Home » By Mark Lebedew: It Takes Time

By Mark Lebedew: It Takes Time

by WoV
source: https://marklebedew.com; Photo:CEV author: Mark Lebedew

One of the most common refrains that I hear from coaches, assistant coaches, physical coaches and physios is ‘I told him to do it’! The sentence that proceeds that refrain typically refrains something the player should have done but didn’t.

Mark Lebedew

Mark Lebedew


Often it is technical – Player X should use a cross step. ‘I told him to do it!’
Other times it is physical – Player Y should be doing more prevention exercises. ‘I told him to do it!’
Or – Player Z needs to go to the physio. ‘I told him to do it!’
Sometimes there is even a follow up ‘… I told him 10 times!’

And my answer is always some version of, ‘Yes, you did. It is normal that players don’t understand / change / learn the first time they hear a new piece of information. Everyone takes a different amount of time, so you have to say it again and again and again. Until they do understand / change / learn.

Like Platonov says so well, you need to be like a drop of water on a stone.

John Wooden put the same idea a little differently when he said “You haven’t taught until they have learnt”.

Phil Jackson noted that players learn when they are ready to learn and not before. Or at least I think he did. I remember the quote but have never found it again. I am sure someone said it…

Johan Cruyff had his own version of the concept when he said ‘you see it when you understand it’.

The point is that the coach must be patient and persistant. The coach’s job is not to tell people what to do, it is to ensure they learn. And that takes time. Often more time than you want. “Patience is an essential quality of the coach’s profession”.

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. 

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)

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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