From time to time you hear coaches (and players, fans, etc.) say something to the effect of “We shouldn’t have lost to that team” after a disappointing loss. You’ve probably at least thought that yourself on occasion when you felt you team under-performed its capabilities.

Here’s the thing, though.

If you lost, you should have lost. Something in your team – some kind of flaw or weakness, or a combination of them, either within itself or in relation to the other team – led to it losing.

This is the realm of performance. Performance is about what you do in the moment. Not what you could or should do, but what you actually do. If you don’t do it in that moment, under those conditions, then you couldn’t do it. Thus, you shouldn’t have won.

Of course, as coaches, our job is twofold. First it to develop players and teams to be able to perform in the moments and conditions in which performance is required. Second is to use failures to do so to drive future development.

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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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