Back when I was still playing professionally on the beach, I compiled a list for DiG magazine of things I’d learned in more than three decades in the game. The idea was to share information that had inspired me in training sessions and been useful to me in the competitive arena. I happened to re-read the list recently, and it struck me that many of the tips might be beneficial for volleyball players at all levels, from soon-to-be Olympians to teenagers preparing for summer beach tournaments or indoor seasons in the coming school year.
After a great sand workout with my Miami Volleyball Team this morning, it quickly turned into a solemn day when one of the players asked, “Who is Karch Kiraly?”. We quickly learned that 5 of our 10 players did not know who Karch Kiraly is? I/We are obviously not doing a good job educating our kids on the history of the game or even offering recognition to our current players and team. Karch is still in the USA Volleyball news at least weekly with the USA Women’s National Team.
Who says you have to be 6′ + to be an effective hitter? I was listening to an interview of Terry Liskevych on The Art of Coaching Volleyball and heard that he, Russ Rose, and John Dunning all believe she was the best attacker ever in volleyball. Oh, Mireya is only 5’9″. Granted she had exceptional jumping ability, touching over 11′, yes 11′! I had to see her for myself and through the power of the internet, here she is (quite impressive for sure):
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:
“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.”
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
It was Daniel Goleman who first brought the term “emotional intelligence” to a wide audience with his 1995 book of that name, and it was Goleman who first applied the concept to business with his 1998 HBR article, reprinted here. In his research at nearly 200 large, global companies, Goleman found that while the qualities traditionally associated with leadership—such as intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision—are required for success, they are insufficient. Truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. Continue Reading
Volleyball’s Wizard of Westwood will be calling it quits
Al Scates is in his 50th year of coaching UCLA, with 19 NCAA titles and more than two dozen Olympians as his legacy.
By Helene Elliott, LA Times
January 19, 2012, 5:00 p.m.
Photographs cover almost every inch of wall space in Al Scates’ office, a gallery of faces forever young. Books, plaques and keepsakes from his travels cover his desk and crowd the ledge beneath a window framing the view he has enjoyed for 50 years.
Volleyball Magazine just came out with the Top 35 U.S. Players of All Time. I appreciate the list to bring these great players to light and recognition to the history of our game. I’m not sure if I agree with the order (especially Gene Selznick), but that’s half the fun of a list. How many of these great players do you know and recognize? I believe it is extremely important for the continued growth of our sport in the United States to know (and want to play like) these players. Continue Reading
Russ Rose was in Montreux, Switzerland to watch the USA Women’s Team. It must have been interesting for him to be a spectator to his former Penn State players.
Team USA took fourth place, losing to China in the bronze medal match. Karch Kiraly was acting head coach of the squad as Hugh McCutcheon must have been recruiting for his Minnesota team (I’m just kidding, Hugh deserves a break too). But the team, overall, is coming together as players continue to fight for their roles as they learn to play as a team. I’m sure Hugh will have them ready for the 2012 Olympics in London. Continue Reading
Coaching volleyball encompasses so much more than strictly coaching volleyball ;) In fact, there are times I enjoy the overall process more than simple court time. The process includes many of the categories listed within my blog, such as mental, nutrition, statistics, and others that are not included: marketing, logistics, player/parent “counseling”, etc. I believe a piece of this website puzzle that I have omitted until this point is exercise. Exercise is comprised of many parts, weight training, conditioning, core training, plyometrics, etc… all to be combined with proper nutrition. Continue Reading
“To be true to one’s self is the ultimate test in life. To have the courage and sensitivity to follow your hidden dreams and stand tall against the odds that are bound to fall in your path. Life is too short and precious to be dealt with in any other fashion. This thought I hold dear to my heart, and I always try to be true to myself and others that I encounter along the way.” ~ Flo Hyman
In an individualized world, where ME seems to count most, blame is a topic that is often used, but rarely broached. Rarely do we take blame on ourselves, but rarely do we admit that we push blame on to others. Continue Reading
This past week in Kansas City at the AVCA Convention and Final Four was thoroughly enjoyable. It was 24 hours of volleyball. Blissful.
Even though volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world, we, in the United States, are fortunate it has not blown-up yet (it will). It provides us the accessibility for legends Continue Reading
For the past few days I was fortunate to travel to Tampa, FL for the American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention. In addition, I watched the NCAA Final Four Championships and one of the best volleyball matches ever played between # 1 Penn State and #2 Texas. I hope you also had the opportunity to watch this amazing match and could imagine yourself on the court. Continue Reading
This is it…the Most Wonderful Time of the Volleyball Year. The NCAA VolleyMadness is in full swing, the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight are this weekend. Certain matches of the Sweet Sixteen will be viewable online and the Elite Eight matches will be shown on ESPNU (NCAA Volleyball Championship Schedule). The following week is when volleyball mayhem Continue Reading
Marv Dunphy wrote a great article in the January 2009 Coaching Volleyball Magazine on how the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team won the Gold Medal. Much overall praise goes Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon’s vision and system.
There is nothing natural about passing a volleyball. In fact, the sport of volleyball is very ‘un-natural’. We do not grow up bouncing a ball off our forearms or cocking our wrists in unison to set a ball. The closest childhood similarity is batting a balloon in the air. We grow up throwing, kicking, and shooting balls. Ever watch a group of football players get on a volleyball court and try to play? These talented athletes often look quite uncoordinated playing volleyball. Volleyball is an extremely technical game, it is the mastery of these un-natural technical movements that makes our sport so unique, so great.
Learning to pass a volleyball takes time. Through experience we learn the flight, the trajectory of a volleyball. Serve receive in particular is an art. It takes thousands upon thousands of repetitions to understand Continue Reading