Getting to the top of your sport needs real dedications and sometimes a little encouragement.
By Joanna Jones
Mark Sanders watched frustrated as two of his protégés, Tanya and Zoe Harper went down two games to one in their latest beach volleyball match.
The two nineteen year old sisters were blessed with the perfect physique for the game; lithe, agile and both six foot tall. Ranked as one of the best in the state, he knew they had the ability to be best in the country – if only they were inclined to put their minds to it. Trouble was with a local following and a bit of celebrity as identical, blonde haired, very good looking twins, they seemed to think that success was an entitlement, not something to be worked at.
As they came off the court he listened impassively to the comments of bad luck and bad decisions the girls felt had cost them a place in the national championship. Being from Florida they had one of the hardest jobs to qualify but even so, they should have easily won that game, he reflected.
Half their problem was their fitness, and the other mental focus. They consistently either won 2-0 or lost 2-1, having won the first game.
The other pair he trained did not have the natural ability of the Harper twins, but were at least more focused. That said, Cindy Smith and Gayle Patricks were not without their faults. They were rather rude in taking in, or even listening to, advice, especially when it came to training routines, and Gayle in particular would sometimes go as far as to point blank refuse to do his fitness exercises on occasion.
Not for the first time he wondered if he should jack the specialist coaching in and go back to doing it more generally at the local college, or perhaps he should go find some other girls who were more prepared to make the sacrifice to get to the top.
The current four were being paid for by some special endowed college scholarship, with extra help from their parents. It had a year to go, by which point if they were not in the top level in the country and considered able to represent the USA internationally they would lose it.
The extra pay he got was good, but the trouble was having failures on your record was bad for your reputation. Sometimes it was just best to cut your losses, he pondered.
A couple of weeks later, after yet further frustrating training sessions, he arranged a meeting with the three sets of parents. They were shocked when he declared his intent to resign as the girls’ specialist coach, more so when they heard his reasons. They thought the girls were working hard, as they always claimed at home. To find that they were taking them, as well as their coach, for a bit of a ride in terms of their effort was an eye opener. All were also quick to understand that if Coach Sanders left, the small community of potential replacements would know why and getting one to continue their training would be difficult at best, and without a recognised coach the scholarship automatically lapsed.
It was Mrs Harper who turned to her husband and said: “I think those two girls of ours need taking down a peg or two. What they need is a real good paddling!”
Soon, it seemed, all six parents were concurring. However it was Cindy Smith’s father who said: “I don’t think it should be us that do it. Mr Sanders should be the one blistering their butts the moment they step out of line.”
Mark was very surprised at the proposal. He had not in his darkest moments ever considered blistering anyone’s butt and was highly unsure of the propriety of him doing so. However, with a bit of persuasion he finally agreed to give it a couple more months if the girls went along with their parents’ proposals.
The training court the coach and girls used was a big sandpit the Harpers had had built in the large yard in the luxury property they owned well out of town. There was some basic gym equipment available in the house and a decent sized pool, of course. For more serious training they could use the college facilities.
Tanya, Zoe, Cindy and Gayle were all very surprised when ten minutes into their training session on the Harper’s court, all their parents arrived.
Mark smiled inwardly as the girls perceptibly put some more effort in for the benefit of the audience.
Meanwhile, more than one of the girls mildly wondered why all their parents had suddenly appeared, and for that matter what was in the polythene bag Mr Patricks was carrying. If they had known the content there would have been much more than mild curiosity!
After five minutes or so the coach gave them a rest from the routines he was working with them on, and they all joined the six parental observers.
Mr Harper was the one who laid it on the line to the four young ladies. Four young ladies whose looks turned red with embarrassment as Mr Harper went through their attitude problems. Noticing the looks on each of the other faces, and their coach, all four girls realised there was no hope of making a plea to some of their parents that it was not as it seemed.
When they realised that Mr Sanders was considering resigning, there were some panicked looks, as they knew better than their parents that there would be little hope of continuing their scholarship.
All four girls were soon apologising and promising to do better.
Mr Patricks took up the speaking. “I am glad to hear that you are going to turn over a new leaf. But all of us here think you will need some help, so we have gotten a little present for Coach Sanders.”
