Better Teaching Skills=Better Coaching

In recent blogs, the focus has been on time management in practice. In this piece, the focus is on the ingredients of effective teaching. Although my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in Education, most of what I learned as a teacher came from being in the educational cauldron with students. To run beneficial training sessions,…

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Logistics Will Dictate a Quality Practice

“Novices argue tactics, and experts argue logistics” ~Erwin Rommel, WWII German General Former Los Angeles Laker head coach Pat Riley once said that he would spend three hours planning a three-hour practice. I have no doubt that a significant portion of this planning time was spent detailing practice activities. I am equally confident that substantial…

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Get Rid of “Time Sucks” in Practice

“Never mistake activity with achievement”. ~John Wooden The most valuable commodity for volleyball coaches at all levels is time. For collegiate coaches, practice is worked into a day that includes recruiting duties, administrative paperwork, public relations, marketing, budgeting, etc. Club teams must juggle the facility schedule, player and parent schedules, and the academic obligations of…

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The Playbook of an Olympic Champion

“It seems that all true things must change and only that which changes remain true.” -Carl Ljung   A recent Wall Street Journal article focused on the Gold Medal speed skating performances of Nils van der Poel. You’ve probably have never heard of Nils van der Poel. I hadn’t until a few days ago. Doing a…

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Shohei Ohtani, The Harada Method and Volleyball

Shohei Ohtani has taken Major League Baseball by storm. The designated hitter and pitcher was Rookie of the Year in 2018, followed by being selected as unanimous MVP of the American League last year. Why am I studying a baseball superstar in a blog that generally deals with coaching volleyball? Although Ohtani has undeniable athletic…

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The Marriage of Collegiate and Professional Sports

During my tenure at Ohio State University, I worked for six athletic directors. One of those directors was Andy Geiger, who established a standard of excellence and clear-cut goals for every program in the department. In a recent interview, the now-retired Geiger spoke about college athletics’ current state of affairs. As he viewed the collegiate…

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Change is Good….You Go First!

I was driving past a local business, and the sign out front said, “Change is good….you go first.” I wonder if numbers, data, and studies restrict our approach to the game at the expense of creativity and the ability to change from the script of accepted methods? There are a lot of game or practice…

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Managing Your Posture to Pass the Low Ball

Have you noticed that many club players wear their knee pads on their shins? I haven’t quite figured that one out because going to one or both knees is essential to expand both players’ range and ball control. Having the knee pads actually protecting the knees might be a good idea? I used to be…

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Nebraska vs. Wisconsin

Along with 18,000 other volleyball fans, I enjoyed watching the Division 1 Women’s National Championship match last Saturday night. I can’t imagine a match where two teams fought harder and gave all the effort they possessed each time the referee blew the whistle. Some fans felt it was the best national championship match in history.…

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Athletes Need Their Coach

By no means would I consider myself a fan of figure skating. However, I am a fan of any sport that demonstrates athleticism, grace, and dedication to excellence. Recently, I watched a video of 15-year old figure skater Kamila Valieva. She displayed a remarkable skating performance that had the announcers gushing, “I’m speechless,” and established…

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