Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had the opportunity to connect with a number of coaches and talk about Volleyball Coaching Wizards. Those who’ve heard about it tell us they are super excited and think it’s an amazing thing for the sport. The excitement is clear. Even the those we’re interviewing for the project are really pumped up. Just the other day, Mike Lingenfelter, who helps run the highly successful Munciana Juniors club program in the States said, “To say that I am jacked to chat would be an understatement.”
To this point we’ve completed seven interviews, with more getting scheduled all the time (Carl McGown is booked for this week). We’re already starting to accumulate some really great nuggets of wisdom, insight, and experience. This is, of course, the most obvious expectation for the project. There’s more to it, though.
The other day Mark wrote a blog post in which he talked about his motivation for developing Volleyball Coaching Wizards and his hopes and expectations for the project. One of the things that has come up in our discussions with both the coaches we’re seeking to interview and coaches who are eager to learn from them is the lack of a strong coaching literature for our sport. In English there is a ton of material, primarily from the States, but the main focus is technical and tactical (drills, offensive and defensive systems, etc.). There isn’t much at what could be called the more macro level – the philosophical and structural framework in which the technical and tactical stuff is employed. We’re looking to change that.
Further, as Mark notes, there are language divisions in the sport which keep good material from being universally available. Our long-term hope for Wizards is to be able to overcome those language boundaries by making the content available in translations.
It’s not just about volleyball, though.
One of the things that’s become apparent from the early interviews already is the universality of some of the coaching subjects being discussed. Yes, there is obviously a focus on volleyball. There is much, though, which can be viewed in a general coaching context. This excerpt from the interview with former Australian and Canadian National Team Coach Stelio DeRocco on the importance of being consistent as a coach is a perfect example.
Up to now, volleyball coaches have drawn from the insights of the great coaches in other sports. With the Wizards project we may finally start to see coaches in other sports looking to volleyball for coaching wisdom.