Dave Grohl’s Advice For Coaches

I have written before of my appreciation for the eternal wisdom of Dave Grohl. Indeed my life motto is ‘Everyone should love something as much as Dave Grohl loves music’. What I did not know was that Dave actually prepared a list of the 10 most important pieces of advice for coaching*.  I can’t put it any better than him.

1. You Have to Be Great
“If you’re good at what you do, people will recognize that. I really believe it.

2. Figure It Out
“If you’re focused and passionate and driven, you can achieve anything you want in life. I honestly believe that. Because you’ll fuckin’ figure it out.”

3. Chase Your Dreams

4. Don’t Lose Your Personality

5. Experiment

6. Do Your Own Thing
“The most important thing is that whatever you’re doing, it’s a representation of your voice. Whatever it is, the most important thing is that it’s your voice, that it’s coming from you.”

7. Find Balance

8. Just Do It
“There should be no right or wrong. You should be cool with what you do…”

9. Cherish Your Voice
“It’s your voice. Cherish it. Respect it. Nurture it. Challenge it. Stretch it and scream until it’s fucking gone. Because everyone is blessed with at least that, and who knows how long it will last.”

10. Love What You Do
“People can talk about the good ol’ days. Well, fuck that, man. This is fuckin’ great! I don’t know how to do anything else. This is it.”

  • He didn’t really. Someone else pieced together a list of 10 important things for success from different interviews he has done and I have (slightly) edited it for coaching.  The article is here and the original video is below.

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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How To Be A Great Coach

Dave Grohl is the most inspirational human being alive.

I don’t think that is in question.

It is not a matter of whether or not he makes good music and even less about having been a member of Nirvana.  His inspirational qualities lie in his completely unselfconscious love of music, which informs everything that he does.  And what it shows us is the importance of loving something.  When you love something as much as Dave Grohl loves music, everything is possible.

So when the question came up on the Volleyball Coaches and Trainers facebook page that made be think about what it takes to be a great coach, it was only natural to me that I look to Dave for inspiration.  The obvious answer is you have to love volleyball.  If you don’t love volleyball you can never be great coach.  For one thing, you will never be motivated enough to do the work that you have to do.  But there must be more so I settled on a quote from the Foo Fighters song ‘Congregation’**.

“You need blind faith, but no false hope.”

Somehow this idea resonated with me.  It implies that the secret of success is the exactly correct mix of persistence and realism.  So I adapted that concept for coaches, with two variations.

  • You need utter confidence in your coaching principles and methodology, but be unrelenting in your challenging of them.
  • You need complete confidence in your coaching ability, but continually and ruthlessly question yourself.

I think mastering those ideas will take you a long way towards being a great coach.  As long you love volleyball.

Personally, I also like the song.

** It is important to note the quote is not directly from Dave but from music producer Tony Brown during the HBO documentary series ‘Sonic Highways’. An ode, if you will, to Dave’s love of music.

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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