03. 01. 2020

By Mark Lebedew: How Much Is A Coach Worth?

Source: https://marklebedew.com; Photo:CEV

Author: Mark Lebedew

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A coach making a difference?

 

Malcolm Blight is one of the most intriguing coaching figures in the world.  He is definitely the most intriguing coaching figure in the world who hardly anyone has ever heard about.  That is the problem when your sport is Australian football.  As a player he was renowned for his outrageous level of skill and willingness to use it in the most important moments.  As a coach he was renowned for his disdain for conventional wisdom and willingness to experiment at the biggest games.  As a commentator he is renowned for his individual analysis and willingness to view things from a different perspective.

He opined on the coaching legacy of one of the current top coaches.  As a whole it is an interesting discussion about the balance between sustained excellence and playoff success in defining such a legacy.  But the most interesting point for me, is when he suggests that:

“As a coach it is 80% about the team anyway. The rest of it, the club, the marketing department, the membership, the assistant coaches and the senior coach are the 20 per cent trying to help the 80 per cent be better. He is probably about five per cent … of the 20 per cent of the jigsaw.”

For clarification I am sure he meant five per cent of the 100%, not five percent of the 20 percent.  We’ll put that down to poor editing at the newspaper.  But is he really saying that the coach only influences five percent of the total performance?

It brings to mind legendary NBA executive Jerry West who is quoted as saying:

‘When you don’t have talent, coaching can only do so much. Once you have talent, coaching is everything.”

And Italian football coaching legend Giovanni Trapattoni, who is quoted as saying:

“A good coach who gets everything right can make a team maybe 5% better and a bad one can make it 30% worse. Sometimes more”

So how much is a coach worth to performance? Obviously I don’t know the answer. But I suspect it is less than most coaches like to imagine and more than most presidents like to admit.

 

About Mark Lebedew:

Mark Lebedew authors the At Home on the Court Blog. He coaches professionally in Poland with Aluron Virtu CMC Warta Zawiercie. That follows five seasons Germany where his Berlin Recycling Volleys won three straight league titles and a CEV Champions League bronze medal. He has prior professional experience in Belgium and Italy. Mark is also Head Coach for the Australian Men’s National Team. 

Mark partnered with his brother and father to translate and publish "My Profession: The Game", the last book by legendary Russian coach, Vyacheslav Platonov. 

With John Forman, he is behind the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project (link http://volleyballcoachingwizards.com/) which identifies great coaches from all levels, making their experience, insights, and expertise available to people all over the world. The project has produced multiple books, a in e-book format available here ( link to http://bit.ly/34yakou ) or in print at Amazon here (link https://amzn.to/2JRqTE6)

 

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POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

All this because volleyball is not e real professional sport and many clubs are managed with people with (almost) zero experience and knowledge in volleyball. And they manage money from state companies or government directly. Do not expect that that people will think differently. That is why volleyball will never move to another level and will always have some small “make up” in the future Reply

POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

Many Strength and Conditioning Coaches/Scoutman are trying to get into coaching. Due to their lack of experience and knowledge, at first, they take a major pay cut in comparison to actual volleyball coaches. Currently, coaching jobs are paying very little, even in the top leagues, and some of the experienced coaches are not taking jobs for 25.000-40.000 EUR, knowing that demands are just as high as before when they were making double of this salary. Unfortunately, club leaderships see coaches as a disposable matter and therefore keep dropping salaries because there are candidates that will take these jobs. I am not here to judge, just to describe some of the dynamics around this profession. Reply

POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

Interesting trend, that some coaches who specialised on physical training, some who never played volleyball on top level, became pretty successful volleyball coaches. It can be observed in some menś and women teams. It reflects a situation that volleyball has become a very physical sport. Even the world champion country, which in past had taught others, needs coaches from abroad who come into this category. Reply

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