Home » ART OF COACHING: Luke Reynolds – “Always push yourself to be better in all aspects of coaching”

ART OF COACHING: Luke Reynolds – “Always push yourself to be better in all aspects of coaching”

by WoV

We are happy to present the assistant coach of the Australian national team Luke Reynolds, through the coaching aspects in volleyball.

Luke Reynolds

Luke Reynolds


He has shared very good pieces of advice in this interview, which can be significant to all young coaches that are planning to move their coaching skills to another level.

In the last season, you got the opportunity to work as the head coach in one of the best leagues in Europe. How would you describe that experience?

Luke Reynolds: “Working for Berlin Volleys in Germany was a great opportunity and an amazing learning experience while there.  The ability to work with such an experienced group of athletes and compete in both the Bundesliga and also CEV Champions league certainly enabled me to grow and work harder than ever before.  As a young coach, it was good to have the ability to work under the high level of stress and demand that comes with being one of the top teams in Europe. Of course, there were always ups and downs like with any team, but anytime you have the ability to learn and develop from those lessons is a blessing.”

Since you have worked as an assistant and a head coach – what would you single out as the most important thing to keep the cooperation between these two roles at a high level?

Luke Reynolds:Communication – you need to be able to communicate to your staff, head coach or assistant coach, physio, and most importantly athletes to work towards becoming better together.  It is better to be open in discussion with ideas, training methods, concepts, tactics etc. so that you can evolve as a group.  Sometimes as the head coach, you can take this information on board, other times it just creates a forum for building team ownership.  Either way if used correctly communication is a powerful tool for the coach/staff/players.

Determination – in this line of work you always need to be determined to strive for being better and making your players better.  Sometimes aspects of coaching or playing don’t happen the first time so you need to be determined to work towards achieving the goal.  There will be setbacks, mistakes, corrections, etc. but if you continue to work in the right direction then you will begin to find the solutions and develop.  As a staff working towards this as a unified group on the same page is certainly important especially when the going gets tough.

Commitment to your craft– as a coach you have to put in more work than anyone else, you are doing 80+ hours a week, taking no days off, always on the laptop working, analyzing, meeting with players, watching video on future players/opponents, evolving your own idea of the game, developing your current team and through all of this most coaches are trying hard to maintain a family/wife/girlfriend… this is not an easy task for anyone.  But the great coaches dedicate countless hours and are committed to being great and having great teams/players. 

Luke Reynolds

Luke Reynolds


Now, you are seeking for the club. Where would you like to continue your career?

Luke Reynolds: “Whichever club hires me, I am ready to be a workhorse for them. I am really looking to work hard and help build a program, sometimes the best challenges and greatest coaching moments are taking the teams that need to develop not only skills but a winning culture and fight, if it’s a top team then that’s just a bonus.  Of course, another option is working as an assistant coach again to a top mentor as I have been with Mark Lebedew in National team. This opportunity of getting to learn under someone is certainly appealing too because we can always educate ourselves better. But, Ideally I would love to keep working at a high level and continue to work with elite athletes but if this is not an option I would also love to work and develop a young group of upcoming athletes.”

Which leagues are good for the development of the coach?

Luke Reynolds: “You can gain knowledge and development as a coach from all levels of the game, it’s just a matter of putting yourself in the position to learn and evolve.  This can be visiting pro clubs, trainings, national teams, universities, watching games, conferences, talks with other coaches etc.  Along with this, you need to be able to analyze and develop your own ideas based on the global game.  For me, I really enjoy seeing how the game is being played throughout the world, then using that to inspire ideas and ways of playing the game. Each continent and country have different styles of approaching training, games, strength and scouting…. So how can you use the best part of those aspects,” says Luke, who can be contacted by sending a message to his profile on WoV.

How do you organize your training cycles in a competitive period? What does a coach need to pay attention to?

Luke Reynolds: “At the beginning of the season (or even planning in the summer) you need to really evaluate how you want to play as a team and begin to develop that philosophy and style.  Planning trainings, the teaching of skills, tactics, gameplay then revolves around this main idea.  There are a number of ways to do this, it may be elevating the level of technical skills or it may be working on the team chemistry.  The main thing is having players working towards the same goal and them buying into the process of getting there.

Then as the season goes you as a coach needs to identify and develop your weaknesses, yet at the same time still, pay attention to the strengths you possess for winning games.

As a coach we have to be vigilant in the direction our team is going, and how to elevate them to the appropriate level, along with this you really need to pay attention to the load of work – in this day and age with strength and conditioning and recovery, it is also an important tool in getting your team to play as close to maximum as possible.”

Luke Reynolds

Luke Reynolds


What does a coach need to do to become a good one?

Luke Reynolds: “Well I mentioned a few points before, but here are a few key things to be better.

  • Always push yourself to be better in all aspects of coaching – educate yourself
  • Pursue any opportunities you truly want like a mad man/woman
  • Be prepared to face setbacks along the way but be ready to bounce back by working twice as hard.
  • A keen eye for talent at all levels when building a team/evaluating and developing players. 
  • Individually looking to learn as a coach and striving to make yourself better and not letting the game pass you by – because volleyball is always evolving and changing as are the athletes… 
  • Love what you are doing and do it with an absolute passion
  • Along with all that, having a little bit of luck.”

How did you come up with an idea to become a volleyball coach?

Luke Reynolds: “It has really always been a huge part of my involvement in sport.  I have always loved teaching, coaching and developing players from young aged athletes to top elite athletes, as time went on I also loved the challenge of helping build teams.  Even as a player in college I was helping with coaching clinics, the u23 team, and our own practices,  this also led to becoming the main driving force in recruiting international athletes to our program. 

As a coach, there is no greater feeling in starting to teach a new skill or concept to an athlete and then seeing that “light bulb” moment when it clicks and they being to achieve what they are striving for and gain success.”


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