A fellow volleyball coach blogger shared something he struggled with for a while. He was feeling a kind of resentment. In his case, he realized his decision to stop playing volleyball negatively impacted his enjoyment of coaching volleyball. My playing days are long in the past, so I can’t relate directly to his feelings (though I’m sure others can). Still, the post made me to ponder the idea of resenting coaching myself.

I confess, there are times when coaching feels more like drudgery than something I love. Usually, that is when I want to give my focus to other things. Though sometimes I just want a little break. Funnily, in those situations it’s almost always the case that the “I really wish I didn’t have to coach tonight” feeling is forgotten once I get to the gym. That’s something I keep in mind when those thoughts arise.

Pondering these sorts of issues makes one realize how easily our coaching can be impacted by what’s happening in the rest of our lives. At least it can if we’re not careful. This makes our approach to coaching inconsistent. By that I mean the personality we project to the team, and things like that. It is important to be aware of. Consistency is something former Australian and Canadian national team coach Stelio DeRocco talks about. Here is an example from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview:

I think most of us counsel players to leave life’s troubles outside the gym door. We should do the same ourselves. The problem is, we usually don’t have someone overseeing our work. That means there is no one to call us out when we let life intrude on our coaching. As a result, we have to be extra vigilant. It also means sometimes we need to factor these potential external influences into our plans. They can influence how we choose to operate.

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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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