PAYSON, Ill. -- Teresa Loos-Tedrow is going to miss the long drives.
Loos-Tedrow and her daughter, Melina Tedrow, have spent countless hours on the road in the past four years, driving from Payson to all sorts of places in the St. Louis area and the Midwest for club volleyball tournaments.
Not only do they get to spend time together, but they get to talk about their favorite subject.
"It's been fantastic, the amount of hours I've had in the car with her," Teresa said. "We'll talk in the car to St. Louis all the way there and all the way back about volleyball. It's all I think about, and she's the same way."
"She goes with me to all of those matches, so we're together a lot," Melina said. "We're growing as coaches and players together. We're talking about strategies. I see it from a player perspective, and she sees it from outside the court.
"We talk about how we can best fit something together for this team."
What they talked about must have worked, because the Payson Seymour volleyball team rolled to a 41-1 record this season and captured the Class 1A state championship on Saturday at Redbird Arena in Normal.
It was a memorable ride for the Indians, but it was particularly special for the Tedrows.
Some parent/coach-child/athlete relationships work well on the playing field. Unfortunately, some don't. For Teresa and Melina, it was the time of their lives.
Teresa said it was because her daughter has handled it well.
"I told her, ‘This could be a rough road or a really fantastic road,'" she said. "I started coaching her in softball when she was 5 years old and when she was 8 years old in volleyball. I told her people are going to look at you differently, and people are going to judge you differently, because I'm the coach. You have to be better. You have to work harder than everyone else.
"I've only said it to her once. She gets it."
Melina says she wouldn't want it any other way.
"She is demanding of me," she said. "She's my biggest critic but my biggest supporter."
Teresa remembers their first in-depth discussion about volleyball. It was when Melina was 8 years old and they went to a junior high school regional championship, and Teresa took the opportunity to explain how setting works, how to run an offense and how the rotations work.
"It was pretty complex stuff for an 8-year-old," she said.
Melina doesn't remember that talk, but some of the lessons learned from Mom are still fresh in her mind.
"Mom was coaching fifth and sixth graders, and I was in the fourth grade and I was always around the practices," she said. "Mom would always say, ‘Attitude, hustle and fun.' That's her thing. She still does it today. It's been the basis of everything she's taught us."
Now when the practices are finished and they're home after a game, they like to turn on the Big Ten Network and watch college volleyball.
"We live, sleep and eat volleyball," Teresa said. "We absolutely love it. If we get in the car after a game, we have to talk about it. We are talkers. I don't criticize her, and she's very open with me. We've had these talks for years."
As Melina has grown older, the talks have occasionally turned into debates.
"We've had our tangles, but that's OK," Melina said. "She's my mom at the end of the day. Sometimes she's had to get on my case for the way I've been, but that's helped mold me to the person I am now."
"Melina and Josie (Stanford) play year-round, and they have a lot of experience," Teresa said. "I would be stupid not to listen to what they have to say. I'm not so proud to take back my words if I have to. If she tells me that she doesn't think that's how it should go, she'll tell me, and she's respectful about it."
The season now is over, but the daily talks about volleyball likely will continue until Melina goes to Indiana State University in the fall of 2018.
"Next year doesn't mean it's the end of the road for us," Melina said. "It's sad that (the season is over), but life goes on. You never know what's going to happen in the future."
Teresa says she already has identified Riley Epperson and Lauryn Hinthorne to be her "surrogate daughters" next season when Melina is at school.
"I've got to have someone to talk volleyball with," she said with a laugh. "They're probably going to say to themselves, ‘So this is what Melina has put up with all these years.'
"It's part of what we love. It's part of what I'm going to miss."