Here’s an interesting question that appeared in a Facebook group.

What are somethings you wish you had known your first season, that you now know would have made you a more effective coach?

For me, the first thing that immediately comes to mind is the need to work on decision-making. What I remember very clearly from my early days coaching is an extreme focus on skill development. I did not give nearly enough attention to the mental side of playing. I’m talking about working on solutions. In other words, not just making players more skilled, but making them better volleyball players.

The next thing I think of is self-awareness. By that I mean understanding how important your tone, body language, and such are in your communications. You have to be aware of their influence and recognize what you’re doing.

Finally, I think it’s the importance of teaching a team how to play together. I’m not talking about offensive or defensive systems, though. Instead, I speak to how the players coordinate within those systems. This is something I speak to – at least to a degree – in this post.

What about you? What would you tell your younger self?

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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.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.