“Coaches Journal” 4.14.23

Quote for the Week: Masters Champ Jon Rahm on why he didn’t withdraw from RBC Heritage: “I made a commitment earlier in the year, and I want to honor that commitment…I put myself in the shoes of not only the spectators, but the kids. If I were one of the kids, I would want to see the recent Masters Champion play.”

Resource for Camp Coaches– Excuse my bias, but my book A Game Plan for Better Practices” is a good resource for the staff coaches at your camps this summer. In addition, for those coaches hosting team camps with the high school coach involved, make the book part of a giveaway for bringing their team to your camp. Let me know if there is an interest, and I’m sure we can work out a good discount on the purchase price.

Blog Posts

The Misuse of a Bell Curve for Determining the Target Area for Passing– In this post, I differ with those who use a traditional bell curve to justify having the target for serve-receive 6′-8′ off the net. Any bell curve is merely a reflection of data points. Perhaps your target area can be closer to the net, lending to greater offensive productivity. Equally, if your passers aren’t so good, perhaps 6′-8′ is too close to the net! READ MORE

A Good Approach is Essential to a Quality Attack– Most coaches agree that a good attack approach is essential to consistent performance when spiking. I lay out some ideas that might assist players in getting a good approach in every situation. READ MORE

XONTRO – A Game Your Team Should Be Playing in Practice – Coaches spend more time working on team systems as the club season winds down. Former Wisconsin head coach, Pete Waite, developed a game he titled “Xontro” that focuses on team play while working on specific aspects of the game. “Similar to the dice game Yahtzee, teams have a list of various skills to be performed during a timed game. As the players perform the skills the required number of times, they earn points. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins!” The game Includes five laminated reusable scorecards, two dry-erase markers, and a carrying case. Coach controls the difficulty of the game and what skills they want to work on by selecting the various cards or filling in their own. Highly Recommended!! Purchase Information

How Comedian Chris Rock Works on His Craft – Chris Rock goes to the “Stress Factory,” a comedy club in New Jersey. He’ll show up unannounced with maybe 50 people in the audience. He will carry a yellow legal pad of notes, and for 45 minutes, he will test new material. He will fumble through lines, stop in the middle of jokes and take notes while talking. “developing an hour-long act takes even top comedians from six months to a year.” READ MORE

The Moral to the Story, Be Ready When Your Time Comes – The piano played on the Bachman Turner Overdrive hit, “Takin’ Care of Business,” is played by a pizza delivery guy who happened to deliver pizza to the recording studio while the band was mixing down the recording of the song. The pizza guy listened to the mix and said, “It needs piano.” None of the band members could play the piano, and they mentioned this to the pizza guy, who said, “I can,” and volunteered to play on the recording. So, the band recorded him playing piano on the tune, thinking that they would erase the piano track after he was done and had left. But, after listening to the mix with the piano, they liked it and decided to keep it. So, “Takin’ Care of Business” has a piano part played by a pizza delivery guy.

What I’m Reading

Supreme Court – Refuses to stop a biological male from competing against females in West Virginia. READ MORE

The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams – The greatest hitter in Major League Baseball history, Ted Williams, explains his “secret sauce.” One of the things I found compelling is how he divided the strike zone into seventy-seven separate areas. “Williams recognized that waiting for a pitch in his sweet spot significantly increased his chances of getting a hit. Being patient and waiting for the right opportunity offered a 40% hit rate. Impatience, on the other hand, could lower his success rate to a mere 23-25%.” The takeaway for a player or a coach? Be really good at what you’re really good at. Avoiding operating outside your zone of expertise will increase the chances of success.

Why I Enjoy Listening to Baseball Announcers – The knowledgeable banter between pitches by the announcers allows you to learn about the game’s strategies and make for an enjoyable broadcast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjBfsCWgTv8

Does College Need to Take Four Years? – Over the last 20 years, the average cost of college tuition and fees at public four-year institutions has risen 179%—for an average annual increase of 9%, outpacing inflation by 171.5%. Are there viable alternatives that will still meet the needs of students and employers? READ MORE

From coaches to pushy parents, US men’s soccer is married to mediocrity – I don’t know enough about soccer to agree or disagree with this headline. But, as I read the article, there was a striking resemblance to age-group volleyball. READ MORE

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Have a great weekend!