Archive | May, 2013

Sweet VolleyBaby Dreams!

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Sweet VolleyBaby Dreams!

Posted on 23 May 2013 by Chuck Rey

These were too cute not to share!

What I enjoy most about my blog are the people I have met from around the world. A great example is Jodie Allen, the owner/photographer of Fresh Art Photography that took these “VolleyBaby” pics. I was searching for a “sleeping baby volleyball” image online for my most recent post on TheArtofCoachingVolleyball.com and ran across one of the following pics. I looked up the photographer to ask for permission to use the picture and learned of a little story behind the pics. Continue Reading

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Bill Gates Believes the AVCA Convention is Extremely Important

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Bill Gates Believes the AVCA Convention is Extremely Important

Posted on 19 May 2013 by Chuck Rey

Bill Gates volleyball 300x200 Bill Gates Believes the AVCA Convention is Extremely Important volleyballThe now philanthropic Bill Gates starts this TED talk by saying, “Everyone needs a coach.” In Bill’s riveting speech about teachers, he provides information on why the United States is performing so poorly in all education subjects in comparison with the rest of the world. Shanghai, China ranks #1 in the world in Reading, Science and Math. Part of the reason Shanghai is #1 is because younger teachers get the opportunity to watch master teachers. Continue Reading

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Uncomfortable Coaching

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Uncomfortable Coaching

Posted on 12 May 2013 by Chuck Rey

Saw this great post by Vernon Gambetta, a coach of elite athletes of almost 40 years:

We talk a lot about having our athletes get out of their comfort zones to move forward and progress. How about us? As coaches we all have our comfort zones. Some of us are good in certain areas. Some of us can prepare an athlete for a league or a district meet and then are out of our element when we have to prepare for a state of national competition. In short we all have our comfort zones. Step back and do an honest evaluation of where you are as a coach. What are you comfortable with? Where are you uncomfortable? Is where you are comfortable holding you and most importantly your athletes back? I know I am pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone in certain areas. After 44 years of coaching it is tougher to do but I know it must be done. It may mean little things, but a succession of little things could make a big difference. What are you going to do today to get out of your comfort zone to help make your athletes better?

I hear the same things from Karch Kiraly in a Q&A session:

Karch Kiraly webinar 300x163 Uncomfortable Coaching volleyball“Learning is an uncomfortable process and we have to take some time everyday being uncomfortable and pushing ourselves at the edge of our ability level.”

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The Honeymoon is Over – Volleyball

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The Honeymoon is Over – Volleyball

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Chuck Rey

chuck rey honeymoon volleyball 300x167 The Honeymoon is Over   Volleyball volleyballMiami University Head Coach, Carolyn Condit, and I often joke about the “honeymoon” period ending, the time when she and I will no longer enjoy working with each other. It is a running joke because we have such a great working relationship.

When we start a new job, we often put our best foot forward, act our best, and none of our bad habits or weaknesses are immediately exposed.

I have a friend of mine in the business world that jokes about dating. He tells me, “You realize when you date someone, you aren’t actually dating the ‘real’ person, but you are dating their ‘representative’, who they want you to believe they are, not who they really are. It’s not until a few months into the relationship when you have your emotions all tied into it, when the ‘real’ person reveals themselves. Then you’re stuck!” Poor Carolyn seems to be stuck with me now…well at least until she’s ready to get rid of me icon smile The Honeymoon is Over   Volleyball volleyball

Point being, through the hiring process, we have References to provide a basis of who we are, during the interview process we don’t mean to show our “representative” side, but we do, and in the first couple months at a new job, we are intentionally, unintentionally on our best behavior.

It is always my goal to be the best, be consistent in my actions, and represent myself and the program with the utmost of professionalism. But I have started to notice within myself, little bad habits, weaknesses of mine, starting to show to myself. We all continually work on our weaknesses and certainly try to minimize them, just as we try to do with our teams on the court, but we can’t hide them all the time.

For example, I don’t think there is anyone in the world that enjoys completing an expense report. Collect your receipts, fill in the spreadsheet, cut and tape receipts to a pieces of paper (arts and crafts we called this at Winthrop), and do this within the month. Of course my first 12 expense reports (every recruiting trip needs an expense report), received an A+ on them. I turned them in way before time, a ‘wide-eyed’ thank you from the accountant, and a big self-pat-on-my back. I met my new goal to turn things before being prompted.

Then spring season sprung upon us. 20 hour weeks with the players started (practice, weights, video, meetings, etc.), spring tournaments every weekend and squeezing recruiting trips in between. I received the dreaded email notification that receipts are due by midnight on the 3rd of the month. That dreaded notification was a realization that my honeymoon phase may be over. How many more nights can I spend at the office past 10 pm? The night of the 3rd was no different.

The expense report issue gave me an opportunity of self-reflection and a good reminder of self-discipline. Discipline can be one of the most challenging parts of everyday life. As Mike Hebert wrote to his team in his Championship Manual, “Discipline is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.” If I cannot be disciplined on a little issue like this, how can I expect my players to be disciplined when we ask them to be? Lesson learned by me.

I still very much enjoy working at Miami and know how fortunate I am to not only be at a great school, but a program with a storied tradition and a legendary coach. I relish the stories she tells of fighting for court time with men’s basketball when Title IX was just put in place. I told her she needs to write a book, but she said, “Who would want to hear my stories?” She doesn’t realize, everyone would, but yet I’m the one telling bland stories of expense reports. Yawn. Maybe next month I’ll have something more exciting to talk about, like a real honeymoon icon wink The Honeymoon is Over   Volleyball volleyball

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Coach Chuck Rey is Assistant Coach at Miami University


Prior to this position, he was Assistant Coach at Winthrop University, the University of Minnesota and Georgia Southern University.

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