Climbing Mistake Mountain

There’s a post on the USA Volleyball Growing the Game blog focused on the subject of talent development. In particular, it’s about what to do when in a place where there isn’t a lot of recruitable talent. In other words, you need to develop your own talent. The very first Lesson talks about the idea of “climbing Mistake Mountain”.

That phrase really caught my attention. It expresses an idea I think many coaches and players need to get their heads around.

Mistake Mountain is made up of all the mistakes we make on the road to mastery

I often tell my teams that we will make A LOT of mistakes. It’s the nature of learning and improving. In that context, mistakes aren’t a bad thing to be avoided and/or stressed out about. They’re a catalyst for improvement. This is something I wrote about before here, here, and here, among other places.

The “climbing Mistake Mountain” idea takes that to another level. It expresses the “errors are OK” idea. Actually, it goes beyond that. It actively encourages making lots of mistakes as they are necessary for improvement. The faster you make those mistakes, the quicker you’ll learn and improve.

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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