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Two reasons coaches need to continue to improve

January 18, 2019 / CoachingVolleyball
The following is an article written by Ethan Pheister, assistant volleyball coach at the University of South Carolina, for the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

As I sit here and reflect on the time spent in Minneapolis for the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Convention, I am reminded of the fact that our profession continues to evolve and develop. Its really easy to sit back and say to ourselves that if something worked once, it’ll continue to work. That sentiment isn’t inherently wrong. We don’t want to chase the next big thing, so much so that we aren’t giving our players a consistent message. However, just as it is important to give our players a consistent message, it is also important that we are showing them that we are willing to grow and evolve.

Below are a couple of reasons this is important:

1. We are always asking our players to trust us and try a new technique(s). Whether that is the player that has always used a jump float serve, but we want to see a jump top spin in there. Or it’s the attacker that has always had success hitting line, but teams are starting to catch on. We as coaches are always asking players to step out of their comfort zone and try something new with hopes that it’ll pay dividends in the long run.

2. Expressing the same idea, but with different wording could be just the spark needed to spur on a change that could mean a few extra points for the team. We have all felt the sense of banging our head against the wall, feeling like we have said it a million times and it just isn’t getting through. Our profession is incredibly open, with a lot of successful coaches willing to share things that have worked for them. So, instead of getting frustrated and saying the same words again, we can look outside, reach out to coaches that we respect and see if we can look with a new set of eyes.

One parting thought, if you get an opportunity to talk with a coach that you respect, take that opportunity. Likely they will be very open and honest about what has been successful for them, and things that maybe didn’t go as planned. The best coaches, no matter the sport, see something that works for someone else, and then put their own spin on it to make it their own. That give and take, and continued development is what makes our sport so exciting to be part of.

— Ethan Pheister, assistant volleyball coach, University of South Carolina

Click here to see more from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.


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