Happy New Year!

Well, 2018 was certainly eventful.

Job situation

The year started off with the head coach at Midwestern State announcing her resignation for family reasons. That elevated me to acting head coach position for what turned out to be the whole Spring semester. It ended up being a frustrating experience because of how long it dragged out, the impact it had on recruiting, and because there were things I couldn’t do because they were really based on head coach decisions.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that I wasn’t hired as the new head coach. I documented the hiring process here. That whole situation still angers and frustrates me – perhaps even more so after hearing more details about the committee’s thinking.

The timing of the MSU hiring decision made finding another college job very challenging. I was a finalist for another DII head coaching job, and interviewed with a 2nd division women’s club in Germany as well, but both positions went to someone else. I had some talks with another German club (men’s this time) later, and applied for a few other college jobs, but nothing came of it. Finally, in September, I signed on with Charleston Academy as Technical Director.

I should note that I also applied to take over the English Women’s National Team. I interviewed in September as one of the finalists, but didn’t get the position (which is part-time and volunteer). As of this writing no announcement has gone out as to who was selected, though my sources in England gave me the news.

Travel and Education

For the first time in a while I did no major travel in the last year. That’s fair enough, I suppose, given I did two major foreign trips in 2017. Still, it leaves me feeling a little disappointed.

I noted in last year’s update that I finished my CAP III requirements. I received the actual certification in February.

In terms of education, I finally attended a Gold Medal Squared clinic. Actually, we hosted it at Charleston Academy. That was my only event. Of course I read several books to further my coaching development. They were The Talent Code, The Coaching Habit, Dream Like a Champion, Wooden on Leadership, Karpol: Lunatics – That’s What I Need, Great Teams, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Peak – Secrets from the New Science of Success, and From the Ashes.

Wow! Didn’t realize the list was quite that long.

Plenty more to come in 2019. 🙂

The Blog

It was another year of growth for this blog in 2018. For the first time ever the page views crossed the 250k mark for the year, ending at over 260,000. This is from more than 120,000 visitors. That’s a gain of around 20% over the 2017 figures.

Of course the English speaking countries dominate the list. Interestingly, the six non-English speaking countries on the list are exactly the same six as last year, albeit in a different order.

The most read posts for 2018 were as follows.

  1. Volleyball tryout drill ideas
  2. How to teach the overhand serve to volleyball beginners
  3. Volleyball set diagram
  4. Putting together a starting line-up
  5. The qualities of a good team captain
  6. Scoring serving and passing effectiveness
  7. Volleyball camp drills and games
  8. Volleyball games for training and fun
  9. Game: Winners (a.k.a King/Queen of the Court)
  10. Pin hitter in volleyball – what is it?

The blog now has more than 1000 posts, which is kind of crazy. It’s total page views since beginning in 2013 is over 840,000, which means it should cross the million page view mark at some point probably in the second half of 2019.


I completed two major projects last year. The first was putting together and publishing Volleyball Coaching Wizards – Wizard Wisdom. That’s the second book from that project. I also arranged for translation of the book into Spanish. That’s now also published under the title Magos del Entrenamiento de Voleibol – Sabidurías de los Magos.

My other big project was developing a new practice planning course. That worked out quite well. At this writing the student count is approaching 100.

These achievements fulfill some of my objectives for 2018. Not all of them, but a couple of the big ones at least.

Looking ahead to 2019

From a coaching perspective there’s a lot up in the air for 2019. Charleston Academy is a totally new venture, so it’s hard to say exactly how things will play out. The Juniors season is getting underway this week, so of course the rhythm of that will feature. Over the months ahead, though, we’re supposed to get our own facility set up and we have big plans in terms of developing youth programs. That will be interesting, to be sure.

I don’t know for sure what I’ll do this year to continue my personal development. I know I want to get out and visit some clubs – pro and Juniors – to see how they do things. I’d really like to get to Europe, and perhaps to South America, but we’ll see how the schedule plays out.

As for projects, look for some exciting new developments in the months ahead. Some of them will get announced very soon. Others, I think will roll out later in the year.

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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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