16. 03. 2020

By Mark Lebedew: Learning From Experience

Source: www.marklebedew.com; Photo:CEV

Author: Mark Lebedew

928 0

“Young players learn more from old players than they do from you.” The statement was made during a presentation by Australian rugby league coaching legend, Wayne Bennett.

To quickly describe Wayne Bennett in a single sentence for non Australians could be ‘Vince Lombardi if he coached for another 20 years’ or ‘Sepp Herberger with a (very droll) Australian accent’.  It is an idea I have been thinking about for a while and posted it onto this blog’s facebook page.  It created some very interesting discussion, with a couple of coaches pointing out the negative consequences of players learning from each other instead of the coach and others the positive side.

 

To summarise the negative side, team’s don’t always have experienced players, experienced players are sometimes selfish, young players are sometimes closed and that when players learn from each other they can shut out the coach completely.  These are all valid points of which the coach should definitely be wary.

The positive side was summed up by Steve…

“It boils down to math basically. A coach has a player for maybe 3 hours a day for practice. He spends maybe 30 minutes of that practice talking. How much of what he says is applicable to any one specific player?
On the other hand a lot of people are visual learners so the whole practice they are watching and learning from other players on the team. In addition most volleyball players hang out with and live with other players. The number one topic of conversation is volleyball. There are 12 – 15 players on a team who are in one way or another influencing the development of any given player.
All this is in addition to any advice that one player may give another player during any given practice.”

Although I didn’t ask him specifically, I think Nikolai Karpol is in the Bennett camp, at least based on this quote from his book.

“Young girl players, and the same is true for men, need to get involved in training with older players as soon as possible, for they will then be able to put together the little stones of the understanding of the game into a mosaic.”

Based on my own observations, experiences and discussions, I would tend to agree with the statement as is, independent of negative or positive aspects.  Although it sometimes has negative effects on the team and the individual players, players learn from each other, for all the reasons that Steve explained.  Like in every other area of the coach’s work, it is up to the coach to ‘sell’ his message to such an extent that only the positive benefits remain.  Creating specific mentoring relationships within the team could be one way of achieving a positive outcome.

There is one area in which I am sure players can learn more from each other than from the coach.  That area is in the ‘tricks of the trade’.  Coaches are mostly briefed with improving individual techniques and team concepts.  As hard as the coach works and as focussed as he is, the nature most of this work is general, he is watching many things simultaneously and for most things he can’t have much more than an overview.  And of course there are so many individual situations that require unique solutions that a coach cannot (and should not) hope to provide solutions to all of them.  Older / experienced players provide the bridge for solving those problems.  In addition to the scenarios that Steve described, communication between players on the court is more immediate and direct than that between player and coach, plus there is a different (not better or worse, but different) level of trust that allows some things to be communicated better and / or more efficiently.

To use Karpol’s metaphor, perhaps the coach provides the template for the mosaic, together with the big pieces.  The players add the little, shading, pieces and the grout that holds it all together.  But all are required to make art.

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)

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since you are here…

…we have a small favor to ask. WorldofVolley is one of the most popular volleyball websites in the world that provides many volleyball news daily. We are covering many worldwide competitions, trying to inform all of our fans by publishing the breaking news.

Since we want to keep our future much secure, consider this donate button as a way to support our work and to help us grow.

THANK YOU!

Donation
Choose Amount
Do you find this article useful?
+0   Yes     No   0-

No comments on this topic.

Post a comment

antiRobotImage

Latest comments

RUS M: Drzyzga parts ways with Lokomotiv after winning Russian championship

I think this was the best decision for the club. With only having 2 foreigner spots, the setter position was the easier position to let go. I think Lokomotiv will transfer a foreign OPP in place. Reply

INTERVIEW: Hippe for WoV – “Live in the moment and make the best out of it”

'Until a year ago, Hippe was an indispensable member of the Germany National Team.' is not correct. She has not been playing for the national team since 2013. Reply

For the first time in history, Italy won’t participate in VNL

Well Sports Fans, the reality is that Italy won't be alone and you can bet more Federations will do the same as this worlwide pandemic evolves. Summer sports for all will not be happening and I can forsee European Leagues holding off until late October and November. Budgets for all clubs and federations are in a holding pattern until we get a better grip on this virus. Its actually a smart decision by the Italians. Hopefully the Atheltes use this time to rest and strengthen their bodies Reply

Testimonials