Even though it’s been about 7 years now, I can still remember being in my high school gym and having two-a-day practices for volleyball like it was just yesterday. Even though I had never even touched a volleyball before I tried out for the team, with the constant support and motivation from my coach, I was able to pick the game up pretty quickly. And even though I also played basketball and softball, and was much better at softball than the rest, my fondest memories are from the months I spent playing volleyball. And I have Coach Balla to thank for that.

Coach Balla is a one of a kind coach. She put 110% into our team, always. She spent countless hours watching tape, strategizing how we needed to prepare for our next opponent. She put everything in her life on hold for us girls. Coach Balla is one of those coaches that is there for you not only as a coach, but as a friend. All throughout high school, and even till now she has always been a constant support system for me, as well as several other of her players.

This past year Coach Balla retired from coaching, to carry out her lifelong dream: to be a mother. I know that retiring from the team was one of the hardest, most difficult decisions for her to make, but like everything she does in life, she wanted to give 110% of her life to her new little baby boy, Matthias Creed.

I had the pleasure and honor to photograph her with Matthias for his six-month photo shoot. And I have to admit, photographing newborn to 6-month babies is not the easiest thing to do, but when you have an absolute loving mother, the pictures just fall into place. It was pretty obvious during the shoot, and even after looking at the pictures, that Coach Balla and Matthias are a dynamic duo.

I can’t wait to keep witnessing this little guy grow up and maybe even learn to play the game his mom loved to coach.

Here are a few of my favorites!