There’s a thread on the Volley Talk forum which gets into the subject of coaching traits – desirable and undesirable. One of the posters presented the following list of the traits possessed by the best coaches.

  1. Very competitive people, who teach and promote competitiveness at all times
  2. Very confident people; their players believe they are going to win
  3. Excellent teacher’s of the game; many have a system they believe in and certain type of athlete to fit that system; fundamentally very strong
  4. Push their players to be better than they themselves think they can be; very demanding
  5. Intensity, toughness, togetherness are a huge part of the “culture” of their team
  6. Expectations are always sky high in every part of the program; athletically, academically and off the court
  7. Care very deeply for the well-being and success of their players
  8. Teach life lessons; players often feel they’ve been a part of something special
  9. May be demanding; but always have their players’ back; trust
  10. Tough-love is always mixed with praise and pride in their players

Number 6 leans a bit toward those coaching for a school, but equally can apply to someone who runs a club team or is otherwise more than just a team coach. Also, there is a bit of a balancing action on the subject of confidence from #2. Similarly, I’d also add to #4 that you don’t want to restrain your team’s development. Beyond that, though, I think this is a very solid list. These are certainly things I try to make a big part of my own coaching.

What about yourself? Anything you would add to this list? Or in contrast, anything you would remove?

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager for Volleyball England (overseeing the national team pipeline systems), 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.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.