In the post If you think it’s them you should think some more I include a quote from the book The Brain Always Wins. It’s on the subject of player mental toughness. The very next sentence of the quote introduces a whole different topic, however.

Let me be clear I am well aware that the managers and coaches who lead high level sporting organizations are doing a very difficult job and, to be honest with you, I regard them as performers just as I do their players.

The idea here is the coach as a performer in their own right. Just to be clear, we’re talking about something akin to the athlete here. It’s not about being like an actor on stage.

How many of us have actually thought about ourselves in that way? My guess is far, far too few. Imagine if we had to evaluate ourselves the same way we do our athletes. Are we eating well? Do we get enough quality rest? Are we getting the right kind and amount of exercise? Are we holding ourselves to the standards we set? Do we interact with people around us in a supportive, productive fashion (i.e. be good teammates)? Do we have a learning mindset, and are we willing to accept making mistakes along the way to improving? Are we taking care of our mental health?

My guess is that for many of us the answer too often is that we don’t think nearly enough about these things. We expect our athletes to do what it takes to perform at their best. Don’t we need to do the same for ourselves?

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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.

    1 Response to "The coach as performer"


      Good article and thanks for sharing. College is not the only volleyball that is enjoyed. I coach at a high school. Due to the COVID limitations, our program is streaming our matches to include freshmen – varsity. One should look to their local HS to see if there matches are being streamed. Just a thought.


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