Posted on 05 December 2013 by Chuck Rey
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Posted on 04 December 2013 by Chuck Rey
Way back in the day, I was fortunate enough to play volleyball on Arizona State’s dime. Well, sort of. With just only 21 true Division I men’s teams across the country and a handful of Division II & III teams that compete against Division I teams, men’s club volleyball is THE WAY most men get to continue to play in college.
The National Collegiate Volleyball Foundation (NCVF) hosts over a hundred men’s club teams throughout the country and boasts a highly competitive National Championship. With much fund-raising at Arizona State, and a bit of begging of parents to open their wallets, we were fortunate to play National Championships in Buffalo, NY; Austin, TX; and hosted the tournament one year at Arizona State. There were multiple trips to California to get beat up by some PAC-10 teams and other great tournaments across the state too. We did hold our own against many of the teams and we were fortunate to have Jeff Nelson, current University of New Mexico Women’s Head Coach, pave the way for us.
Paying it forward is how this great game continues to grow. There are more true Division I, II, & III sponsored volleyball programs across the country, but until more schools add men’s volleyball, club volleyball is the way most guys get to play.
I pay it forward by coaching some great men’s teams. I did at Georgia Southern University and now at Miami University. Both teams have a great group of guys and need to fund-raise their way to tournaments and the NCVF National Championship in Reno, NV.
I’m not too bashful to ask if you would be willing to support these guys at: I Give for Love and Honor Their goal is to raise $5,000. Please help them out!
Posted on 20 November 2013 by Chuck Rey
Recruiting at the college level, I often hear college and club coaches talk about the vertical jump being a big factor in deciding whether a player can compete at a certain level. In many coaches’ minds, the 10′ mark seems to be a determining factor for the Division I level.
As a Division I Coach, I have had players and coached against players that have not only jumped significantly under the 10′ mark, but tore up teams and tore up my team. The 2010 Big South Conference Player of the Year, Amanda Hill, was a 5’6″ outside hitter that could bang a ball and use the block like no other player. She never jump touched 10′, but was a great player.
Coincidentally, I was checking out the results of the USA Women’s Team against the Dominican Republic and find it very interesting that the USA Women’s Team is now posting vertical jump touches on their roster (Position, Height, Spike [touch], Block [touch]…). I find it even more interesting to learn that Jordan Larson, Cassidy Lichtman, and USA Team Captain, Kristin Hildebrand, all prolific outside hitters NOT jump touching 10′. These are the country’s best outside hitters NOT jump touching 10′. So if you’re not touching 10′, what are you worried about?
U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team for FIVB Volleyball Grand Champions Cup
# – Name (Pos, Ht, Spike, Block, Hometown, College)
1 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, 10-0, 9-10, Leland, Mich., Penn State University)
4 - Cursty Jackson (MB, 6-2, 10-6, 10-2, Los Angeles, Calif., University of Arizona)
5 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, 9-4, 8-9, Kaneohe, Hawaii, University of Washington)
7 - Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-2, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)
8 - Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, 10-1, 9-7, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
9 - Kristin Hildebrand – Captain (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-4, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 - Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, 9-11, 9-8, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
12 - Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, 9-8, 9-3, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
13 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, 10-7, 9-10, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State University)
14 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, 10-2, 9-7, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State University)
15 - Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, 10-4, 10-1, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida)
16 - Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, 10-6, 10-2, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
17 - Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, 10-5, 9-10, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
20 - Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, 9-7, 9-6, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
As Cassidy Lichtman states in this video, “Everyone always told me, if you can pass, you’re going to play.” Seems as if she can pass.
Posted on 07 November 2013 by Chuck Rey
Last weekend I was in my hometown of Chicago and I stayed an extra night (while the team returned to Oxford on the 7 hour middle-of-the-night bus ride). The following afternoon, I met up with a best friend at a restaurant we used to occasionally frequent. I couldn’t remember exactly where it was, so I plugged it into my GPS, and away I went.
Following my GPS, I hypnotically drove to the destination from where I stayed in the suburbs. Tunes were jamming on the radio, I admired the magnificent Chicago skyline on the drive into the city, and ran into a sweet Sunday morning traffic jam (I sat in traffic an extra 30 minutes). Upon arrival, the GPS told me, “You have arrived at your destination”, but I did not. Since I have been to this restaurant before, it wasn’t the destination. So I managed to drive a little further and find the ‘real’ destination.
The trip made me realize how technology has “dumbed-me-down”. How society is dumbed down by technology. I blindly followed the directions of a computer connected through a wireless network, connected to a satellite in outer-space, connected to a server, connected to a computer, connected to a map, connected, connected, connected… I had total faith in this connected system and didn’t bother to think about where I was really going. I just did what I was told to do.
