Coaching players as they are

In this excerpt from her Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US college coach Peggy Martin shares her view on adapting yourself as a coach to the personality and motivation of your players rather than expecting them to be like you.

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.

This topic is one John & Mark expand upon in Episode 18 of the Podcast.

Team building and developing the team culture

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US college coach Terry Pettit answers the question what he would do in terms of team-building and developing a team culture if he took over a new team.

Coaching legend Terry Pettit developed what became a powerhouse University of Nebraska volleyball program during the course of his 23 years. While at the Corn Husker helm, Pettit’s teams won nearly 700 matches and more than 20 conference championships. They reached the Final 4 on six occasions, winning one national championship and finishing runner-up two other times. Terry was selected conference Coach of the Year nine times and AVCA National Coach of the Year three times. He received the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coaches Award in 2004 and was selected to the AVCA Hall of Fame. Terry has written three books: Talent and the Secret Life of Teams; The Journey to Extraordinary Coaching; and A Fresh Season – Insights Into Coaching, Leadership and Volleyball.

The characteristics of a good setter

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Bill Neville talks about his favorite setter of all time and shares the three characteristics he thinks made him so great.

Bill Neville has been a fixture for USA Volleyball for decades. He was on the coaching staff when the men won Olympic gold in 1984, has been Technical Director, and National Commissioner of Coaching Education. In the latter role he lead the development of the Coaches Accreditation Program (CAP). Bill coached the Canadian national team in the 1976 Olympics, and also spent over 15 years coaching NCAA Division I women’s volleyball. He authored the book Coaching Volleyball Successfully.

In Episode 16 of the Podcast this topic is taken up further by John & Mark.

Coaching beach vs indoor volleyball

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, German coach Axel Büring answers the question as to what he took from indoor coaching to working with beach players and what he took from beach coaching to working with indoor players.

Axel Büring spent more than 20 years coaching the women’s team at USC Munster in the German Bundesliga. During that time his teams won four titles, 5 cups, and a European Cup. He also coached a world Top-20 ranked German women’s beach team for most of a decade.

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.

Coaching career advice and the importance of a good administration

In this excerpt from her Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Marilyn McReavy-Nolen shares a bit of career advice. She talks about the importance of including the quality of those we work for in the process of deciding on the jobs we take or opt to keep.

Marilyn McReavy-Nolen became the 3rd coach in history to reach the 800 career victory mark in NCAA Division I. She is a member of the inaugural AVCA Hall of Fame class as well as being a member of the Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame. She was also chosen for a USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coaches Award.

Judging player character in tryouts

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Jim Stone shares his thoughts on how to go beyond judging player skill and athleticism during the tryout process and to also assess their character, coachability, etc. These are things he uses in his work with the USA Volleyball youth national teams.

Jim Stone spent 26 seasons as the head coach at Ohio State where he amassed over 500 victories. His teams won 3 Big 10 titles and made 15 trips to the NCAA tournament. Jim coached two AVCA Players of the Year and 19 All-Americans. He was selected regional and conference Coach of the Year four times.

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.