Volleyball Coaching Wizard Terry Pettit

A Legendary Program Developer

Terry Pettit is a legend in US coaching circles not just for his success at the University of Nebraska where he built a powerhouse, but also for his work since then in helping coaches develop and grow. Among other things, he is known as perhaps the only poet-coach in volleyball, and his writings present a unique view on coaching and leadership.

His resume includes:

  • Nearly 700 NCAA Division I victories
  • Winner of over 20 conferences championships, six trips to the Final 4, two runners-up finishes, and a national championship.
  • 3-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and 9-time conference Coach of the Year
  • 2004 USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coaches Award winner
  • AVCA Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Author of Talent and the Secret Life of Teams; The Journey to Extraordinary Coaching; and A Fresh Season – Insights Into Coaching, Leadership and Volleyball

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

– Recruiting philosophy
– Developing volleyball in Nebraska
– Situational coaching
– Developing problem-solving situations rather than telling
– Exercising both the cooperative and competitive sides
– 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 Terry’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

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!

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 $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

Additionally, Teri’s interview is featured in the first Volleyball Coaching Wizards book.

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!