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AVCA Welcome

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AVCA Welcome

Posted on 16 December 2014 by Chuck Rey

AVCA OK City Welcome 150x150 AVCA Welcome volleyballAnother year has passed, yet again so fast, and I have arrived in Oklahoma City this year for the AVCA Convention and Final Four. It’s hard to believe that 7 years ago I was in Sacramento for my first Convention, without a job, and unaware of where life would lead. Some personal sacrifices, especially financially, made for the cross country journey to Sacramento, but it benefited greatly.

This year I embark on my fifth presentation at the AVCA for First Time Attendees. My new bride will accompany me over the weekend for some great volleyball. I work under another hall of fame head coach. Former players that I coached and recruited in college are now attending Convention to learn more about this crazy busy. And my volleyball community continues to expand, although narrow in many ways too.

AVCA OK City Cox Center 150x150 AVCA Welcome volleyball

Room with a view of the Cox Convention Center.

Just as excited as I was 7 years ago to learn how this week will continue to broaden my volleyball horizons. I am fortunate to do what I love and more fortunate to experience it with the one I love. Just makes me want to jump for joy icon wink AVCA Welcome volleyball

Coach Rey jump AVCA Welcome volleyball

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Dear Volleyball Commentator


Dear Volleyball Commentator

Posted on 07 December 2014 by Chuck Rey

volleyball commentator Dear Volleyball Commentator volleyballDear Volleyball Commentator,

Volleyball enthusiasts are grateful for the outpouring of media coverage over the past few years. Our sport continues to grow and it is awesome to be able to view so many matches throughout the season. We sincerely appreciate professional commentators that cover and follow our sport regularly and provide excellent broadcasts, but we do understand there are still many commentators new to the sport. For those new volleyball commentators, here are a few tips:

This is not hockey. A comment (especially with the player’s name – which you are often fumbling to recall) does not need to be made every time the ball is touched. In volleyball, less is more.

Less is more for the camera-person too. We do not need the camera to follow the ball back-and-forth across the net. It often makes us sick, especially with the new courts that have logos on them (like Colorado State’s shaded rams horns or Oregon’s shaded trees – I dreamt a Ram was attacking me in a forest last night). Pan the camera out, make slight adjustments, and let us watch the match motion-sick-less.

Some networks do not show a score on the screen. If your network does not, please repeat the score, and often, so we can keep up. This is about the only time you should speak a lot icon wink Dear Volleyball Commentator volleyball

TIP – We’ll start with the word “Tip”. A tip occurs on an off-speed offensive attack that uses the tip of the fingers to gently push the ball over a block. In basketball, the term finger-tip roll is used as that is the part of the finger that is last touched. Same with volleyball.

The word “Tip” is NOT used when an offensive player attacks the ball off the block and out-of-bounds. Incorrect usage = “There was a tip on the block”. Correct terminology is TOUCH.

TOUCH – when an offensive player attacks the ball off the block and out-of-bounds. There was a TOUCH on the block or TOUCH off the block.

SLAM – volleyball does not use the word SLAM unless a player physically SLAMS their body against the floor, wall, or bleacher when a defender is flying across the court for a ball.

SLAM-DUNK – this is even worse than SLAM. This is NOT basketball. Don’t ever use these words when commentating on volleyball.

SWING or KILL – terms used for an offensive attack. Even the word SPIKE is rarely used and an offensive player that attacks the ball is never called a SPIKER.

BUMPER – this is not billiards or NASCAR. A player that passes (NOT  bumps) the ball is considered a PASSER.

BOBBLE – After a great dig and the ball is ricocheted between players, the ball is not BOBBLED over the net. Simply using the term, “Great Dig” or “Great Up” is sufficient.

TWO – When a player, often a setter, makes an illegal set, do not say, “That was TWO by the setter”. The word is Double or more precisely a Double Contact.

GIRLS – This is NCAA WOMEN’s Volleyball. The word GIRLS should not be used. When watching a college football game, you rarely hear a commentator use the word BOY. Men play football, Women play volleyball (yes, I know Men play volleyball too – and glad our sport is growing with more MEN’s NCAA teams).

BLOCKING – When a blocker jumps alone to block a ball, that is a solo-block. When a blocker jumps in unison with a player to either side of them, that is a double-block.

