Podcast Episode 32: Killing the Player Inside

In our interview with Glenn Hoag, he shared a comment from legendary coach Julio Velasco. It was that in order to truly be successful a coach must kill the player inside of him. This episode of the podcast explores that comment and its implications for your mentality as a coach. During the discussion we mention the conversation from the Peggy Martin podcast. That’s the one talking about coaching players as they are.

Feedback, questions, comments, etc. are always welcome!

A review of the Wizards book from Down Under

An Australian reader of the first Volleyball Coaching Wizards book sent us an email to share his thoughts.

I’ve read both of Jack Schwager’s books, and so immediately related to the concept.

I’m only two chapters into it, but I absolutely love it so far, particularly the chapter with Giovanni Guidetti. I especially like the section about Jamie Morrison (former assistant coach to Karch Kiraly), where Giovanni deliberately runs a drill he knows he will disagree with to start a healthy debate. I work in the completely opposite environment in my day job, I would love to have a boss like that.

As a young graduate engineer, one of my first managers told me that I was very “black and white” and that the world is in fact many shades of grey. The older I’ve gotten, the more I relate to this statement, and that’s why Giovanni’s acceptance of this concept resonated with me so much.

I also personally appreciated the point you made about using punishments in training, and how it stifles creativity and focuses the player only on avoiding errors. I was torn over the concept of punishments at the start of last season, however my wife, who is a neuropsychologist, was dead against them, with the psychological research heavily supporting reward rather than punishment. I adopted a philosophy of patience and rewarding positive behaviours and thoroughly enjoyed the performance and culture that arose from it.

I look forward to the insights that I will find in the remaining chapters. I commend you for getting this book out there. I’ve written a short kindle book, and I appreciate that it’s a passion more so than a means to make a living.

The Jack Schwager books he mentioned are Market Wizards and The New Market Wizards. They were a big part of the inspiration for the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project. Glad to hear the volleyball version does indeed follow along with the Schwager version’s concept.

Podcast Episode 31: Observations from the 2016 AVCA Convention

First of all, if you have not already seen our In Memorial post about the passing of Wizard Carl McGown, please check it out. We are making the text of Carl’s interview freely available. Be sure to pass it around to your friends and colleagues. The whole volleyball coaching community should be aware of Carl’s influence and impact on volleyball training and player development.

Now back to the podcast. In mid-December, John attended the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) annual convention. He presented a session about the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project, which he talks a bit about in this episode. John also attended a number of other sessions. We will probably talk about some of those in future podcasts, but in this episode the focus is on some stuff USA Men’s National Team coach John Speraw discussed in his presentations.

Feedback, questions, comments, etc. are always welcome!

In Memorial of Carl McGown

Carl McGown

The volleyball world has lost one of it’s leading lights.

Carl McGown is without doubt one of the most influential individuals the sport has ever known. In terms of his philosophy of coaching, there are those who agree and those who don’t. No one, though, can deny his impact on coaching.

Carl was a leading force in introducing and spreading the idea of specificity of training in volleyball. Those efforts have been instrumental in shifting the training in many gyms from primarily block in focus to the adaptation of more game-like activities. The concept of “the game teaches the game” so often mentioned these day comes straight out of Carl’s teachings.

We could write a whole article on Carl’s history in the game and all the different coaches he influenced along the way. There are plenty of others much better positioned to do so, however. He left a mark on a great many. We leave it to them to share their memories.

What we can do, though, is share Carl’s own thoughts and sense of history. He was one of our early interviews, and his is the first in the initial Volleyball Coaching Wizards book. We posted a trio of excerpts from the interview audio on YouTube as well.

In memorial to Carl’s life and impact, though, we want to share the full text of his interview. Get your PDF version of it here. The document runs 24 pages in total.

Enjoy, and feel free to share it with your coaching friends and colleagues.

 

Volleyball Coaching Wizards at the 2016 AVCA Convention

American Volleyball Coaching AssociationLast week, in conjunction with the NCAA Division I semifinals and final, was the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) annual Convention. It was an important event for the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project on multiple levels.

First, several Wizards attended the event. Tom Turco and Ruth Nelson – both featured in the first Wizard book – were convention attendees. Mick Haley and Tod Mattox were also there. Among the folks presenting sessions were Wizards Terry Pettit, John Corbelli, Bill Neville, and Sue Gozansky.

