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At the 2011 AVCA Convention

Anyone that is everyone with volleyball in the United States is here at the AVCA Convention.  I had a great time presenting to the AVCA Convention First Time Attendees.  Presenting for the second time gave me a great opportunity to provide better advice for this year’s AVCA Class and it was much easier on the nerves.  Following the presentation, Brian Swenty, Kyrsten Becker, and Mary Leventis did a great job with the post First Time Attendees reception.  Bravo to them.

It was also a real honor to welcome and introduce 14 Iraqi women coaches that the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Affairs set-up as an international sport exchange to use sports as a means to empower women worldwide.  I had an opportunity to speak with the women through a translator and they were a lively and vibrant group.  I was impressed with their enthusiasm to be a part of the AVCA Convention.

I just finished listening in on a great “Super Session” that included a panel of some of our sport’s best coaches.  John Dunning, Mary Wise, John Cook, Jerritt Elliot, and Jim McLaughlin took questions from moderator Kelly Sheffield.  Their answers were intriguing to say the least and following are keywords that each used to described the culture of their match time-outs:

John Dunning – Consistency
Mary Wise – Confidence
Jerritt Elliot – Routine
John Cook – Informative
Jim McLaughlin – Stay on Task

At the end, the panel consensus about the profession of coaching volleyball agreed it is probably one of the most demanding professions, but also the most rewarding profession.

As I departed the session, I ran into John Kessel.  It is always a pleasure to catch up with John and I appreciated his insight into his perspective of the presentation.

Needless to say, the matches last night were a mixed bag of nuts, ending with probably the best match point ever played.  Here is the point in its entirety:

And the point on ESPN SportsCenter:

Yesterday, when working out, Brian Gimmillaro happened to be in the gym too.  We chatted for a bit and then I went on to listen to his presentation on defense.  It was great to understand the personality of the coach prior to seeing his on-court demonstration.

And it is always great to catch-up with Mike Hebert at the AVCA Convention.  He is doing very well and beating Parkinson’s, playing golf each week, enjoying the warmth of Southern Cal this time of year, and he was enthralled at how well his wife is enjoying retirement as well.

I have received some wonderful compliments from many great coaches and it certainly is motivating to know that I’m heading on the right path.  The AVCA Convention is my time to reflect, rejuvenate, learn, connect, live, lead, hope and dream.  It is my annual vacation I appreciate every year.

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