coach Dante Alinsunurin.

The NU Bulldogs tactician is coming off another dominating season in the college ranks as the Jhocson-based squad swept the competition in UAAP Season 85 men's volleyball tournament and bagged their third straight title.

But what makes coach Dante so special? NU’s super rookie Michaelo "Buds" Buddin gave fans a glimpse into his coaching strengths.

“Every time na nagbibitaw siya ng sinasabi niya, laging on-point kaya mas madali naming maintindihan,” Buddin said in an interview on The Game after they completed their three-peat.

Aside from his strategic edge and communication savvy that allows him to coach his team effectively, Alinsunurin is also a workhorse who thinks on his feet. 

“Sobrang sipag maghanap ng gagawin namin para makapag-adjust kami agad,” said Buddin. 

The former head coach of the men's national volleyball team, Coach Dante touts a rich experience, but he admits that he continues to evolve, too. 

In the past, he used to be just like a contemporary among his players, sometimes even playing volleyball games with them. But now, as a veteran coach, his wards in NU are a lot younger than him, creating a new dynamic.  

“Itong mga ito, talagang medyo malayo na ang agwat namin [sa edad],” said Alinsunurin. “Medyo naiba na 'yung naging direksyon ko, parang naghihigpit na ako sa kanila.”  

That Alinsunurin brand of toughness starts with their schedule. Training days start at around 5:30 in the morning for a session in the weight room. By 11 a.m. to 12 noon, the Bulldogs will shift to watching film. Shortly after that, they take on the court to practice until 3:00 p.m.

Coach Dante is indeed a tough cookie on the court, but he's not a micro-manager.

Some mentors may find it necessary to hover over their players' lives, but not Alinsunurin. In fact, when they go out together as a team, Coach Dante just lets them be. 

“‘Yung sa bonding naman kasi, every time na kasama nila ako, pinapabayaan ko sila kung ano 'yung gusto nilang gawin eh,” he said.

As is the case with college kids, they sometimes have their own ways that push boundaries, but Coach Dante chooses his battles. 

“Hindi ko na sila masyadong sinasaway sa mga bagay na maliit na diperensya, 'yung mga may mali sila.”

In the process, he knows the spikers will get to learn from these mistakes on their own.

Be that as it may, Coach Dante still knows when to exert his authority. 

"Kapag 'di na talaga puwede, 'yung kailangan ko na talaga ng aksyon, doon na ako papasok." 

Perhaps that's why they're three-peat champs.