With that he produced a two foot long maple wood board, with half a dozen holes drilled along its length from the bag. The implement was not wide, perhaps around four inches, but was certainly thick enough, being the best part of an inch thick.
Four girls’ jaws dropped in panic at the sight of the rather nasty looking paddle.
Tanya started to shake her head disbelievingly. “You, you can’t.” she pleaded.
Mrs Harper interrupted: “You’re right honey, he can’t unless you agree. But if you don’t then you have no more coaching and, honey, the paddling I would give you at home, on pain of leavin’ the house if you don’t take it, will be so, so much worse!”
Zoe and Tanya looked horrified at their mother, whilst a glance by the other two girls to their respective parents led to similarly sick looks as they realised they were all in the same boat.
Reluctantly all four girls agreed to the new regime.
Mrs Smith then said: “Well, Coach, I guess we can leave you to introduce the girls to their new ‘incentiviser’.”
And with a final admonishment to their daughters to start working hard and doing exactly what Coach Sanders said, the six parents returned to the house leaving four rather scared young ladies staring at the paddle in their coach’s hand.
Mrs Smith’s final comment that the girls should not worry about how much noise they made as they were well out in the country had done nothing to help their confidence.
“Right”, he drawled. “In future lack of effort or moaning about the drills will get you between one and three, and any outright refusal to do your fitness training will get you six.” He looked especially hard at the shivering Gayle Patricks at that statement before continuing. “So the only question left is how many to give you each now for all the heartache you’ve been causing me, and to show you I mean business in getting you to the top in this sport!”
It was a typically hot, sultry, Florida day, so while Gayle, like the other girls, was dressed only in her usual bikini bottoms and sports halter top, it was nothing to do with the temperature that was causing her to shake. It was that she fearfully recognised that she had a forthcoming appointment with the paddle her father had provided.
Mark tapped the paddle onto his left palm as the four women, who were now behaving as if they were much younger, stood around him. He felt he could almost smell their nervous anticipation as he looked at them coolly.
Eventually it was Cindy who broke a long silence. “I am really sorry, coach, for letting you down.” She said quietly, and without being asked she tossed her light brown hair, tied back in a pony tail, took a step from the others and, turning, placed her legs slightly apart. Keeping them straight, she bent over and grabbed her legs half way up her calves.
The coach looked pointedly at the others. As he expected, the Harper twins were next to apologise, leaving a rather sullen Gayle, always the one with the most mouth, to finally mutter an apology and bend over, her bleach blonde hair falling down over her face.
Coach Sanders considered the four bottoms facing him. The girls had all generally gone for the typical moderately high cut bikini bottoms of their sport, wearing generally the same both in training and competition. Cindy and Gayle at either end wore pale yellow, while the twins were in white. The uniforms of the women’s beach volleyball never did leave much to the imagination. However, in their present pose it left very little at all. Further there was plenty of bare flesh on the lower half of the target for his new present to bite into. He expected there would be some purchases of more discreet wear to cover up the marks he was going to be making. No bad thing in the case of the Harper girls, it might get them to concentrate on the game rather than the more attractive lads that they habitually flaunted and flirted with.
Shaking himself, he spoke to the targets in front of him. “Right Cindy, since you were first to apologise I’ll let you off with three. You twins will get four, and as for you, Gayle Patricks, I am sick of you mouthing off so I’m gonna give you six.”
He could see Gayle starting to object, and rather loudly overrode the start of her protestations, saying: “If anyone either objects or stands during their punishment then I will add extra, or even just start again. Understood?”
There were some muttered groans of acceptance from all four girls as Gayle decided that self preservation should win out over her the objections she was harbouring.
Cindy was first to feel the paddle rub her butt. She gripped tighter, tensed and screwed her eyes shut as the paddle left. But it returned gently and once again rubbed the pale yellow bikini briefs. He was playing with her, why could he just not get it over with.
Of the four Cindy was the only one not to have been spanked as a teen by her parents, and the school she had gone to was not one that permitted the paddle. She therefore had only the memories of long ago over her mother’s knee to work from.
Those memories were wholly inadequate to deal with the shock as the paddle doled out its first band of pain. She managed to hold on to her legs but hollered at the impact.
