AVCA Convention Day 4

My last day at the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association convention (see Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3) was all seminars. I went to four of them.

The first session was the only on-court one I attended. It featured USA national team setter Courtney Thompson. She gave a player’s point of view on setter training and development. She shared a couple interesting nuggets about coach feedback and setter-hitter communication.

Next up was a seminar on the Competitive Cauldron concept. That became quite popular in recent years. Basically, it’s a statistics driven approach to evaluate and rank players. The view was basically that while it has value, there are significant limitations. Do not use it in isolation.

Third was a session by coaching legend Mike Hebert. His book Thinking Volleyball was just released. I picked up a copy. I read his prior books Insights and Strategies for Winning Volleyball and The Fire Still Burns. Here is my review. The talk came basically right out of the book. It was quite good.

The final seminar was a panel discussion. It was titled “When Winning is Your Job – Designing Systems and Training What’s Important”. It lacked much about system design. There was, though, quite a bit on priority-setting and other aspects of managing a team and program.

The NCAA Division I championship match capped the day. I had a ticket to attend. I opted to watch it on television, though. Not once did I get more than 4-5 hours combined sleep a day the whole trip. I was out of gas!

Final thoughts? The content was good. I just wish there was more of a social element. But that was a personal thing, and not the event itself.

John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John recently compelted 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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