When you coach a volleyball match, do you sit on the bench or stand on the sideline? One need not spend much time watching volleyball to see that coaches are split on which way they go. Some high profile coaches sit on the bench. Others stand fairly calmly. Still others prowl up and down the sideline like a caged animal. So which are you?

I am very much a standing coach myself. At times I haven’t had much choice. What passes for benches in gyms (sports halls) in England are so low to the ground as make my knees creak just looking at them. On very rare occasions I might sit in a chair if my back is aching or something. Even then it’s only if the match is of a low intensity variety. Otherwise I’m on my feet.

For me, standing is something that really started in earnest when I was coaching at Brown. At one point I decided to stand at the end of the bench with the substitutes so I could get a better viewing angle. It had a side benefit as well. I found that just the little movements back and forth I made while in that position tended to help bleed away some of the tension and stress I felt during a match (fitness is important for coaches too). The head coach actually remarked on this at one point.

These days, I’m probably more generally mellow during matches. I don’t know if being able to move a bit has as much of a physiological effect as it did before. At this point, being on my feet is more about being better able to see the action and be a little more connected with the team on the floor.

So what do you favor – standing or sitting?

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Assistant Volleyball Coach at Radford University, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His previous experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US, university and club teams in the UK, professional coaching in Sweden, and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. Learn more on his bio page.

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