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 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 19: Avoiding being the scapegoat for losing as a coach

This episode of the podcast actually takes a different course than most in that it features a question submitted by a listener. He basically asked the question how as coaches we can avoid having all the responsibility (blame) dumped on us when the team doesn’t perform as expected – whatever that might mean. It’s a really interesting thing to think and talk about.

Mark’s blog post with the quotes from NBA coach Gregg Popovich mentioned in the conversation can be found here.

John’s blog post on the subject of proving ourselves as coaches.

We also mentioned the episode with Tom Turco about post-match talks.

Feedback, questions, comments, etc. are always welcome! As this episode proves, we actually do pay attention to them and you might even make your way into the show. If nothing else, you let us know people actually listen. :-)

Podcast Episode 18: Coaching the players as they are with Peggy Martin

One of the struggles we can face as coaches is having to work with players who have motivations different than our own. In some cases it’s because they are different types of players than we were. In other cases it’s because they are in the sport for different reasons. In this episode of the podcast we start with Peggy Martin sharing her experience of learning to coach players as they are, not as we wished they were.

Peggy Martin has over 40 years of college coaching experience, primarily at the NCAA Division II level. She’s accumulated more than 1200 career victories and has won more than 20 league titles. Her Central Missouri teams made 25 straight trips to the NCAA tournament, reaching six Elite 8s and a national championship match. Peggy has been named Coach of the Year 22 times, including earning NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year honors in 1987. She is a member of the AVCA Hall of Fame.

A little discussion of blocked vs. random training came into this discussion, following on the subject of Episode 17.

Vital Heynen’s interview came up again in terms of having a coaching style contrary to his prior experience of coaching as a player. Along the same lines, Stelio DeRocco came up in terms of having prior playing experience being useful in understanding player motivation.

We also referenced the characteristics of a great setter episode with respect to showing a lack of doubt to the team.

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

Podcast Episode 17: Better results from random training with Tom Tait

The benefits to be had from incorporating more random or distributed (game-like) training in your practices as opposed to the old-school block style of training (basic repetitive skill execution) are often discussed in coaching circles these days. In this episode of the podcast Tom Tait, who knows a thing or two about skill acquisition, talks about how you can still do skill coaching in a game-like environment and how we need to allow our players to develop their athleticism in that way.

Tom Tait is basically the father of Penn State Volleyball. He was the first coach for both the men’s and women’s teams, having handed the latter off to Russ Rose. He developed the men’s program into a consistent NCAA championship contender before eventually also handing that off. Since then he’s been focused on coaching education, working with the US national team program, and continuing his work as a professor at Penn State.

In the discussion a graph is mentioned which shows why random training is superior to the block alternative, based on scientific research. Here it is:

This was presented at the USA Volleyball High Performance Coaches Clinic in 2015. John was there and shared what was discussed in Going beyond maximizing reps.

We also referenced the desirability of being as efficient as possible in our practice planning and implementation. That was talked about in the Jan De Brandt episode.

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

Podcast Episode 15: Coaching your best players with Joel Dearing

It is often the case that we, as coaches (and teachers), either coach to the middle of our squad or focus more attention on the weaker players to try to bring them up to everyone else’s level. From the perspective of maximizing gains, this can make sense. As Wizard Joel Dearing points out, though, we cannot ignore the best players in the team along the way. That is the focus of this episode.

Joel Dearing coached at NCAA Division III Springfield College for 30 years and accumulated over 700 wins. That’s good enough for a Top-10 standing in the record books. He mainly coached the women at Springfield, but also coached the men for seven seasons, and in his last had the team end the year ranked #1. Joel was five times selected AVCA Regional Coach of the Year and coached 10 All-Americans. He is a member of the board at the Volleyball Hall of Fame, a long-time part of the USA Volleyball Coaches Accreditation Program (CAP) cadre, and author of the books Volleyball Fundamentals and The Untold Story of William G. Morgan – Inventor of Volleyball.

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

Podcast Episode 14: Talking to the team after the match with Tom Turco

Pre- and post-match team talks have long been the subject of interest and attention, both by those involved in them (players and coaches) and those observing from outside. In this episode our conversation focuses on post-match talks, especially following a loss. It begin with the thoughts of Wizard Tom Turco.

Tom Turco has won 17 state high school championships in Massachusetts, where he has coached for over 30 years. His teams won a record 110 straight matches between 2003 and 2007. Tom was selected as the AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2008 and the NHSCA National Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2012.

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

Podcast Episode 12: Coaching to the performance, with Joel Dearing

When it comes to your coaching during matches, do you coach based on the score line or based on the performance of the team? Joel Dearing, in his Wizards interview, suggests you should be focused on the team’s performance as the score will then take care of itself. This is the starting point of our discussion in this episode of the podcast.

Joel Dearing coached at NCAA Division III Springfield College for 30 years and accumulated over 700 wins. That’s good enough for a Top-10 standing in the record books. He mainly coached the women at Springfield, but also coached the men for seven seasons, and in his last had the team end the year ranked #1. Joel was five times selected AVCA Regional Coach of the Year and coached 10 All-Americans. He is a member of the board at the Volleyball Hall of Fame, a long-time part of the USA Volleyball Coaches Accreditation Program (CAP) cadre, and author of the books Volleyball Fundamentals and The Untold Story of William G. Morgan – Inventor of Volleyball.

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

Podcast Episode 9: Practice plan development with Jan De Brandt

In this episode of the podcast we take a look at the philosophy of developing a good training or practice plan. In his interview, Jan De Brandt expressed his view that coaches should always be looking for ways to reduce the amount of time in training through effective and efficient use of that time.

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 years.

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

Podcast Episode 6: Being a Humble Coach and Coaching Education, Ruben Wolochin

This episode of the podcasts is a continuation of our discussion from Episode 5 with Ruben Wolochin from German men’s team TV Bühl. We continue to talk about what Ruben saw and heard in the big coaching conference he attended in his native Argentina. The conversation here turns to coaching mentality and coaching education. You will hear the term “humble” used several times!

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