Alexis at Coaches Corner has a really insightful post. Basically, it’s a series of questions which demonstrate how similar coaching and playing are.

There’s a bit of irony involved here. In the book Volleyball Coaching Wizards – Wizard Wisdom there’s a chapter on how the coach needs to put aside the player inside themselves (assuming they are/were a player). I should note, my co-author on that book is Alexis’ brother Mark.

The point Alexis makes, though, is quite different from the one Mark and I make in the book. We, with the help of Julio Velasco by way of Glenn Hoag, speak to the mentality of players vs. coaches. In contrast, Alexis speaks to the day-to-day experience and reality of coaches and players.

Think about things like maintaining focus throughout, the struggle to make positive changes and retain them under pressure, and the fact that we sometimes make bad decisions. Alexis’ final point is this.

If you find it hard, the athletes probably do as well.

I would add an additional suggestion.

As a coach you are just as much a performer as your players. The context is different, but you need to be just as aware of your potential developmental and performance challenges as you want your players to be.

It might be a useful exercise to write down what you like and don’t like about coach, as I once asked a player to do about playing.

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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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