POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 24, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 1:45 a.m. HST, Aug 24, 2012
It's the only word that has ever been used to describe Robyn Ah Mow-Santos' hands. Still considered one of the best setters to wear a Hawaii uniform, the two-time All-American and three-time Olympian again lends her soft touch — and hard demands — as a Rainbow Wahine assistant.
Think judge Florian Bellanger of "Cupcake Wars" is tough? He's got nothing on Ah Mow-Santos, one tough cookie with an intense center.
"I think that's what I add as a coach, intensity," said the former Wahine who ranked third all-time in assists (4,313). "Dave (head coach Shoji) is kind of mellow, Scott (associate coach Wong) is really mellow.
"I'm laid back off the court, but when I'm on the court it's different."
The McKinley High product has been a special additive, according to her former coach.
"She brings such a vast experience from the international level, it comes out all the time," Shoji. ‘She has seen it all, done it all. It's nice to have.
"It's not all about working with the setters. She works with the hitters, she knows what they should be doing, how they should attack.
"She is very intense, focuses on every single touch of the ball. And she's vocal. I'm not surprised that's she grown into the person and coach she has. I'm happy for her."
And Ah Mow-Santos is happy as well. She does miss playing professionally and with the national team, but with two young children, her husband, Niobel, finally home from deployment and her father needing some care, it's the right place at the right time.
"I don't know if I'd want to be a head (coach), at least not now," she said. "I like spending time with my kids and it's hard when we're gone (on road trips). It's something I've talked do Dave about, how much he missed the time with his kids."
Ah Mow-Santos, who turns 37 the day after the Sept. 14 alumnae match, said she grew up cooking in the kitchen with her late mother, Lovey.
"I like to bake. I think that's because of my mom. I was always in the kitchen with her," she said. "I like to make this strawberry cream cheesecake, a recipe from my mom, who also used blueberries.
"For desserts, I follow recipes, but when cooking I just grab stuff to put together."
It works, just like how the Wahine are coming together this season.
"The core is still there. There's not a lot of ingredients you need to add in this season, and probably not the next," Ah Mow-Santos said. "This year, it all depends on how the girls play, but they have all the ingredients to go far."