Good Coach Bad Coach: The Top 25 Reasons To Hire A Good Volleyball Coach.

 

(A note about the title. Good Coach Bad Coach is a spin on the book Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That The Poor And The Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. I was also going to call this post Good Coach Bad Coach: What Parents Don’t Learn About Coaching Until It’s Too Late … and that, after all, is the whole point of VolleyCall – to help parents avoid making the decisions others have made on the  journey.) Why else write this piece? Because I Googled The Top Reasons To Hire A Good Volleyball Coach and couldn’t find a list. No one else has done it. So here, with the assistance of some of the most successful HS, SCVA and USAV coaches is Good Coach Bad Coach: The Top 25 Reasons To Hire A Good Volleyball Coach.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Hoosiers with Gene Hackman (and you should) you can relate to the team parents and close-knit community fighting the new coach tooth and nail every step of the way. They wanted the assistant coach to take over and keep doing things the way they’d always been done. Reminds me of the story of Cowboy Ed where things were done, “Because that’s the way we’ve always done them in the past.” They didn’t want to change systems of play. They were afraid a new coach would impact their child’s court time. All manner of fear. And far from today’s well accepted philosophy of releasing your daughter to her game, her successes and failures and the tutelage of a qualified coach. (For USAV’s spin on just what is a good volleyball coach read point 9 below and follow the link.) Well, like they say, Hollywood never makes a movie about anyone who’s always on an upward career trajectory. In Hoosiers, the new head coach Norman Dale is hired (see the Hoosiers link)  little Hickory High School wins the State Championship against all odds in the 1950s (and it’s based on a true story). Feel free to agree or disagree. There’s plenty of space for comment and all is nothing more than merely food for thought: What they call “conversation starters” at Harvard Business School. So here are the first of many reasons you should welcome and fight for a new head coach in your program. Personally, I don’t care if they win or lose. I just want the certainty of knowing that as long as we have to pay to train in club or with donations in high school that my daughter is spending quality time with a proven and quality coach.

The Top 25 Reasons to hire a good volleyball coach (but it’s more than 25)

 

  1. Good players can’t help a mediocre coach.
  2. A mediocre coach will blame players for mistakes the coach makes.
  3. Coach-driven losses will lead to premature losses and unsatisfactory player development.
  4. If you haven’t been with a good coach you don’t know what a good coach can do for your daughter.
  5. The best coach you’ve met is only halfway up someone else’s ladder.
  6. A good coach gains the buy-in of players and parents (stakeholders) before taking the reigns of a team. That’s called leadership.
  7. A good coach is not the leader just because he has the title. A good coach has followers. Otherwise the coach is just out for a nice walk.
  8. A good head coach has already been where you want to go.
  9. A good head coach is not busy learning as he or she goes: experimenting, developing or practicing with his or her coaching philosophies on your daughter’s time and dime. See Why Do We Hire The WORST (Volleyball) Coaches.
  10. A really bad coach publicly throws players under the bus in front of team mates (particularly during matches). There’s no 3-strikes here. This is strictly once and done. If you experience this you should speak to your coach and athletic director at once, invite school administration (Assistant Principal or Principal) or Club Owner ASAP (if the offense is club related). If you get no love or satisfaction leave the program, transfer or decide not to play immediately. Do not give the offending coach a second crack at damaging your daughter’s confidence with “tough love” they call it. Your daughter’s self-esteem is at stake and even a Championship will not remove those scars.
  11. A good coach doesn’t manage talent. A good coach makes talented players better.
  12. Talented athletes and mediocre coaches are never a good combination. It’s like having your daughter date the wrong guy.
  13. A mediocre coach makes a talented athlete complacent quickly. They become unmotivated because they are not challenged. That’s why certain people shouldn’t own a Weimaraner. The dog is smarter than many owners.
  14. A lackluster attitude will result in a higher frequency or incidence of injuries. Not paying attention always does.
  15. A good coach knows more than their players. It’s never good when the player knows more than the coach.
  16. A good volleyball coach is passionate, hard-working and can connect with kids. Frequently it’s better if they have kids of their own.*
  17. A good volleyball coach spends most of their time becoming a great coach. And helping others become great coaches. (My thanks to Torrey Pines High School Head Coach and WAVE’s Owner and Executive Director Brennan Dean)
  18. A good volleyball coach knows how to best develop and utilize the talent around them and bring the best out in their players.
  19. A good volleyball coach avoids senseless losses that quickly undermine the confidence of young, impressionable players.
  20. A good coach won’t pit one player against another by asking the team whom they want as setter.  It’s unprofessional, divisive and derisive and publicly humiliating to undermine the other setters by throwing them under the bus. And it sure doesn’t earn team-mate points for the anointed setter. With confidence shaken or broken the incident  will not be forgotten by the other setters and will remain a team scar.
  21. Teams with a good coach will sometimes win when they are not supposed to. This helps make winning a habit and builds confidence quickly.
  22. A good coach creates an environment conducive to success.
  23. A good coach praises in public and criticizes in private.
  24. Teams with a good coach will set far better goals that motivate in a healthy way.
  25. Teams with a good coach will accomplish goals and tasks and projects much more quickly.
  26. Teams with a good coach make fewer mistakes.
  27. Teams with a good coach play at the next level more quickly.
  28. A good coach reduces the number of problems confronting a team and does a better job resolving the problems that remain.
  29. A good coach is effective and influential with others.
  30. A good coach builds relationships with parents and players before he or she asks for actions.
  31. A good coach attracts better players and better players make you a better player.
  32. A good coach conducts the orchestra. Teams can’t win games on the hope good players know what to do.
  33. A good coach is a role model.
  34. A good coach improves consistency and motivation.
  35. A good coach has effective practices and doesn’t waste time on ineffective routines.
  36. A good coach provides an ego-boost. It’s nice to know you have a coach that has succeeded at the top-level. Parents, players and the community have greater confidence in the coach’s ability to take a team there again.
  37. The journey of teams with a good coach is less likely to take a turn down the path to mediocrity.
  38. Parents of teams with a good coach are more likely to successfully release their sons and daughters to the game, their coach and their own successes and failures.
  39. Parents on teams with a good coach spend less time coaching their kids. This promotes a player’s love of the game and minimizes wear and tear on the player.
  40. Teams with a good coach don’t question the coach. Second-guessing the coach delays the development of confidence and player ability. If ya wanna learn fiddle seek Charlie Daniels or Papa John Creach.
  41. Bad or slack attitudes will emerge in the void created by the absence of head coach leadership.
  42. Players trust a good coach. It makes them want to go to practice.
  43. Parents will pay for a good coach.
  44. A good coach won’t confuse motion with progress.
  45. A good coach can identify, attract and retain top talent.
  46. A good coach runs a great, consistent practice and hold players accountable. Results will take care of themselves. (Courtesy of Shawn Patchel, Director Tstreet Volleyball Club and Head Volleyball Coach Concordia University.)
  47. A good coach is not afraid to get a little worse before the whole team gets a lot better.  A good coach trusts the system and has patience. (Courtesy of Shawn Patchell, Director Tstreet Volleyball Club and Head Volleyball Coach Concordia University.)

I will continue to evolve this list as I continue to hear from other successful HS, SCVA and USAV coaches on what they think makes a good coach.

*Our 15s Club Coach led us from unnoticed to a 7th place 15-Open finish at the 2014 USAV JNCs. That’s a good coach! A Wizard you might say. As the season progressed he even admitted that as the parent of two young soccer players (girls) he could better relate to parents who voiced their own definite opinions about coaches :). He did it himself.

 

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