Before GPS, I would have looked on a map, relied on my memory, asked for directions, planned a route in my head, and remembered some of the old routes I used to take to this same restaurant I frequented a few years ago. I would not have sat in 30 minutes of traffic. I would have found an alternate route and saved time. And if I got lost, so be it. I would meander down a few side streets and find my destination. I would explore, see some new parts of my hometown I have never seen, and learned of a new shop or restaurant I would want to visit along the way.
It reminds me of the days I had to learn math without a calculator (blasphemy!). I had to actually process how numbers were put together to form equations and answers. My brain had to think, work, fail, learn, and explore. I was growing.
What does all this have to do with volleyball? I think about our players. All they know is the GPS society. Life, especially for junior volleyball players, is very programmed. Coaches have players follow a pattern, teacher have students follow another pattern, parents have their children follow another schedule. This cycle goes throughout the entire year. The kids go from one task, event, schedule, car ride, etc. to another, without thinking, without exploring, without failing, without learning. I see it on the court all the time. When something does not go according to the pattern, there is a look of wonderment on faces. Hitting a ball on two? Setting the first ball directly to a hitter? Swinging with a left hand in an emergency situation? How about trying to play a ball with your foot? Erik Shoji got some pretty good notoriety for that one (about a half a million views).
Ironically, it is the student athletes that do exactly all of these steps best, are the ones that often make the best grades, appear to be the best players, and are the most well-mannered kids.
The GPS Generation is missing the opportunity to explore, learn, fail, and most importantly think. Maybe I’m just a grumpy old man now that is saying, “When I was a kid, I did this…” or “Kids these days…”. But I am caught up in this GPS society and need to remember to think for myself sometimes too.
Posted on 11 October 2013 by Chuck Rey
Today’s Wall Street Journal reminds me how lucky I am. I coach volleyball for a living. That’s it. Any coach of any sport, no matter how much they make should consider themselves lucky. This is just a subtle reminder that came through my news-feed at my air-conditioned office, on my expensive PC, with my new iPhone in front of me, with a ridiculous desk phone that I never use that costs more than my iPhone, in brand new shoes and gear, and a car sitting right outside my window. How lucky are we?
The last three decades have seen unprecedented progress when it comes to reducing extreme poverty around the world—but there’s still an awful lot more to do.
Roughly 721 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty — defined internationally as living on less than $1.25 a day — between 1981 and 2010, according to a new report by the World Bank released Thursday. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal of halving the share of people in extreme poverty between 1990 and 2015—an aim set at a summit in 2000—was reached in 2010, five years early.
But, as the World Bank points out, that still leaves roughly 1.2 billion people completely destitute, including about 400 million children. One of every three extremely poor people is a child under the age of 13. (To put all this in perspective, America’s own poverty line amounts to about $60 a day for a family of four — as the Economist noted in June. People around the world in “extreme poverty” tend to lack enough food to meet basic physical and mental needs.)
The World Bank report zeros in on the relative lack of progress in the world’s 35 “low income” countries — places like Bangladesh, Chad, Haiti and Kenya. Progress in these countries will need to pick up if international goals to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 are to be reached.
Judging from the daily incomes of the extremely poor around the world, extreme poverty is getting less deep. Poverty for middle- and high-income countries — everywhere from Pakistan, Ukraine and the Czech Republic to Chile and Jordan — fell by more than 50% since 1981.
But when you look closely at the recent progress in the developing world, much of it is due to China and, to a lesser extent, India, whose amped-up economic growth in recent years reduced their poverty rates. By contrast, extreme poverty in the 35 “low income” countries — 26 are in Africa — fell by less than 33%. Indeed, the number of extremely poor people in low-income countries actually rose by 103 million between 1981 and 2010. And around half of the children in low-income countries are in extreme poverty.
Aside from China and India, “individuals living in extreme poverty [in the developing world] today appear to be as poor as those living in extreme poverty 30 years ago,” the World Bank said.
Posted on 29 September 2013 by Chuck Rey
The Rich get Richer, except in the world of the NCAA, and that’s a good thing, for all of us. I’m amazed at the short-sightedness of people that believe NCAA Athletes should be paid. Texas A&M Quarterback, Johnny Manziel, brought this issue again to light with the sale of his autographed goods (the NCAA could not conclude Manziel was paid for his autograph). All athletes, entering the NCAA, understand the amateurism rules. If they don’t like the rules, don’t play. Johnny can go pro and make his money…if that is his desire.
In a world where people cringe at the absurd salaries of CEO’s and celebrities, why would people want to make a few athletes rich, instead of spreading the wealth? Should the NCAA formula be the same as the American Dream, where only 1% of the population is comfortably rich?