DUMP – This is a legitimate volleyball term to use, but be careful with it. Using the word DUMP with women can be dangerous. Only the setter can DUMP the ball and on a second contact.

Broadcasting online – during commercial breaks, the microphones in the production studios can still be heard. We don’t need to hear you talking about your email, your dinner, the girlfriend issues, or the countdown to live broadcast, “And live in 3 – 2 – 1…”

Finally, I’m sorry to see the blackouts of top teams to certain areas of the country, even with a cable subscription service. It is very disappointing to not have been able to watch Texas on the Big 12 Network or Stanford and Washington on the PAC 12 Network because I live in the midwest. The past few years, I was able to watch all the matches, not so much this year.

Thank goodness our sport continues to grow so that we have these issues.

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How Hard do you Rest?


How Hard do you Rest?

Posted on 04 December 2014 by Chuck Rey

A big emphasis for a team this season was getting enough sleep. It’s tough at a highly academic institution like Miami to balance a tough course load with proper sleep. Following is a great couple infographics on the benefits of SLEEP (click on each to enlarge): Continue Reading

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WOW! USA Men World League Champions!

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WOW! USA Men World League Champions!

Posted on 21 July 2014 by Chuck Rey

The USA Men upset #1 ranked Brazil to win the FIVB World League Championships. As Cody Kessel called it, the Volleyball Superbowl! Unfortunately, my wedding was a week too early and we missed the opportunity to watch professional volleyball in Italy on our honeymoon in Florence.  I’ll have to be sure to let me new wife know that she should better plan things in the future icon wink WOW! USA Men World League Champions! volleyball Continue Reading

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Positive Coaching


Positive Coaching

Posted on 16 June 2014 by Chuck Rey

The Harvard Business Review again supports my positive coaching style.

Positive Negative conversations Positive Coaching volleyball



The Neurochemistry of Positive Conversations

by Judith E. Glaser and Richard D. Glaser  |   11:00 AM June 12, 2014

Why do negative comments and conversations stick with us so much longer than positive ones?

A critique from a boss, a disagreement with a colleague, a fight with a friend – the sting from any of these can make you forget a month’s worth of praise or accord. If you’ve been called lazy, careless, or a disappointment, you’re likely to remember and internalize it. It’s somehow easier to forget, or discount, all the times people have said you’re talented or conscientious or that you make them proud.

Chemistry plays a big role in this phenomenon. When we face criticism, rejection or fear, when we feel marginalized or minimized, our bodies produce higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that shuts down the thinking center of our brains and activates conflict aversion and protection behaviors. We become more reactive and sensitive. We often perceive even greater judgment and negativity than actually exists. And these effects can last for 26 hours or more, imprinting the interaction on our memories and magnifying the impact it has on our future behavior. Cortisol functions like a sustained-release tablet – the more we ruminate about our fear, the longer the impact.

Positive comments and conversations produce a chemical reaction too. They spur the production of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that elevates our ability to communicate, collaborate and trust others by activating networks in our prefrontal cortex. But oxytocin metabolizes more quickly than cortisol, so its effects are less dramatic and long-lasting.

This “chemistry of conversations” is why it’s so critical for all of us –especially managers – to be more mindful about our interactions. Behaviors that increase cortisol levels reduce what I call “Conversational Intelligence” or “C-IQ,” or a person’s ability to connect and think innovatively, empathetically, creatively and strategically with others. Behaviors that spark oxytocin, by contrast, raise C-IQ.

Over the past 30 years, I’ve helped leaders at companies including Boehringer Ingelheim, Clairol, Donna Karen, Exide Technologies, Burberry, and Coach learn to boost performance with better C-IQ. Recently, my consultancy, The CreatingWE Institute, also partnered with Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics, the world’s largest online survey software company, to analyze the frequency of negative (cortisol-producing) versus positive (oxytocin-producing) interactions in today’s workplaces. We asked managers how often they engaged in several behaviors — some positive, and others negative — on a scale of 0 through 5, in which 0 was “never” and 5 was “always.”

