Amazon has no respect for Volleyball!

Did you know Volleyball doesn’t have its own individual listing in the Sports category at Amazon?

Seriously! Check it out. When you do you’ll see that Volleyball is put under the Other Team Sports sub-category.


Come on! Mountaineering and Rodeos get their own category, but not volleyball?

Then, on top of that, quite often the top-selling books in the Volleyball category on Amazon aren’t even volleyball books! Have a look:


These sorts of thing are an indication that volleyball isn’t doing a good job on the business side of things, particularly in terms of marketing the sport and presenting it in a legitimate way. That needs to change.

This is part of what we seek to accomplish with Volleyball Coaching Wizards. We want the series of books we develop based on all the interviews we do to help take our sport out of the shadows and provide for it a literature comparable to what you see in other sports. It is a chance for volleyball coaches all over the world to read about, and be inspired and educated by, great coaches in our sport – just like basketball and baseball and football coaches can in their own sport.

Not that we in volleyball can’t learn from what coaches in other sports do. We certainly can. Just take a look at our Recommended Reading list as an example. We think, though, that coaches in other sports should also be looking to learn from what we’re doing.

So much of what comes out of the Volleyball Coaching Wizards interviews isn’t sport-specific. It’s about coaching philosophy and style. It’s about dealing with people. It’s about managing time and expectations. All coaches have these things in common.

Getting attention beyond our sport – and in some cases even within it – takes something special, though.

High school coaches can’t be among the world’s best?

Volleyball Coaching WizardsSorry if this seems like a rant. We need to respond to a comment that speaks to the very heart of the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project, though. Someone who rated the first 8 cover design options under consideration left it anonymously.

For the cover shown at left they said:

“how does high school .. and world’s greatest coaches make sense – only in usa perhaps”

Firstly, the “High School Greats” bit is just a sample bit of text offered off the top of the head as a placeholder. You can see the “developing the team concept” alternative used in some of the designs. Actual book topics are not decided yet.

Second, and more importantly, why can’t high school coaches be among the world’s best?

Is it because most of the world doesn’t have high school volleyball? Or is it because high school coaches are youth coaches, and youth coaches can’t be considered great?

The whole point of Volleyball Coaching Wizards is to bring to light coaches who excel, regardless of level. This doesn’t just mean those at the very highest level.

We cannot make the assumption that just because a coach spends their career at the high school or youth level they couldn’t be just as successful if they coached college, professional, or international level players. Similarly, we can’t assume high level coaches are just as effective coaching younger, less experienced players.

Certainly, there are Wizard coaches who started their careers in the youth or high school ranks and moved up to higher levels. There are also, however, many coaches out there who either through choice or circumstance found themselves in a niche where they thrived and achieved well above average success.

There are WAY more coaches at the lower levels of the game than there are at the top level. Some will work their way up the ladder. Most won’t. Everyone along the spectrum deserves to not only get to understand what those coaching at higher levels than theirs think and do, but also the actions and thoughts of those with great success at their own level.

That is a major point of Volleyball Coaching Wizards.

P.S.: This same person also made the comment “who knows or cares about the authors names – you are not Grisham – yet … keep it small” for one of the other designs. Seems like someone perhaps got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. :-)

John Dunning on defining team culture

At the Art of Coaching Volleyball clinic in Fort Worth, TX (held at TCU), John got a chance to sit down with John Dunning, Terry Liskevych, and Russ Rose for a set of interviews. They were not full Wizards style interviews – which generally go 1:30-2:00 hours in length – but they addressed some similar themes. We’ll be releasing clips from those interviews on our YouTube channel over time – five of them this week.

Here’s the first, featuring John Dunning talking about developing and enforcing team culture.