I very much appreciate Bill Gates and am bewildered by the idolization of Steve Jobs. No question Jobs was brilliant in his field, but he never gave to charity (yes, recently reports say his family has been giving for years, but this seems to be to protect Jobs’ legacy). In contrast, Bill Gates started The Gates Foundation (along with Warren Buffet). This charitable organization is guided by the belief that “Every life has an equal value.” and is “Focused on the areas of greatest need, on the ways in which we can do the most good”. Essentially, the foundation will help the poorest areas of the world to save as many lives as possible. Bravo to Gates.
The NCAA has similar a principal to The Gates Foundation, “Every athlete has an equal value”. Honestly, if it weren’t for this philosophy, I wouldn’t have a job, there would be very few men’s or women’s sports in the NCAA, and the NCAA Athletics landscape wouldn’t exist. There would be a few football teams, a few basketball teams, and maybe a select few other teams, and that’s about it. Forget the Cinderella teams of Basketball’s March Madness or Appalachian State over Michigan in football.
Money generated from football and basketball trickles down to all the other NCAA sports and gives tens of thousands of men and women the opportunity to participate in sports (and a lot of coaches too). In addition, Title IX essentially allows for an equal number of men’s sports/participants and women’s sports/participants.
So if we start paying Johnny Manziel, et al, I lose my job.
Posted on 16 August 2013 by Chuck Rey
Posted on 30 July 2013 by Chuck Rey
Hopefully, John Kessel won’t read this post because then he’ll realize I missed his blog post of a year ago. Google Analytics is amazing in that I was able to track referrals to my blog from USA Volleyball’s website. It stems from a great interaction between John, Peter Vint (USA Olympic Committee Research Scientist) and myself. Ironically, Peter Vint was getting his PhD at Arizona State University while I was playing there. He performed a body fat % test (among actual volleyball tests) on me back in the day and who’d a thunk it that he would become a lead scientist for the USOC?
Anyway, here is a good exchange about the myth of the volleyball wrist snap and how we really don’t get on top of the ball. It’s actually where we contact the ball (over the center of mass) that creates topspin on a volleyball.
Posted on 08 July 2013 by Chuck Rey
If this system was in place a few years ago John Cook and Jim McLaughlin might be better friends
Remember when John and Jim almost came to blows?
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
Posted on 06 May 2013 by Chuck Rey
Miami 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
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
Posted on 29 April 2013 by Chuck Rey
The following is an excerpt from USA Volleyball’s, State of the Game Report. I believe USA Volleyball too often gets vilified for roles others believe USA Volleyball plays or doesn’t play, money directed to certain areas within USA Volleyball, and the delicate balancing act USA Volleyball has to play. I think this excerpt provides some insight into how well USA Volleyball performs it’s roles.
What is USA Volleyball? What exactly are the priorities, and what is our role? The answers to these questions can vary greatly depending on your role and function, both from within or from outside the sport.
USA Volleyball constantly needs to remember and evaluate who we are, what we do, who we represent and how we are evaluated by various entities and constituent populations. In reality, USA Volleyball may actually be considered three distinct and somewhat separate organizations. Those identifications are 1) a National Governing Body (NGB); 2) a National Federation (NF); and 3) a National Sport Association. Continue Reading
Posted on 21 March 2013 by Chuck Rey
What do you do after you land the job and actually arrive on campus? Hold your breath and hang on for the ride.
Is it the journey or the destination? I sometimes ponder this question when recruiting players. Is it simply their goal to earn a college scholarship and be satisfied with that achievement or does that player truly want to succeed on the collegiate level? I have found that some high school players have reached their goal of getting to college and are almost distraught when they realize getting to college was the easy part, excelling in college will take a lot of hard work.
When you finally land that new assistant coach job, is it about the journey or the destination? For me, it’s always been about the journey. I’ve often referred to the Chinese proverb, “The journey is the reward” throughout my blog.
