You can’t boil the ocean

Apparently, the title of this post is a phrase that’s common in business use. I hadn’t heard it myself – despite working in the business world for years – until I came across it while reading Wooden on Leadership. From a coaching perspective I interpret it as meaning you can’t fix everything all at once. You have to prioritize and focus on at most only a couple of things at a time. If you try to have equal focus on everything you’ll end up not getting very far on anything.

I’ve written before on the subject of knowing your priorities and sticking with them. It’s a really important concept in coaching. I personally think it’s one of the two main jobs of the coach.

This doesn’t just apply to the on-court element. Chances are there’s a bunch of other stuff you have to do that doesn’t actually involve volleyballs. For example, all this stuff. You don’t want to be trying to boil the ocean there either.

And keep in mind that part of your job as coach is to ensure those under you are equally focused. If your players and/or your assistant coach(es) try to work on everything all the time, it’s going to foul up your well-made plans.

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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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