Coaching assessment for certification done

At the end of May 2014 I had a call. It was for the assessment aspect of my Volleyball England Level 3 certification. Before the call, I had my assistant video me in action. This was during a training session for the Exeter university women’s team as they prepared for South West Championships. I also had to turn in a couple of individual player assessments and a 10-week training plan. You can have a look at what I wrote up here (PDF). The player assessments were for actual players, though with the names changed. I based the 10-week plan on the current team moving forward as if we had just gone through tryouts and were starting a new season.

The phone call came after the assessor reviewed the video and the written material. In part it was to judge things not seen in the recording, as well as to encourage a critical look at my coaching, both on a micro (single session) and a macro (coaching improvement needs) perspective. I was left to consider the question of what I want to/should do next in terms of personal development.

I think these sorts of conversations are always worthwhile. They are probably something most coaches don’t do enough of – especially in terms of having someone external to your team or program involved in the review. I rather enjoyed the process. It had me thinking of ways I could make it more of a regular feature of my coaching.

I had some paperwork to sign-off at the Volleyball England coaching conference which followed shortly thereafter to wrap up the coaching assessment part of my Level 3 certification. That just left the three Continuous Professional Development (CPD) workshops I needed to attend. These CPD elements were not volleyball-specific, but rather broader coaching themes (analyzing your coaching, coaching children & young people, etc.). Each ran about three hours.

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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