The good news is that managers appear to be using positive, oxytocin and C-IQ elevating behaviors more often than negative behaviors. Survey respondents said that they exhibited all five positive behaviors, such as “showing concern for others” more frequently than all five negative ones, such as “pretending to be listening.” However, most respondents – approximately 85% — also admitted to “sometimes” acting in ways that could derail not only specific interactions but also future relationships. And, unfortunately, when leaders exhibit both types of behaviors it creates dissonance or uncertainty in followers’ brains, spurring cortisol production and reducing CI-Q.

Consider Rob, a senior executive from Verizon. He thought of himself as a “best practices” leader who told people what to do, set clear goals, and challenged his team to produce high quality results. But when one of his direct reports had a minor heart attack, and three others asked HR to move to be transferred off his team, he realized there was a problem.

Observing Rob’s conversational patterns for a few weeks, I saw clearly that the negative (cortisol-producing) behaviors easily outweighed the positive (oxytocin-producing) behaviors. Instead of asking questions to stimulate discussion, showing concern for others, and painting a compelling picture of shared success, his tendency was to tell and sell his ideas, entering most discussions with a fixed opinion, determined to convince others he was right. He was not open to others’ influence; he failed to listen to connect.

When I explained this to Rob, and told him about the chemical impact his behavior was having on his employees, he vowed to change, and it worked. A few weeks later, a member of his team even asked me: “What did you give my boss to drink?”

I’m not suggesting that you can’t ever demand results or deliver difficult feedback. But it’s important to do so in a way that is perceived as inclusive and supportive, thereby limiting cortisol production and hopefully stimulating oxytocin instead. Be mindful of the behaviors that open us up, and those that close us down, in our relationships. Harness the chemistry of conversations.

More blog posts by Judith E. Glaser and Richard D. Glaser


Judith E. Glaser is the CEO of Benchmark Communications and the chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is the author of six books, including Creating WE (Platinum Press, 2005) and Conversational Intelligence (BiblioMotion, 2013), and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies.


Richard D. Glaser received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for his entire professional career. He is a founding member of The CreatingWE Institute.

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What matters most in coaching

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What matters most in coaching

Posted on 10 June 2014 by Chuck Rey

 What matters most in coaching volleyball








Thanks Vern Gambetta for his wisdom and insight into coaching longevity.

If I were writing this 30 or 40 years ago it would have been a very different blog post. I would have focused on technical knowledge, the importance of understanding training theory and the nuances of periodization. Don’t get me wrong all of that is important if you want to be a good coach, but if you want to be a great coach there is more to it than that. The technical part can be learned fairly easily through study, observation and practice. The difference makers are what some people would call the intangibles, the social and emotional intelligence that allows you to connect with you athletes, your colleagues, administrators and parents on another level.

Simply put it is mastery of communication skills.

All the knowledge in the world is for naught if you can’t communicate it. We coach people, people who respond to coaches who show they care about them as people. It is the little things that count, a smile, a pat on the back, an admonition to try harder or simply the tone of voice and body language when making a correction. I wish I would have figured this out earlier in my career. I can’t help but think about how much more effective I could have been as a coach and happier as a person. Learn from my mistakes, work on the intangibles raise your level of emotional and social intelligence to new heights, hone your communication skills to a fine edge and you will be the best coach you can be. That is all we can ask.

I’ve been fortunate to learn this from one of the best in the business in Head Coach Carolyn Condit here at Miami University. She is not only a master of communication skills, but also relationship skills. There are no books or words that can explain this form of mastery. It is experience and upbringing that molds a master coach.

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The Wrist Snap / Topspin on USA Volleyball

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The Wrist Snap / Topspin on USA Volleyball

Posted on 30 July 2013 by Chuck Rey

volleyball wrist snap topspin The Wrist Snap / Topspin on USA Volleyball volleyballHopefully, 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.

Good stuff…

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One Month in at Miami Volleyball

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One Month in at Miami Volleyball

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.

Coach Chuck Rey Miami Volleyball One Month in at Miami Volleyball volleyballIs 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

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Online NCAA Volleyball Bracket


Online NCAA Volleyball Bracket

Posted on 29 November 2012 by Chuck Rey

Northwestern Mutual Volleyball NCAA Online NCAA Volleyball Bracket volleyballThe NCAA has partnered with Northwestern Mutual for the first online NCAA Bracket! Enter for a chance at a $500 gift certificate of NCAA gear.

Click for the bracket


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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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