I’m going to talk a little bit of football/soccer here for a moment. Don’t be alarmed! The volleyball link will become apparent in short order. 🙂

One Sir Alex Ferguson has gotten himself in the news a while back. The retired legendary manager of Manchester United is the subject of an article in the Harvard Business Review. It caught the attention of the folks in the business press and even ESPN. It’s titled Ferguson’s Formula, and it has as it’s foundation a case study a Harvard professor did back in 2012. Obviously, the main perspective is therefor a business one, but since it is also an organizational and leadership based look at how the successful manager operated, it is something volleyball coaches would do well exploring also.

Here are the eight key points:

  1. Start with the foundation
  2. Dare to rebuild
  3. Set high standards
  4. Never cede control
  5. Match the message to the moment
  6. Prepare to win
  7. Rely on the power of observation
  8. Never stop adapting

I could go into my thoughts about each of these ideas, but I think I’m going to hold off and do so separately (plus, you should read the piece for yourself). There are a couple of them (at least) which deserve their own posts, and hopefully in that way a discussion about them can develop.

I would, however, make the point that we can learn a lot from our coaching peers in other sports. One of the things I always find beneficial when coaching collegiately in the States is being part of an Athletic Department where I can go talk with a coach from the softball team or the squash team or the wrestling team about recruiting, player management, organizational issues and whatnot. If you coach in a club environment this isn’t quite so easy to do, but I definitely encourage you to seek out successful coaches in other sports (and it doesn’t just have to be coaches who win a lot). In my experience, coaches in all sports love to talk shop.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently Technical Director for Charleston Academy. His previous experience includes the college and university level in the US and UK, professional coaching in Sweden, and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. Learn more on his bio page.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.