Meanwhile the Coach was already lining up a second, this time on the lower, bare part of her rear. The stroke landed firmly to a deep grunt from Cindy. The slight upward motion of the paddle to catch the undercurves of the bottom, coupled with the desperate waving after led to the fabric of her bottoms riding up slightly.
After a longer pause as he waited for the bottom to still, the coach launched the third whack somewhere right between the centre of the other two. Not that it mattered, as the whole blade was landing on already reddened flesh. Cindy gave a second almighty holler as she nearly fell forward with the force of the blow.
As she made to stand and rub her rear end, Mark told her to remain bent until he’d finished with the four of them.
Zoe was next in line, and after a gentle warning rub the paddle was launched into the bikini briefs with a satisfying Splat!
Zoe bit her lip desperately to prevent herself screaming out.
The second blow landed on the softer and essentially bare flesh of her lower bottom, turning it red. There was a pained gasp as Zoe concentrated on controlling herself, and not letting the Coach realise what pain she was in.
The third blow landed more or less on top of the second, leading to a stifled wail and a desperate wriggle of her bottom as she tried to deal with the pain. Only one to go.
One delivered very hard back on the undercurves of her bottom again, almost raising her onto her toes with the blow’s force upwards.
“Aaah!” Wailed the victim as her resolve not to cry out failed her at the last.
While staying in place, her legs moved rather luridly from side to side as Zoe tried to deal with the stinging pain enveloping her rear end.
Tanya was shaking and muttering as the paddle touched her white sports panties.
She let out a scream of surprise as the first blow impacted painfully. The remaining three blows were given identically to her sister’s, though she was far more audible in her response. Unlike her sister she was quietly sobbing as Mark moved on to his final victim.
He was going to enjoy this. Gayle was the worst of the four in terms of questioning his approach and training regime. She was forever mouthing off about something.
As he approached her he bent towards her ear and whispered: “You know you’ve had this coming for a very long time, don’t you?”
Gayle gripped her legs more tightly, but chose to say nothing. She did indeed know she’d been a real pain to her coach, and reluctantly recognised that it was now payback time.
Her bikini bottoms were tight on her ass, but the coach had noticed her furtively tugging them down to cover more of the target as he’d dealt with Cindy. As a result he gave them a gentle tug upwards on each side, leading to a certain amount of each buttock reappearing from the bottom of the flimsy fabric.
Gayle moaned in anticipation as she realised the area where the paddle was due was essentially unprotected.
Mark rubbed the wood on the bare part of the target as the bottom in front of him quivered oddly in anticipation.
The bastard was playing with her, realised Gayle, as three times the paddle left, and then returned softly to its rubbing. Her whole body was seemingly tingling as he did so.
Finally Coach Sanders unleashed the first stroke, a full blooded strike to the base of her buttocks, significantly harder than that he’d used on the other girls first blow.
Gayle screamed as she threw her head back, with her long blonde hair flying as the agony demanded her full attention.
The paddle meanwhile was rubbing again. Mark took his time before a second Splat centred slightly above the first led to a louder wail from the girl.
The third was centred ever so slightly higher again. Gayle started bawling and begging for mercy. She did however manage to remain in position.
Mercy was not on the coach’s mind as the fourth landed hard directly on top of the third, to an unrestrained shout of pain.
The fifth was placed directly on the second, to further wails and sobs. The reddened bottom was starting to gyrate in random patterns as she tried vainly to assuage the pain it was in.
After some angry words from her Coach she managed to lock her legs straight and still for the final blow, still sobbing and begging.
The hardest of all he’d delivered that day, and right at the base of her buttockswhere the first blow had landed.
Gayle literally howled in agony and, like Cindy he had to gently place his hand on her back and tell her not to stand.
He then walked around the four bent girls lecturing them on what he expected in the future. They all of course said yes and no at the appropriate points as they stared at the sand around their feet. In Gayle’s case, however, she was struggling to comprehend anything other than the burning pain in her rear.
Eventually he let them stand and gave them the rest of the session off to recover.
Four girls, who all vowed to mend their ways, staggered off to the house to get a shower.
Six months later the twins won the state championship for the first time. They were on their way, with Cindy and Gayle not too far behind.
Though the unusually low cut briefs, sometimes more like shorts, extending on to the upper thigh the four wore for quite a few competitions were occasionally a subject of some speculation amongst the male observers, no one ever found out the real reason!