Using both self and opponent visualization

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Canadian college and national team coach Garth Pischke shares his view on the value and importance of the use of visualization by players. In particular, he thinks it’s important to do it both from the perspective of personal play and opponent scouting.

Garth Pischke is the winningest coach in men’s college volleyball history with over 1300 victories while leading the program at the University of Manitoba. In his nearly 35 years there, his teams have made 26 trips to the CIS Championships, winning 9 golds, 9 silver, and 5 bronze medals. Garth also was the head coach of the Canadian National Team from 1996 to 2000. During that span the team’s international ranking rose from 21st to 10th.

Expanding your vision as a coach

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, long-time high school coach Stephen Pierce talks about expanding your vision as a coach. That means looking deeper than the final play in a sequence to truly understand the underlying cause of errors and breakdowns.

Stephen Pierce coached high school volleyball in upstate New York for over 20 years before retiring after the 2016 season. During that time he won just short of 1000 matches and his Eden HS teams collected 13 state titles while he was head coach. That is the most for any school at any level. Stephen also developed a regional Juniors club program and led teams to USA Volleyball Junior National Championship medals.

Being a good assistant coach

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US college coach John Corbelli shares his views on what it takes to be a good assistant coach. Loyalty is something that comes up many times when this subject is discussed and John clearly agrees.

John Corbelli is one of the most respected trainers of volleyball players around. This is perhaps no surprise given that he assistant for the USA Women’s National Team under legendary coach Arie Sellinger during the 1984 Olympics. John is probably best known for being the lead assistant to his wife Laurie at Texas A&M where the two spent more than 20 years together. During that time they won nearly 500 matches, made almost 20 trips to the NCAA tournament (including 2 Final Fours), and had players earn 30 All-American selections.

John & Mark talk more about this topic in Episode 23 of the Podcast.

Getting better over the course of the season

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US high school coach Tod Mattox shares his view on the need to keep developing as a coach. As he notes, some coaches coach the same season over and over again, never seeking to get better.

Tod Mattox has accumulated over 600 victories, including 7 San Diego County championships in his time leading the high school program at the Bishop’s School. He was chosen for the USA Volleyball Leadership Award in 2008 and the 2016 Head Coaches Award by the San Diego Hall of Champions. Tod has also done a lot of work in juniors coaching, has coached professional beach volleyball teams, and is a long-time coaching clinician.

Remembering it’s about the players

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US college coach Dave Shoji shares a piece of advice for new coaches – and really for all coaches. Remember it’s about the players, not about you.

Dave Shoji is a volleyball institution in Hawaii where he has coached the women’s team at the University of Hawaii for more than 40 years. During that time he has won more NCAA Division I matches than any other women’s coach (nearly 1200). He’s won 4 national championships and his teams have made more than 30 trips to the NCAA tournament. Dave has been recognized for his accomplishments with All-Time Great designation by USA Volleyball, AVCA Hall of Fame induction, and numerous other awards.

A view on blocked training

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, legendary American men’s collegiate volleyball coach Al Scates lets you know what he thinks about blocked training.

Al Scates coached the UCLA Men’s Volleyball program for more than 40 years. During that span his teams amassed over 1200 victories and won 19 NCAA championships, with another 6 runners-up finishes. Scates was named Coach of the Year five times: 1984, 1987, 1993, 1996, 1998. He was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame in 2004.

A side vs B Side or mixed team scrimmages

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US college men’s coach Arnie Ball answers the question whether he prefers scrimmaging starters against non-starters or mixing the players up.

Arnie Ball spent more than 30 years coaching the men’s team at IPFW where he won over 500 matches, reached the NCAA Final 4 six times, and was a national runner-up. He also won over 200 matches as the IPFW women’s team coach in the first few years of his tenure there. Arnie was named conference Coach of the Year three times and the 2007 AVCA National Coach of the Year. He has worked in the USA national program in a number of different coach roles and is a member of the AVCA Hall of Fame.

This is a topic John & Mark delve into more deeply in Episode 20 of the Podcast.

How volleyball changed a life

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Gerry Ford talks about how volleyball brought together people from both sides of the political and religious divide and gave them a whole different perspective on each other.

Gerry Ford is the head coach of the Northern Ireland men’s national volleyball team. He is also Head Coach at Queens University Belfast and has done volleyball TV commentary. Among his honors is national Coach of the Year. He grew up during the Troubles in his homeland.

Training players to manage themselves

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Canadian volleyball coach Glenn Hoag talks about how he tries to develop in his players and and teams the ability to eventually manage themselves on the court.

Glenn Hoag coached the Canadian Men’s National Team in the Rio 2016 Olympics, leading the team into the medal round. His side also won the country’s first NORCECA title in 2016. At the professional level, Hoag can claim four French championships, three French Cups, two Slovenian championships and cup, and a CEV Champions League gold medal, along with league and cup wins in Turkey.

Looking at jump counts like pitch counts

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US high school and juniors coach Ryan Mitchell explores the idea of volleyball coaches evaluating player jump counts in ways similar to how baseball managers use pitch counts.

Ryan Mitchell has been a head coach at a three different high schools in the greater Dallas area, as well as having coached at the Juniors level for three of the area’s clubs. At the high school level, Ryan won five straight Texas titles, earning himself six Coach of the Year selections in the state. He was also selected National High School Coach of the Year by the NFHS. At the club levels his teams have earned national qualification nearly every year.

In Episode 22 of the Podcast this is a subject John & Mark expand upon.