Coaching to the performance not the score

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US college coach Joel Dearing shares his approach to coaching during a match. In particular, he discusses the importance of focusing on the team’s performance more than paying attention to the score.

Joel Dearing coached a total of 40 seasons of collegiate volleyball – mainly on the women’s side, and mostly at Springfield College. He recorded over 700 NCAA Division III victories, putting him in the Top 10 all-time. He head to Springfield men to a final #1 ranking in his final season coaching them. He was the AVCA Regional Coach of the Year 5 times. Joel coached 10 All-Americans. He is the author of two volleyball books, is on the board of the Volleyball Hall of Fame, and is a long-time member of the USA Volleyball CAP cadre. In 2019 he was inducted in to the AVCA Hall of Fame.

John & Mark expand on this topic in Episode 12 of the Podcast. More from Joel’s interview also comes up in Episode 15.

Making technique simple and comfortable

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Swedish coach Anders Kristiansson talks about making player techniques and mechanics simple and comfortable. In particular, he addresses techniques that get taught by coaches which cannot be maintained in the reality of the game.

Anders Kristiansson, who currently coaches in Japan, is a coach who influenced other top coaches. He coached teams to 26 combined men’s and women’s championships in his native Sweden, then went on to win 15 titles in Belgium and 3 more in Greece. His teams played in four CEV Champions League Final 4s and twice reached the final. Anders also coached the Swedish national team during its strongest period of international performance. He lead the team to a silver medal at the 1989 European Championships, the nation’s best ever tournament finish.

This topic is something John & Mark give a bit more time to in Episode 11 of the Podcast.

The philosophy of training plans

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Jan De Brandt talks about his approach to planning, structuring, and organizing training. Among the views he expresses is that coaches should look for ways to make training shorter and that fewer good repetitions is better than many bad ones.

Jan De Brandt was most recently the Hungarian Women’s National Team coach, having previously also coached for his native Belgium. At the club level he has coached in Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Azerbaijan, and Germany. He is a Winner of the European Volleyball League, a CEV Champions League Silver Medal, and a CEV Cup Bronze Medal. While coaching in Turkey his teams won 2 league championships, 1 cup, and 1 Super Cup.

This subject is one John & Mark discuss in Episode 9 of the Podcast. Another of the concepts from Jan’s interview – the roles of the coach – is the topic of Episode 30.

Selecting team captains and assigning responsibilities

In this excerpt from her Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Jenny McDowell talks about team captains. She shares her process for selecting captains and talks about the responsibilities she gives them.

Jenny McDowell is Head Coach at Emory University. In her more than 20 seasons there she has amassed over 700 wins, reached the NCAA tournament almost every season, made it to the Final Four on six occasions, and won two national championships. She’s coached 40+ All-American selections and 2 National Players of the Year.

This topic is something John & Mark talk further about in Episode 10 of the Podcast.

Which is more important – coaching in training or match coaching

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Redbad Strikwerda answers the question whether he feels it is more important what a coach does in training or what they do during a match. His answer is perhaps different than what many coaches might think.

Redbad Strikwerda has won 6 league, Cup, and Super Cup volleyball titles in his native Holland. He has coached teams in the CEV Champions League, the CEV Cup, and the CEV Challenge Cup. At the national team level, he has coached in the European League and European Championships.

This topic is one John & Mark expand upon in Episode 7 of the Podcast.

Differences in coaching female vs. male athletes

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Scottish coach Craig Faill shares his views and experiences with the difference in approach required when work with female vs. male athletes. In particular, he talks about the socialization aspect of team management.

Craig Faill has over 30 years of coaching experience in his native Scotland. His club teams have won multiple national championships. He is currently the Head Coach of the Scottish Women’s National Team. He previously head coached the Scottish Men’s Junior National Team and was an assistant to the Men’s full national squad.

Being authentic as coaches

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Giovanni Guidetti looks at how different nations have their own approaches to training, each resulting in considerable success on the international stage. He concludes by suggesting that at the end of the day each coach must be authentic in how they decide to coach their teams and players.

Giovanni is currently the Turkish women’s national team coach. He previously coached the Dutch national team to 4th in the 2016 Olympics. He previously also coached the German and Bulgarian national squads. He coaches professionally in Turkey and has won multiple CEV Champions League titles and FIVB World Club Championships.

Additional thoughts from Giovanni’s interview can be found in Episode 8 of the Podcast, as well as in the Wizard Wisdom book.

Respect and playing weaker teams

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Simon Loftus talks about the value of respecting the opposition and having objectives for matches against weaker opposition other than simply winning.

Simon became the first coach of a Scottish national volleyball team to win a championship when he led the Scotland men to the 2012 Novatel Cup title. As coach of the men’s and women’s program at Leeds Met University in England, his teams won 6 U.K. university (BUCS) championships and 5 Volleyball England Student Cups. He has also coached professionally in Sweden and has NCAA coaching experience.

Volleyball coaching philosophy change

This is an excerpt from Mark’s interview in which he talks about how his coaching philosophy has changed over the years. He discusses how he went from requiring his players to operate in a certain way rather than allowing them the freedom to find solutions for themselves.

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!