Coaches Tina and Mitch Defer have been coaching for five years at the Glendale/Peoria YMCA. The couple loves helping young athletes grow in their abilities, and after 20 seasons spent coaching recreational and competitive teams, they have been able to make a difference in the lives of countless young people.

Their specialty is coaching volleyball, and they are currently leading three separate competitive teams at different talent levels.  They are very good at what they do, and youth athletes look forward to being a part of the Defers’ teams every season. In fact, there are about 25 to 30 players who request them as their coaches regularly, and this level of involvement is just an example of the type of enthusiasm and excitement that they instill in their team members.

There is no better confidence builder than working hard to achieve a goal, and when youth take part in a team effort, it can help build their self-esteem in many ways. While physical activity and sports can positively affect aspects of personal development among young people, studies suggest that the quality of coaching plays a key role in maximizing these effects. Coaches like the Defers are dedicated to nurturing the potential of each one of the young athletes on their teams by creating a supportive environment where they can thrive. They make sure that their team participants experience that sense of achievement that comes from playing the game to the best of their abilities, and the Defers focus on building their confidence while making them more aware of the unique talents that only they possess.

The Defers are passionate about helping young athletes reach their goals, and learn from their team experiences. Every season, their team participants not only improve their volleyball skills, but they also learn more about themselves, and their unbreakable spirits, in the process. It’s coaches like the Defers that help make the YMCA such a special place for young people to grow and thrive, both on and off of the court. We’re proud to have people like the Defers on our Y team, and we thank them for their commitment to our players and to our cause.

The YMCA teams are always looking for new players, and if you’re interested in learning more about our programs, visit Our winter sports registration begins October 1, so check us out and learn more about what we have to offer.