Guidetti’s Adventure

Giovanni Guidetti, whose interview is also in the first Wizard book, was a prominent presenter. He was part of the pre-convention program, which focused on takeaways from the 2016 Olympics. Unfortunately, his travel schedule forced his contribution to be done two days after the others. That was Friday. Giovanni gave a 15-minute talk about why he coaches to start the day. He then did his pre-convention session.

Things got a little crazy after that!

Flight schedules for his return trip to his club team in Turkey were fluid. Giovanni was scheduled to start back Friday afternoon, but the first leg of the trip got moved up for some reason. That saw the AVCA organizers say they needed to get him to the airport, This meant he could not do his last schedule session – and on-court one about blocking and defense training. Giovanni nixed that plan, though. He told them he would push his return trip back to Saturday. He wanted to get that last session in. That’s exactly what happened.

This, of course, caused confusion. The organizers had sent out a message to attendees already saying the session was cancelled. Despite that, it ended up being standing room only around the court as he presented.

It should be noted that his trip to the Convention forced Giovanni to miss coaching his Vakifbank team in the CEV Champions League. That was not the original plan, but apparently the match was moved for TV.

Wizards Presentation

The Convention was also the first time Volleyball Coaching Wizards was presented. John did a Friday session titled “Lessons Learned from Volleyball’s Wizard Coaches”. Mark was not available as he had a full coaching schedule, including a Polish league match that same evening.

The main focus of the session was to share some of the areas of overlap among the Wizard interviews, as well as some places where they disagree. As you can see, it was a pretty good audience. As usual, folks avoided the first few rows. :-)

Volleyball Coaching Wizards presentation at the 2016 AVCA Convention

The AVCA volunteer running the room gave John an estimate of 233 attendees. That is not too bad considering the All-American awards luncheon happened at the same time. And no one left until the Q&A section started. Even then, it was only a couple of people. They must have thought it was pretty good stuff!

At the start of the session John asked how many people knew about Volleyball Coaching Wizards and/or had read the book. Only a handful of hands went up. That was surprising from the perspective of thinking that people who knew about the project would seem to have been more likely to attend. It was great, though, that we could expose a whole big bunch of folks to what we’re doing.

Book Wizards Tom Turco and Ruth Nelson were in the crowd. So too was Tod Mattox. Tod actually helped answer one of the questions asked.

In one of the more interesting developments, the AVCA volunteer told John after the session that he was making the book required reading for the management class he taught. He thought the thinking of the Wizards about leading people and organizations would be very useful. Cool! We hadn’t really thought about things that way.

The AVCA said the recording of the session will be available on its website about 3-4 weeks after the event.

Podcast Episode 30: The roles of a coach with Jan De Brandt

In his interview, Jan De Brandt shared what he thought of as the three roles of a coach. They are the dictator, the creator, and the observer. In this episode of the podcast, we talk about those different roles and how we take each of them on at different times while working with our teams.

During this show we also mention the podcast we did on Craig Marshall’s view of the most important skills of a coach. The topic of post-match team talks came up as well.

Jan De Brandt has coached professionally in Italy, Turkey, Spain, Azerbaijan, and Germany, as well has his native Belgium. He is currently the Women’s National Team Coach for Hungary, having also coached Belgium. Among his coaching accomplishments are winning the European Volleyball League, silver medal in the CEV Champions League, bronze in the CEV Cup, plus league and cup titles in Turkey. Jan started his career coaching men, but switched to women after a few year

Feedback, questions, comments, etc. are always welcome!

Podcast Episode 29: Playing time and expectations with Vital Heynen

In this episode we take a look at playing time and the expectations related to them. Vital Heynen provides a starting point for the discussion. He shares his thoughts on keeping a squad – and management – happy. The conversation carries on from there.

Vital Heynen is the current head coach at German professional team VfB Friedrichshafen. He led the German Men’s National Team team to bronze at the 2014 World Championships. He has coached at the professional level for a number of years, having won a bunch of silverware during his time in his native Belgium. He has also coached clubs in Poland and Turkey. Vital also had a lengthy career as a player in his own right.

Feedback, questions, comments, etc. are always welcome!