Tag Archives: Coaching Volleyball Blog

Volleyball Coaching Wizards

Apart from giving me an outlet to write about things in volleyball that interest and intrigue me, the main themes of this blog (and Facebook page and Twitter feed) are to share ideas from backgrounds to which not all coaches necessarily have access, and to maintain volleyball history.  Volleyball as a sport has a very poor sense of its own history and what little literature there is fractured into smaller language groups.  For example, English speakers have no real access to the collected wisdom of incredible coaching talents like Platonov or Velasco whose main work has been carried out in other languages.

In another attempt to address this issue John Forman (blogger at ‘Coaching Volleyball’) and I have begun a new project entitled ‘Volleyball Coaching Wizards’.  The goal of the project is to identify and interview as many of the great volleyball coaches in the world (wizards, if you will) and disseminate their accumulated wisdom in as many forms as we can.  In our minds, coaching wizards do not only coach professionals, and are not necessarily famous.  They can just as equally coach high school teams or national teams but their knowledge and experience will be helpful to all.  Initially, the interviews will be available as downloadable audio files and ultimately we would like to put them into a book form.

Until now we have had about 200 coaches nominated (you can nominate a wizard here), 30 confirmations and seven completed interviews.  This will be a long term project.  Details of subscriptions are currently being finalised and will be released soon.  In the meantime, sign up for our mailing list here, and receive a link to one of the first interviews.  And support us on Facebook and Twitter and You Tube.  On those platforms you can also link to clips from some of the completed interviews to give you a taste of what we have in mind right now, but the finished project will be moulded by the input of many.

One of the first interviews was with well known Canadian coach Stelio DeRocco.  Completely unprompted (I promise!) he explained how he saw the value of the ‘Volleyball Coaching Wizards’.

The Wisdom Of Julio Velasco – Part Two

As I wrote in Part One, Julio Velasco recently made a presentation at the USA Volleyball High Performance Coaches Clinic.  Blog reader David Cordes attended the presentation and kindly made his notes available.  Here are the notes for the second part of Velasco’s presentation.  Again they are presented as taken, without commentary.

– Coaching is an art , not a science – Doug Beal

– You can have your own art, your own style, but you can’t build a building that will fall down.

– Coaching is an Art like Architecture.

– Coaches build relationships with players and with other coaches the way architects build buildings.

– The way we coach can become an ideology. We like people who think like we do. So we tend to only communicate with and listen to others like ourselves.

– To be a good coach we must know how to convince players – how to play, how to practice, how to do skills.

– It is not important what the coach wants or likes, he has to convince his players.

– I use what is useful for my team. I know what is useful because I study volleyball from different cultures and ways.

– In Italy – you can build a perfect building but can’t build a perfect block?

– Hypothesis – maybe we lose because we play bad! We can change that. We don’t have to change our culture, or history. We just have to change how we play.

– We have to find solutions to our problems. Solutions that work for us. Situation: the set is low and tight to the net – do you like it? So how do we deal with that?

– For coaches we must find solutions to any situation just like we ask our players to do.

David also made the following general notes from the presentation…

– The coaches job to identify problems your team is having and find solutions for that problem and then convince your players to adopt that solution. You can’t just preach your ideology. You have to find out what works for your team and convince them to follow that teaching.

– The hard part for coaches is properly identifying the problem and then finding the right solution for it.

– The artful part of coaching is using your knowledge of volleyball to build relationships with your players and other coaches.

In addition, John Forman from the Coaching Volleyball blog was also in attendance and wrote a great post on part of the presentation that you can read here.

Today’s videos are from the first great Italian victory of the Velasco Era, the 1989 European Championships.