A while back I came across an article that discusses research into top performing coaches. The study referenced only included 14 coaches, which is definitely on the thin side, but I think the takeaways are interesting anyway.

The author presents three specific areas where coaches can improve themselves. Here they are.

  1. Read voraciously.
  2. Understand yourself better
  3. Get to know your players better

The first one is a common theme from the interviews we did for Volleyball Coaching Wizards. The list of books they offered up as recommendations is an example of just how widely they read in terms of subject matter.

The second point covers a couple of concepts. One is that better understanding of yourself will help you recognize how you will be in different situations. Think of it as knowing your default settings. It relates to your coach philosophy as well. The other side of it is knowing your short-comings. That, in turn, gives you specific things you can work on to get better.

The last item is actually something I always talk with my teams about. As I get to know them better my ability to coach them effectively improves. I know better how to express ideas and concepts to them. I know the sources of their motivation. The learning comes largely from observation, but I also look for opportunities to learn more directly as well.

Give these three areas some thought with regards to your own coaching and see how you can use them to be better.

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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.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.