For a while now I’ve been thinking about doing something.
I know. I probably need a new project like I need a hole in my head, but this seems to be my pattern.
Anyway, I actually can’t take credit for the idea. It’s something that Mark Lebedew, my partner on the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project, brought up during a discussion. It’s not something Mark’s really in a position to get up and running himself, so I thought I should at least think about doing so.
That idea is a global association of volleyball coaches.
In the US there is the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The AVCA started out as the Collegiate Volleyball Coaches Association in 1981, but changed its name and expanded its focus to include high school and juniors coaches in 1986. Now the AVCA reports it has nearly 7000 members. It is a valuable resource for US coaches. The annual convention is the largest volleyball coaches gathering in the world each year.
Outside the US, however, coaches mostly don’t have anything like the AVCA. Some of what the AVCA does in terms of education is taken on by national and/or regional federations. There just aren’t many independent associations out there, though, where coaches can come together, exchange ideas, and work toward the betterment of the sport and our profession.
This is where the idea for a new group came from.
I’ve talked with a number of coaches from different parts of the world about this global coaching association concept. Without exception they thought it was a great idea.
So we’ll be forming the Society of World Volleyball Coaches (SWVC).
Please note that the idea is not to in any way supplant the AVCA. Rather, what we’re looking to do is to take the basic concept of the AVCA and apply it to the rest of the world.
The simple mission of the SWVC will be to drive the betterment of the volleyball coaching profession globally.
Pretty straightforward, right?
How will we do it?
At the end of the day the members will determine what the SWVC does. Here’s what I have in mind, though.
- Act as a meeting place where coaches from around the world can interact, collaborate, and share ideas.
- Provide a platform through which coaches can collaborate within countries and/or regions to address specific issues. It would also allow the sharing of good ideas between and among those countries/regions.
- Collect high quality educational content from all around the world, translated into a variety of languages.
- Support top level volleyball-related research into areas such as motor learning and performance analysis
- Develop a career center where coaches can get useful job market and career development information, which could potentially be used to link employers to coaches.
I can see the SWVC sponsoring regional conferences, but having a big unified convention each year like the AVCA would be tough. That said, some kind of virtual online conference is possible. It could be a rolling event featuring presenters from across the global time zones.
Again, this will be something the membership decides, but I have an idea for a basic structure.
- Global board with representation from all the regions to determine the overall direction of the Society.
- Regional committees to focus on topics specific to their part of the world.
- Specialized committees to work on particular things, such as events, education, and research support.
Obviously, the Society will need people for its day-to-day operations. Someone will have to be director, which I suspect at least in the beginning will be me. We’ll need editors for the various languages involved to make sure we get high quality content, that translations we have done make sense, and to get content posted.
Ideas to get it started
Of course, getting the SWVC up and running is going to have a cost. We’ll need a website, and for that we’ll need to get some kind of branding created (logos, etc.). We’ll also want to set up a proper legal structure for the society.
To that end I had a few ideas.
- Ask for donations, which could potentially be converted into memberships once the SWVC is formally launched.
- Have prospective members pre-register for membership
- Get one or more sponsors (Mark offered this idea)
Of course, we could combine 1 or 2 with 3.
Open to suggestions
The main point of this post is to solicit thoughts and ideas. It could be about the concept overall. It could be about the structure or what the SWVC is to do. Suggestions on how to fund its initial phase are very welcome. I’m even open to thoughts for a better name.
Basically, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
Please use the comment section below. Hopefully, we can develop a useful dialog and generate some good ideas.