Hugh McCutcheon on ‘The Net Live’

After winning the recent Women’s World Grand Prix, ‘The Net Live’ interviewed US women’s coach Hugh McCutheon.  To the surprise of (hopefully) noone, he had some interesting things to say.  Here are the things that stuck out in my mind.  I’ve tried to provide a feel for the context of his answers, but as always it is better to go to the source.  The direct link is here.  It is the podcast dated Sep 13, and the interview begins just before the 28:00 minute mark.  But to my highlights…

On the ‘USA System’…

“I would hate for people to think there is some kind of coaching algorithm that we just throw out there (that) everyone walks in one end and walks out the other and we’ve got it all grooved in.  There’s a lot of art and science that goes into the coaching deal.  They’re learning, we’re learning, we’re all trying to figure it out.”

“(There is nothing trademarkable about the ‘system.’)  Coaching is about finding a system that works for your players.  There are some underlying principles which are applied in any coaching situation but it’s about picking the lock to get this group of players to play the best volleyball they’re capable of playing for a long period of time.”

On switching from coaching men to coaching women…

“It’s a really interesting change that’s really forcing me to evolve as a coach, to keep growing and developing and trying to keep getting better.”

On the possibility of working both in Europe during the club season and with the National Team during the international season…

“There are pros and cons to working the European season and the national team season.  In Europe you get better at coaching in matches.  But the advantage we’ve found by having a group of players year round, is that we get better at teaching, which is a critical component of the job.  It is about teaching and coaching and if you have a choice you’d rather be a better teacher than coach.  If you teach them the right way, they can get out and play just fine on their own and hope you don’t get in the way.  Ideally you’re good at both.”

On the US program being primarily a ‘teaching’ program…

“There are phases for both (teaching and coaching).  We want to get better every day.  And the way you do that is put the athletes in an environment that work on their volleyball skills and give them feedback appropriate to that.  It’s not a complex formula.  It just takes a lot of time and energy and a lot of conviction.  You need to have a system that you believe in and a technical foundation that you want to establish.”

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3 thoughts on “Hugh McCutcheon on ‘The Net Live’

  1. Pingback: Volleyblog » “And hope you don’t get in the way”:

  2. Pingback: Hugh McCutcheon on The Net Live – Part 2 « At Home On The Court

  3. Pingback: Terry Pettit on Leadership « At Home On The Court

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