AVCA Convention 2013 – Day 3

The penultimate day of the American Volleyball Coaches Association convention (see Day 1 and Day 2) saw me attend three seminars. I continued work on the uniform vendor angle. Also, I ran into one of the coaches I met during my summer collegiate volleyball tour. The lack of a good night sleep due to jet lag caught up with me during the afternoon, but I managed to power through.

The first seminar was a big panel discussion. The subject was “Why We Win”. It featured a number of successful coaches – including current US women’s national team coach Karch Kiraly. There were some interesting points brought up in the conversation. Whether things went quite according to the theme is perhaps a bit debatable, though. One of the real thinking points was how we don’t often analyze our coaching when we’re winning. We only do so when we lose.

The second seminar was meant to be a games strategies and analysis session. That speaker was ill, however, so there was a reshuffle. It ended up an “If I knew then what I know now panel”. It featured John Dunning of Standord, Russ Rose of Penn State, and Terry Liskevych of Oregon State. Fun session with a lot of humor. One of the more interesting bits was the idea that even top teams can struggle to be fearless. That was something I was trying to develop in my uni women.

The third seminar I attended was on non-verbal communication and the influence it can have on your player interactions. If this is something you haven’t looked into before, you should do. I make it a habit of trying to always be aware of my tone and body language around the team.

The final seminar was one on motivating your players, though the main focus was on doing a personal DISC assessment. That was then used to talk about coaching style and further to look at how it ties in with the DISC assessments of players and the team. Good stuff that I planned to explore later for sure.

I wrapped the day up by having dinner with a former player from my Brown coaching days. She spent time playing professionally in Europe and even did a year in England.

Saturday was the big finale. I had 5 seminars marked down for attending. There was also the national championship match, though I thought I’d probably just watch that one on TV rather than attend.

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.

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