Home » By Mark Lebedew: Harnessing Coach’s Competitivenes

By Mark Lebedew: Harnessing Coach’s Competitivenes

by WoV
source: marklebedew.com; Photo: CEV
Mark Lebedew – Photo source: CEV

Competition is essential.  Among other things competition drives innovation.

Coaches are competitive. Their drive to win leads to advances in training methodology, techniques and tactics.

Competition is destructive. Among other things competition drives short term solutions.

Coaches are competitive. Their drive to win leads them to prioritise winning ahead of longer term goals, such as player development.

Organisations, be they clubs or federations, have both short term and long term goals. Coaches inevitably are focused more on short term goals.

How do we reconcile the short term and the long term goals that are so often mutually detrimental?

Organisations determine their own strategic direction. Coaches work for organisations.  Organisations determine the working guidelines for coaches.

In order to maximise the competitive drive that leads to innovation, organisations can be well served by not just providing guidelines, but by actively restricting the environment in which coaches work. Especially in areas that focus on the individual.  

Some examples:

  • minimum of x players over ycm tall on court at all times
  • no specialisation
  • no use of liberos
  • reduce substitutions
  • change game rules for juniors
    • no overhead passing
    • no use of the feet

Of course coaches will complain that it will reduce their chances of winning. But coaches will always search for ways to win, whatever the rules. The best coaches will innovate and the smartest organisations will benefit from great development.

About Mark Lebedew:

Mark Lebedew authors the At Home on the Court Blog. He coaches professionally in Poland, from january 2021 with eWinner Gwardia Wrocław, in season 2019/20 with Aluron Virtu CMC Warta Zawiercie and in the period 2015-2018 with KS Jastrzębski Węgiel. 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 was also Head Coach for the Australian Men’s National Team. From this season he returns to Germany, where he leads VfB Friedrichshafen.

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 at Amazon here (link https://amzn.to/2JRqTE6).

In 2021, he launched project Webinars and Presentations on Demand. If you are intersested for coaching presentations and webinars available on demand, click here.

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