Volleyball Coaching Wizard Stephen Pierce

Not Letting Location be a Limit

Like many US high school volleyball coaches, Stephen Pierce coached on top of his full-time job as an English teacher. In his 20+ year career he established himself as perhaps the best high school coach in any sport in the state of New York.

His resume includes:

  • Nearly 1000 victories
  • 14 State Championships, including 8 straight, the most of any New York coach
  • 2010 he was named National High School Volleyball Coach of the Year
  • The only New York juniors coach to win a USAV national championship or a USA National Qualifier at the Open level

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

– Being able to push players
– Developing coaching vision
– Juniors vs high school coaching differences
– Developing volleyball in the community
– Handling coaching with a full-time teaching job

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Stephen’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Al Scates

A Legend Among Legends

When it comes to institutions in the sport, few can match the 50 years Al Scates led the UCLA men’s volleyball program. Over that time he not only did he win a ton, a number of his former players went on to become successful coaches in their own right.

His resume includes:

  • Over 1200 career victories
  • 19 NCAA Championships
  • 5 Coach of the Year awards
  • AVCA Hall of Fame inductee
  • International Volleyball Hall of Fame inductee

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

– Lots of volleyball history!
– Game training vs blocked
– The legend of the blue curtain
– What’s most important elements for competitive success

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Al’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Tod Mattox

Coaching with a Subversive Streak

Tod Mattox likes to do things a little differently than other coaches. It seems to be working! He’s one of the most respected high school coaches not just in his local San Diego area volleyball community, but throughout California and beyond.

His resume includes:

  • Over 600 wins in 30 years of high school coaching, including 7 San Diego County Championships
  • USA Volleyball Leadership Award in 2008
  • 2016 Head Coaches Award from the San Diego Hall of Champions
  • AVP beach coach
  • Long-time coaching clinician

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

– Challenging assumptions
– Managing team parents
– Coaching evaluations and looking to improve as a coach over the season
– Working with players on college recruiting

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Tod’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

High school coaches can’t be among the world’s best?

Volleyball Coaching WizardsSorry if this seems like a rant. We need to respond to a comment that speaks to the very heart of the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project, though. Someone who rated the first 8 cover design options under consideration left it anonymously.

For the cover shown at left they said:

“how does high school .. and world’s greatest coaches make sense – only in usa perhaps”

Firstly, the “High School Greats” bit is just a sample bit of text offered off the top of the head as a placeholder. You can see the “developing the team concept” alternative used in some of the designs. Actual book topics are not decided yet.

Second, and more importantly, why can’t high school coaches be among the world’s best?

Is it because most of the world doesn’t have high school volleyball? Or is it because high school coaches are youth coaches, and youth coaches can’t be considered great?

The whole point of Volleyball Coaching Wizards is to bring to light coaches who excel, regardless of level. This doesn’t just mean those at the very highest level.

We cannot make the assumption that just because a coach spends their career at the high school or youth level they couldn’t be just as successful if they coached college, professional, or international level players. Similarly, we can’t assume high level coaches are just as effective coaching younger, less experienced players.

Certainly, there are Wizard coaches who started their careers in the youth or high school ranks and moved up to higher levels. There are also, however, many coaches out there who either through choice or circumstance found themselves in a niche where they thrived and achieved well above average success.

There are WAY more coaches at the lower levels of the game than there are at the top level. Some will work their way up the ladder. Most won’t. Everyone along the spectrum deserves to not only get to understand what those coaching at higher levels than theirs think and do, but also the actions and thoughts of those with great success at their own level.

That is a major point of Volleyball Coaching Wizards.

P.S.: This same person also made the comment “who knows or cares about the authors names – you are not Grisham – yet … keep it small” for one of the other designs. Seems like someone perhaps got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. :-)

John Dunning on defining team culture

At the Art of Coaching Volleyball clinic in Fort Worth, TX (held at TCU), John got a chance to sit down with John Dunning, Terry Liskevych, and Russ Rose for a set of interviews. They were not full Wizards style interviews – which generally go 1:30-2:00 hours in length – but they addressed some similar themes. We’ll be releasing clips from those interviews on our YouTube channel over time – five of them this week.

Here’s the first, featuring John Dunning talking about developing and enforcing team culture.

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Dave Shoji

A Coaching Institution

Dave Shoji is Hawaii volleyball. For more than 40 years he’s been at the helm of a college program which is always at or near the top of the annual attendance figures rankings, with thousands of people coming out to watch his teams play. How many of us would love to coach in front of crowds like that?

His resume includes:

  • More NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball wins than anyone (approaching 1200)
  • Four national championships and over 30 trips to the NCAA tournament
  • 12-time conference, 10-time region, and twice national Coach of the Year
  • AVCA Hall of Fame inductee and named on of the all-time great coaches by USA Volleyball in 2002

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

– Staying in one position for so long
– The pressure of coaching where there is a lot of fan support
– Dealing with problem personalities in the team
– Remembering that coaching is about the players, not about the coach

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Dave’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

Volleyball Coaching Wizard John Corbelli

Assistants Get Credit as Well

John Corbelli is the first interview of someone who has primarily been an assistant coach through is career, notably being a part of a spouse coaching duo. He is well respected as one of the best trainers around.

His resume includes:

  • More than 20 years as assistant coach to his wife at Texas A&M (nearly 500 wins, and almost 20 trips to the NCAA tournament – 2 Final Fours, 30 All-American selections)
  • Three years as an NCAA Division I head coach in his own right.
  • Assistant to Arie Selinger for the USA Women’s National Team during the 1984 Olympics

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

– The qualities of a good assistant coach
– The culture of Hawaiian volleyball
– Coaching with and against your spouse
– Incorporating structured and game-like training approaches

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to John’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Ryan Mitchell

Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

USA coach Ryan Mitchell embrace a philosophy of constantly striving to be better, to move from good to great.

His resume includes:

  • 5 straight Texas high school championships between 2008 and 2012
  • 6 Coach of the Year selections in Texas
  • 2012 NFHS National High School Coach of the Year and AVCA National Coach of the Year finalist
  • Over 400 victories and an 87% win rate in 10 seasons as a head coach
  • Consistently sees his juniors teams, no matter the age, earn Nationals qualifications.

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

– Being a continuous learner
– Developing players as leaders from an early age
– Season training progressions
– Try-out philosophies
– 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 Ryan’s interview now for just a $4.99 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.

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.

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.