Interview: Stephen Pierce

Date: March 31, 2017

Download the audio file (right click and “Save As…” / 67mb – 1:37:58)

The one book mentioned in the interview was Coaching Volleyball Successfully by Sally Kus.

What did you think?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, etc. What did you find most interesting or surprising? What was something that could influence your own coaching? What additional question(s) would you like to hear Stephen answer?

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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 $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

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. :-)

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Ryan Mitchell

Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

USA coach Ryan Mitchell embrace a philosophy of constantly striving to be better, to move from good to great.

His resume includes:

  • 5 straight Texas high school championships between 2008 and 2012
  • 6 Coach of the Year selections in Texas
  • 2012 NFHS National High School Coach of the Year and AVCA National Coach of the Year finalist
  • Over 400 victories and an 87% win rate in 10 seasons as a head coach
  • Consistently sees his juniors teams, no matter the age, earn Nationals qualifications.

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

– Being a continuous learner

– Developing players as leaders from an early age

– Season training progressions

– Try-out philosophies

– Team-building

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

Get access to Ryan’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Teri Clemens

A coaching career cut short

USA coach Teri Clemens only had 14 seasons coaching at NCAA Division III Washington University before health reasons forced her retirement after achieving an .873 win percentage (#1 among retired coaches in all the NCAA). Teri’s energy and enthusiasm are obvious in her interview.

Her resume includes:

  • Seven NCAA Division III National Championships, including six in a row
  • Over 500 NCAA career victories
  • 3-Time AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year
  • AVCA Hall of Fame inductee
  • Winner of 3 straight Missouri state high school championships before moving to the college ranks.
  • Author of Get With It Girls! Life is Competition.

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

– Creating a competitive environment

– Developing strong servers

– Season training progressions

– What she looked for in the recruiting process

– Team-building

– The differences in why men and women play sports

– Goal setting

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

Get access to Teri’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Bob Schneck

Life decisions and coaching

USA coach Bob Schneck has spent his entire 35 year college coaching career at the University of Rhode Island. In the early days he had the unfortunate situation of having to face Penn State in conference each year, resulting in him accumulating a lot of second place finishes. Along the way, though, he did manage to get little URI into the national rankings.

His resume includes:

  • Over 600 NCAA Division I victories
  • Coach 32 All-Conference performers, 6 conference Freshmen of the Year, and 2 conference Players of the Year.
  • NCAA District I Coach of the Year twice
  • Long-time member of the USA Volleyball CAP cadre
  • Outstanding high school coaching record before moving to college.

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

– The off-court demands of college coaching

– Work/life balance

– Assistant coach development

– Program building

– Recruiting foreign players

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

Get access to Bob’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Tom Turco

Coaching the mental at least as much as the physical

USA high school coach is a legend in New England volleyball circles. A major part of his success he attributes to the mental, off-court training he has been doing with each of his teams going back 20 years. It seems to be working pretty well!

His resume includes:

  • 17 Massachusetts state high school championships
  • 110 match winning streak from 2003 to 2007.
  • 2008 AVCA National Coach of the Year.
  • 2012 NHSCA National Volleyball Coach of the Year

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

– Tryouts and making cuts

– Focusing on the mental part of the game

– Staff management

– Working with your administration

– Creating a culture

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

Get access to Tom’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.