The penultimate day of the American Volleyball Coaches Association convention (see Day 1 and Day 2) saw me attend three seminars. I continued work on the uniform vendor angle. Also, I ran into one of the coaches I met during my summer collegiate volleyball tour. The lack of a good night sleep due to jet lag caught up with me during the afternoon, but I managed to power through.

The first seminar was a big panel discussion. The subject was “Why We Win”. It featured a number of successful coaches – including current US women’s national team coach Karch Kiraly. There were some interesting points brought up in the conversation. Whether things went quite according to the theme is perhaps a bit debatable, though. One of the real thinking points was how we don’t often analyze our coaching when we’re winning. We only do so when we lose.

The second seminar was meant to be a games strategies and analysis session. That speaker was ill, however, so there was a reshuffle. It ended up an “If I knew then what I know now panel”. It featured John Dunning of Stanford, Russ Rose of Penn State, and Terry Liskevych of Oregon State. Fun session with a lot of humor. One of the more interesting bits was the idea that even top teams can struggle to be fearless. That was something I was trying to develop in my Exeter university women at the time.

The third seminar I attended was on non-verbal communication and the influence it can have on your player interactions. If this is something you haven’t looked into before, you should do. I make it a habit of trying to always be aware of my tone and body language around the team. Not that I’m always successful, of course.

The final seminar was one on motivating your players, though the main focus was on doing a personal DISC assessment. That was then used to talk about coaching style and further to look at how it ties in with the DISC assessments of players and the team. Good stuff that I planned to explore later for sure.

I wrapped the day up by having dinner with a former player from my Brown coaching days. She spent time playing professionally in Europe and even did a year in England.

Saturday was the big finale. I had 5 seminars marked down for attending. There was also the national championship match, though I thought I’d probably just watch that one on TV rather than attend.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching 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. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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