“Coaches Journal” 5.1.23

Quote for the Week: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” -Ancient Greek Poet, Archilochus

Recent Blog Posts

Blog #1Additional Thoughts on Serve-Receive – In a recent post, I laid out thoughts on improving serve-receive, both individually and within your system. In this post, I add a few things for consideration. It seems that this part of the game is the most challenging for players. There are some aspects of the skill that coaches can teach better, along with some system concepts that might be beneficial. READ MORE

Blog #2A Former Player Looks Back on How Her Career Was Shaped by Athletics – I recently had an enjoyable lunch with a former player I hadn’t seen in many years. As with most reunions, much of the conversation reflected her experiences as an athlete. She followed up with a heartfelt note about how her experience had impacted her professional and personal life. Our educational and athletic systems are diminishing the expectations of our students. Here is a sincere reflection on how administrators, teachers, and coaches may want to revisit that approach to lifelong learning. READ MORE

MasterCoaches Video of the Week – This week, the MasterCoaches interview Hector Gutierrez, Head Coach for Beach Volleyball at Texas Christian University. View Video

What I’ve Been Reading and Watching

Giannis Antetokounmpo When Asked About Failure in the NBA Playoffs – The Milwaukee Bucks center discusses how he perceives failure when the Bucks were upset in the playoffs. One can take this from a team perspective, but there is also a correlation from an individual player perspective. Club coaches are always dealing with issues surrounding playing time. If players could take the perspective that every year, every day, steps are being taken for success. If players could embrace the steps as opposed to being focused on the final product, they might be happier.

Can NCAA Women’s Championships Forge Their Own Media Deal? – The NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament is part of a bundle that includes 28 other NCAA sports championships, which ESPN purchased for approximately $34 million annually. A recent study conducted by media consultants suggests that the women’s basketball tournament alone could be valued between $81 million to $112 million if a new deal is made in 2025. Initially, the study was met with skepticism, but with this year’s NCAA women’s final viewership close to that of the NCAA men’s final audience of 14.7 million, the proposed value range seems more reasonable. Although the viewership numbers for women’s volleyball are not close to those of women’s basketball, the trend for volleyball is upward. Everyone needs to focus on putting out the best product possible both on the court and in the broadcast booth. READ MORE

Students Comprehend Material Better With Printed Material vs. Digital Material – When I coached the USA U-18 team, we gave the players a notebook filled with blank pages. The players were expected to write down the items of importance at the end of practices or in team meetings (what was important? Everything!). Studies have shown that material is comprehended better when students are asked to read material that is printed vs. digital material. The general results were:

  • Students overwhelmingly preferred to read digitally.
  • Reading was significantly faster online than in print.
  • Students judged their comprehension as better online than in print.
  • Paradoxically, overall comprehension was better for print versus digital reading.

The process of reading printed material reduces distractions and allows higher levels of comprehension. In addition, the best way to remember information is to write down essential items on paper, as opposed to typing or having the coach provide handouts. Have your players write down essential information and plan to give verbal quizzes so they can review the material. READ MORE

Greg Popovich on Scouting – Coaches spend a lot of resources (time, money) on the scouting of opponents. NBA coach Greg Popovich talks about his priorities when it comes to watching opponents. Spoiler alert, it might surprise you!

Greg Popovich on His Approach to Scouting

Coaching Suggestion – Many teams are in their final preparation for the various national championships. Most practice time is devoted to teamwork, systems, and competition. I recommend that even though team systems and scrimmage are the focus, budget a portion of the daily practice to repeat fundamental skills. Focusing on specific skills can be accomplished inside team activities. In a past blog, I present how to combine individual skills and team scrimmage. There is always time for incremental improvements in the various individual skills.

That’s all for this week. I wish everyone the best as the club season winds down.


Jim Stone Consulting

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