Review: A huge win

Here’s a review of Volleyball Coaching Wizards – Wizard Wisdom shared on Amazon by a German reader. First the original German, then the translation.

Wer eine Übungssammlung erwartet, wird enttäuscht. Für alle Anderen ist das zweite Buch der Volleyball Coaching Wizards ein riesiger Gewinn. Endlich mal wieder ein Buch, dass sich mit der mentalen Seite des Spiels befasst und Technik/Taktik zum Glück außen vor lässt. Aus meiner Sicht gehört dieses Buch als Pflichtlektüre in jeden Trainerlehrgang – egal auf welcher Ausbildungsstufe. Statt wie im ersten Buch reine Interviews abzudrucken, haben John und Mark einzelne Aspekte aus zahlreichen Interviews heraus genommen und diskutieren diese entweder selbst oder stellen andere Interviewausschnitte dagegen. Hier bieten sich Lernchancen für jeden Trainer. Absolute Leseempfehlung.

Anyone who expects a collection of exercises will be disappointed. For everyone else, the second book of Volleyball Coaching Wizards is a huge win. Finally a book that deals with the mental side of the game and leaves technique/tactics out fortunately. From my point of view, this book is a compulsory reading in every coaching course — no matter what level of training. Instead of printing pure interviews like in the first book, John and Mark have taken individual aspects out of numerous interviews and either discuss them themselves or put other interview excerpts against them. This is where learning opportunities are offered for every trainer. Absolute reading recommendation.

Review: Recommended for any volleyball coach

Here’s a review a reader of the first Volleyball Coaching Wizards book posted on Amazon.

As a volleyball coach I was pleased to find a book dedicated to my sport. While I’ve read some great coaching books, such as the ones by Phil Jackson and Bill Walsh, they are both American and about basketball and football respectively. So I very much appreciated not just the technical volleyball aspect, but the fact that the coaches interviewed were from not just the USA, but also Europe and Australia. In particular the interview with Giovanni Guidetti is worth the price of the book alone. His views on coaching and learning are inspirational and thought provoking. The book covers a wide range of volleyball coaching, so not everything will be relevant to each reader (e.g. beach volleyball and college volleyball were less applicable to me), but each coach interviewed had higher level themes relating to coach player interactions that sat above the technical application. Recommended for any volleyball coach.

A review of the Wizards book from Down Under

An Australian reader of the first Volleyball Coaching Wizards book sent us an email to share his thoughts.

I’ve read both of Jack Schwager’s books, and so immediately related to the concept.

I’m only two chapters into it, but I absolutely love it so far, particularly the chapter with Giovanni Guidetti. I especially like the section about Jamie Morrison (former assistant coach to Karch Kiraly), where Giovanni deliberately runs a drill he knows he will disagree with to start a healthy debate. I work in the completely opposite environment in my day job, I would love to have a boss like that.

As a young graduate engineer, one of my first managers told me that I was very “black and white” and that the world is in fact many shades of grey. The older I’ve gotten, the more I relate to this statement, and that’s why Giovanni’s acceptance of this concept resonated with me so much.

I also personally appreciated the point you made about using punishments in training, and how it stifles creativity and focuses the player only on avoiding errors. I was torn over the concept of punishments at the start of last season, however my wife, who is a neuropsychologist, was dead against them, with the psychological research heavily supporting reward rather than punishment. I adopted a philosophy of patience and rewarding positive behaviours and thoroughly enjoyed the performance and culture that arose from it.

I look forward to the insights that I will find in the remaining chapters. I commend you for getting this book out there. I’ve written a short kindle book, and I appreciate that it’s a passion more so than a means to make a living.

The Jack Schwager books he mentioned are Market Wizards and The New Market Wizards. They were a big part of the inspiration for the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project. Glad to hear the volleyball version does indeed follow along with the Schwager version’s concept.