What’s the first month like on a new job? Awesome, overwhelming, crazy, time consuming, flattering, humbling, and all that I could have imagined and more. Here’s is what to expect, at least from my perspective… Continue Reading
Posted on 23 January 2013 by Chuck Rey
***I must preface this email with an apology to those friends and coaches that I have not been able to speak with personally about this move or at least send an email. As much as I think I’m technologically savvy, I did not save my contacts in a correct format from Winthrop to Miami! No hard feelings please ***
A promotion, in the coaching profession, is daunting. Yes, a promotion is daunting. Unfortunately, most promotions require leaving a university and years of relationships with administration, staff, coaches, players, boosters, and fans. Because we coach for the kids, I often have a guilty conscious leaving them. There is that special coach/player bond. You get to know them through the recruiting process, when they are just getting out of braces freshman year in high school. As a male coach, we even learn about their prom dress color (oh boy!) and their pet’s name. I received a Christmas text message of one player’s pet cow. Continue Reading
Posted on 14 January 2013 by Chuck Rey
Growing up in the 80′s and being the kid not big enough to play football (thus not that cool), skateboarding was my outlet. Yes, I was a skate punk…with the checkered Vans shoes and the bad Tony Hawk haircut (which my mom cut for me). I just finished watching Bones Brigade, a documentary of the greatest skateboarding team ever. I have always found many parallels between skateboarding and volleyball, particularly beach volleyball. These sports are part of a counter-culture, have grown and developed on their own (creating their own advertising, marketing, attendance, etc.), but I have felt that skateboarding has sustained (much because of the X-Games) where volleyball (particularly the AVP) has fallen off. Granted volleyball has pockets of success, the Olympics, FIVB tours, but not a sustainable success. Skateboarding does have an advantage in that it has hardware to sell to support their sport internally. I digress… Continue Reading
Posted on 08 January 2013 by Chuck Rey
A recent Inc. article came out with 12 motivational quotes for 2013 (why 12, I don’t know?). So I decided to embark upon a journey to find 13 volleyball quotes for 2013. Unfortunately, it was more difficult than I imagined. Quotes of many of our great coaches and players are scarcely found throughout the internet. Google searches found some poor selections. I literally read through a number of journal articles to find many of these quotes. The task ended up being quite rewarding as I learned a bit through the research. Following are my findings
1. “Most change is evolutionary, not revolutionary. As we start a new year, let’s find the practicable and ‘celebrate-able’; let’s stay congruent with our messaging, creative in our efficiency, and, most of all, let’s give ourselves new opportunities to dream.” ~ Kathy DeBoer Continue Reading
Posted on 28 December 2012 by Chuck Rey
A time to be reminded of past resolutions, to renew those resolutions, and an opportunity to make new ones.
Love with passion and cultivate deeper relationships with my family
Posted on 18 December 2012 by Chuck Rey
At the recent AVCA Convention in Louisville, I presented to all the First Time Attendees on how to appropriately act when they encounter a famous coach or famous player walking down the hall or share an elevator. I demonstrated how to NOT run up to Kerri Walsh screaming for a picture or ask for an autograph. Now here I am not heeding my own advice with this post. Continue Reading
Posted on 09 December 2012 by Chuck Rey
Will you be there?
I look forward to a couple new teams this year, Oregon and Michigan, while the experienced teams of Penn State and Texas will have to battle it out in the semi-finals. I think it will be Penn State and Oregon in the Finals, and I hope it’s another great one!
I’ll also be presenting at the AVCA Convention to the First Time Attendees on Wednesday at 4:30pm followed by a reception at 5:45pm. Come by and heckle me. If you’ve been to Convention before, we are looking for Big Brothers / Big Sisters to pair-up with a First Time Attendee. You can do so at the Reception.
Posted on 29 November 2012 by Chuck Rey
Click for the bracket http://ow.ly/f3WEk
Posted on 28 November 2012 by Chuck Rey
Not long ago, I became an Uncle for the first time. Uncle Chuck. Who’d a thunk the youngest brother would be the first to have a child. Funny how it works sometimes.
I ran across this poem in a John Wooden book. It was one of John’s favorite poems. I found it fitting.
Posted on 17 November 2012 by Chuck Rey
As much as the title may lead you to believe this is a post about serving in volleyball, it has nothing to do with serving a volleyball It has to do more with our players learning to serve each other, to be a leader through serving, and not feeling so “entitled”. Entitlement seems to be a buzzword around sports and coaching these days, but honestly, I don’t think the entitlement conversation is much different than what our grandparents said about their children’s generation. Younger generations appear to have some type of entitlement to older generations, things that were considered a luxury to a past generation. Continue Reading
Posted on 29 August 2012 by Chuck Rey
It’s that preseason time of year across the country. College teams have gone through a couple weeks of rigorous training to prepare for matches and now enter preseason matches, a time to play out of conference opponents to prepare for the conference, to play different against different styles of volleyball, and learn where we rank in the volleyball hierarchy. It is an exciting time. Lots of nerves and anxious times as coaches try to figure out team cohesion, upperclassmen integrate the freshmen (both mentally and physically), the freshman are trying to get their bearings and each player is trying to find their role on the team. Determining how all the puzzle pieces fit is a great challenge.
Preseason training is rigorous. Long days (and short nights) of physical training that become mental toughness. It is a time when players learn who they are and coaches learn how to work on no sleep. Volleyball is life this time of year and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Continue Reading
Posted on 16 February 2012 by Chuck Rey
As much as I appreciate Dr. Doug Beal’s effort and tremendous job he does for USA Volleyball, I believe his involvement as FIVB President will only help grow volleyball in the U.S. I especially believe this could lead to a true FIVB Beach Tour stop in the U.S., particularly Manhattan Beach, that would really help the game, similar to that of golf and tennis with the Masters and U.S. Open. Continue Reading
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.