Parents laughing in training?

I don’t know the percentage of professional volleyball teams that have parents of the players attending training sessions. My guess is it’s not very high, though I’m sure in some places and at some levels it’s more frequent than at others. Sweden may be one of those places. Certainly, it was true in my case at Svedala.

To be fair, I coached at what is basically a local community club. We had the professional level team competing in the Elitserie, the top level of Swedish volleyball. We also had a 2nd team playing in Division 1 south, the second level of volleyball in Sweden. Although there’s no league age restriction, our 2nd team was effectively a Juniors squad based on their ages. Below that we had actual Juniors level teams, and then down to some really little ones – well south of U12s. Overall, there was something like 100 club members.

My own team featured two players whose families lived in town. A couple of players were originally from up north, while the rest were from other parts of southern Sweden. And of course I had three Americans. It’s the parents of the two local players who periodically turned up to training sessions – and boy did they enjoy themselves!

In training one Tuesday night I could hear at least the two moms laughing uproariously.

Yes, they were laughing at the team. No, this wasn’t the first time.

To be fair, it wasn’t ridiculing type laughter. That sort of thing means ejection from my gym. Rather, this was genuine comedic laughter at what they saw and heard from the players on the court.

I’m not talking slap-stick type stuff here. Yeah, there’s some of that. The team was pretty loose. They worked hard, but they had fun as well. Invariably, that led to some funny things happening. More than that, though, I think is the sound track that went along with it all. A couple of my louder, more talkative players were also the source of some funny comments and reactions mid-rally.

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John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women's team. This follows a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

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