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.

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Glenn Hoag

Getting it done for Club and Country

Like Vital Heynen and fellow Canadians Stelio DeRocco and Garth Pischke, Glenn Hoag transitioned from a high level playing career into success as a coach.

His resume includes:

  • Coach of the Canadian Men’s National Team from 2006 to 2016, including leading the team to 5th at the 2016 Olympics
  • Winner of Canada’s first ever NORCECA Championship title in 2016.
  • Bronze Medal with Canada at the 2015 Pan-Am Games
  • Winner of the French League, French Cup, and the CEV Champions League with Paris Volley.
  • Winner of the Slovenian Championship, Cup and MEVZA in 2008 and 2010 with ACH Team
  • Winner of multiple Turkish Championships and a Cup with Arkas Sports Club
  • Also coached university volleyball in Canada, and was named CIS Coach of the Year in 1997

Here’s some of what Glenn discusses in his interview:

– On-going education and mentorship
– Developing a sense to how to play as a team
– Making the change from player to coach
– Working with players at different levels and from different cultures

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Glenn’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

You can also get Glenn’s interview as part of the following bundles:

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!

Podcast Episode 28: Starting a new season with your team

What do you do at the start of a new season? Sometimes you have a lot of returning players and only a few new ones. In other cases you have a lot of turnover, if not a completely new squad. In this episode of the podcast we talk about the things that are important to do at the outset, particularly in the area of leadership. That’s in terms of both it’s identification and recognition.

In this episode we reference the interview with Tom Turco, that features in the Volleyball Coaching Wizards book. Friend of the show, Ruben Wolochin is mentioned. He was with us for both Episode 5 and Episode 6 of the podcast. While Sue Gozansky does not get a specific mention, we do talk about some of what we talked about in Episode 1 of the podcast.

We also talk about this interview excerpt from John Dunning with respect to team culture.

We also mention Kathy DeBoer’s book Gender and Competition. The movie Necessary Roughness is in the discussion as well.

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

Podcast Episode 27: The first Volleyball Coaching Wizards book

The first ever Volleyball Coaching Wizards book was recently released. In this episode of the the podcast we talk about the book, and about the whole Wizards project that has brought about it’s development.

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

Podcast Episode 26: Player-Coach relationships, with Athanasios Papageorgiou

The relationship between player and coach could be the most important aspect of being a successful coach. In this episode of the podcast we explore that idea. It starts off with two excerpts from highly respected German coach and coach educator Athanasios Papageorgiou. They bring up the idea of looking at coaching beyond what you do in practice and how you manage match situations.

Athanasios Papageorgiou is probably best known in his native Germany as a coaching educator as he was Head of Coach Education for the German Volleyball Federation from 1986 to 2014. He remains and FIVB Coach Instructor, which he’s been since 1993. Papa, as he’s known, coached professionally from 1986 to 1992, winning a German championship and a German Cup during that time. Since 1983 he has been head coach for the German National Disabled Volleyball Team (standing), and has also coached the beach version since 2006. He taught volleyball at the German Coaches Academy for many years and has authored five books.

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

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Tod Mattox

Coaching with a Subversive Streak

Tod Mattox likes to do things a little differently than other coaches. It seems to be working! He’s one of the most respected high school coaches not just in his local San Diego area volleyball community, but throughout California and beyond.

His resume includes:

  • Over 600 wins in 30 years of high school coaching, including 7 San Diego County Championships
  • USA Volleyball Leadership Award in 2008
  • 2016 Head Coaches Award from the San Diego Hall of Champions
  • AVP beach coach
  • Long-time coaching clinician

Here’s some of what Tod discusses in his interview:

– Challenging assumptions
– Managing team parents
– Coaching evaluations and looking to improve as a coach over the season
– Working with players on college recruiting

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Tod’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

Podcast Episode 25: Important Skills for a Coach, with Craig Marshall

What are the most important skills for a coach? Craig Marshall shares his thoughts in this episode. We start our discussion there, and eventually circle back to end there. In between, though, we wander around through a few other subjects. Hopefully, you’ll find them interesting. :-)

Australian coach Craig Marshall is a fixture on the world beach volleyball circuit. He has coached teams on the highly competitive World Tour for nearly two decades, with eight podium finishes and a World Championships medal. He has also coached multiple medal wins on Continental tours, including a historic clean sweep of medals at the 2016 Asian Championships. He coached the Australian men in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympics tournaments, and was on-hand in 2012 as well.

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