A Newsletter for the Wootton High School Boys Volleyball Community


Learning and Coaching

When you were learning to ride a bicycle, what drills did your bicycle coach make you do?

John Kessel, USA Volleyball's Director of Sport Development who was recently inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame, has had an impact on my approach to coaching. Kessel says:
"When I teach clinics for both coaches and parents, I reference what other great learning/motor skill/leadership development things that happen in our kids lives, have happening - music teachers (including private ones who get paid per hour), voice teachers, dance instructors, directors of plays, etc - they are quite involved in training, but once the show goes on, you do NOT see them screaming from the audience what should be happening, or calling time outs. They just take notes for the next training. They get paid lots of money to teach/train, but when the performance happens, they sit back and prepare for the next place they can really influence, the next practice. "

Jurgen Klinsmann, the US Men's National Soccer Team Coach, has this to say: 
“When you talk to coaches and parents, it’s very difficult for them sometimes to understand that the kid is essentially self-taught. Coaches are really just more the inspiration of the whole thing — the guide, in a certain way. But he’s not the decision maker on the field. This is a very different approach. Parents and coaches think they are making the decisions. I tell them, no, you’re not making the decision. The decision is made by the kid on the field. So maybe here and there you should just shut up and let the kid figure it out.”
Another illustration of these points:

SNL--High School Chess Coach from Kevin Kelton on Vimeo.

I chew gum during matches to release my own competitive energy. The team will default to their level of training and preparation in many cases. Win or lose, game day is a good way to assess the impact of the training. The process of learning continues.

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