There’s a post on the USA Volleyball Growing the Game blog focused on the subject of talent development. In particular, it’s about what to do when in a place where there isn’t a lot of recruitable talent. In other words, you need to develop your own talent. The very first Lesson talks about the idea of “climbing Mistake Mountain”.

That phrase really caught my attention. It expresses an idea I think many coaches and players need to get their heads around.

Mistake Mountain is made up of all the mistakes we make on the road to mastery

I often tell my teams that we will make A LOT of mistakes. It’s the nature of learning and improving. In that context, mistakes aren’t a bad thing to be avoided and/or stressed out about. They’re a catalyst for improvement. This is something I wrote about here, here, and here, among other places.

The “climbing Mistake Mountain” idea takes that to another level. It expresses the “errors are OK” idea. Actually, it goes beyond that. It actively encourages making lots of mistakes as they are necessary for improvement. The faster you make those mistakes, the quicker you’ll learn and improve.

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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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