A coaching requirement: Passion

In his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, 2016 Olympic Dutch National Team and Turkish club side Vakifbank head coach Giovanni Guidetti spoke a lot about the need to be passionate. He is definitely not the only one of the Wizards to make that kind of observation. He may have done so in the most eloquent fashion to-date, though.

Alexis at Coaches Corner wrote a post on the subject which follows along the same lines. He suggests that passion is a requirement to be a successful coach. Moreover, he says coaching is different from other careers in that regard. In other occupations one can be successful without it.

This actually reminds me of something Alexis’ brother Mark once said. He suggested that non-coaches don’t really have job stress.

I think millions of folks around the world would disagree quite loudly!

Having worked in the non-coaching, non-sports arena for a fair portion of my life, I can say with some conviction that non-coaches definitely experience stress. Similarly, I can say that passion is a part of a lot more that just coaching.

Personally, I think you can be decent in just about anything based on having a reasonable level of proficiency – including coaching. A lot of people do just that. In order to really excel, achieve, and succeed over time, though, you need to have a drive and a motivation to push yourself to a higher level – and to keep doing so. That’s where passion comes it.

Passion is also a factor in keeping you in something for the long term. It sustains your motivation through the inevitable ups and downs. Those who are merely technically proficient are more likely to fall to the wayside when things become challenging. The passionate ones see the tough times as just more motivation to get better.

To answer the question posed at the end of Alexis’ article, what about a #3 option – passion for the sport and passion for coaching? 🙂

John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women's team. This follows a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.