I recently posted on the facebook page the post of Platonov quotes. The following quote was commented upon…
”Do not be afraid to learn from players. Especially new techniques. “Stars” become “stars” because they do many things non standard, not by the text book.”
Given that Platonov was the greatest volleyball of all time, I thought it might be worth discussing further.
In the Vince Lombardi biography, ‘When Pride Still Mattered’, the story is told of Lombardi (on the way to being the greatest football coach of all time) making the adjustment from college coach to professional coach. After some difficult times, particularly in his relationships with the players, he sat down with them and asked them to help him coach them.
I think it is reasonable to say that even in the age of player empowerment neither story is typical. But until I heard the following story, I didn’t realise the idea of learning from players was quite so foreign.
A former professional player, one of the best players in the world at his position, gave a lecture on his skill area to a group of development coaches. To reiterate, he was one of the best in world at that position. After he explained to them exactly what he did, where he looked, what he tried to recognise, how he made his decision, his technique; the entire process that he went through to be the best in the world, the assembled coaches told him he was wrong. Particularly, they told him he was looking in the wrong place. Apparently the scientific research shows something different.