Home » GER W: Lawyer in Volleyball – DRESDNER SC head coach Alexander Waibl

GER W: Lawyer in Volleyball – DRESDNER SC head coach Alexander Waibl

by WoV
source: cev.lu; Photo: cev.lu

Alexander Waibl has been at the helm of Germany’s DRESDNER SC for four years and he is the absolute leader of the group on and off the court. The 45-year old Waibl has an uncommon resume for a Volleyball coach. “After I graduated from high school, I was sure I wanted to be a coach.”

Alex Waibl

Alex Waibl

However, he eventually ended up studying law.

I am very passionate about Volleyball but I made a choice so that I could have more opportunities in my career” he explains.

As he mentored TSV Bernhausen, he drove this team from the district league up to the second division of the Bundesliga. He worked in his office until the afternoon and only after that went to the sports hall to work with his players. Back in 2008, as he was at the helm of the team from Stuttgart that was promoted to the first division, he eventually completed his switch and changed his suit for sports clothing.  

His strategy

Volleyball is like legal proceedings: it’s all about attack and defense.

“The fate of a Volleyball game is determined by what we can put together to stand our opponent’s block and the other way around” he says.

A coach needs to adjust quickly to what is going on and the opportunities given by those standing on the other side of the net. It is the same like in a trial, where the prosecutor is bringing in his arguments and you need to react on these. Waibl is helped by his scoutman who is sending data of the ongoing match directly to his tablet and to the laptop of his assistant coach Ulrich Rath.    

His way of communicating

Words are also extremely important:

In every situation you need to figure out which words you have to use. And this is very different during a match than in a training session.”

Sometimes Waibl needs to calm his players down; sometimes he has to be a little aggressive so as to motivate his protégés. Every sentence and every word is accompanied by the right body language. Waibl is eloquent and knows exactly when and what he has to say. However, a few lawyers – especially the young ones – are sometimes overwhelmed by his rhetoric.  

His sense of justice

“Justice is a precious commodity” Waibl stresses. “I do not act for corrupt people; I am not able to do this.”

However, as a coach “he has learned that justice is something hard to reach if you are a coach.” He has to decide about who is going to play and who has to wait for his turn. His definition of justice is a little cryptic:

“Every player has the right to receive a good and fair treatment but all this happens within the bounds imposed by the needs of the team.

Waibl is known for his “distinctive sense of justice”; back in 2012 during the Champions League game with Rabita BAKU he wore the jersey of soccer player Christian Fiel to protest against the ban on the team of Dynamo DRESDEN from the national cup. 

His knowledge of the human character

There is another common pattern that makes the job of a Volleyball coach quite similar to that of a lawyer: the knowledge of the human character.

“As a lawyer you are a person that many are lying to. And you aren’t being told the truth more often by your solicitor than by your opponent.

In Volleyball he also has a little influence on the people he is mentoring.

I think that I have a good understanding of people and situations. It is not easy for people, and also for my players, to cheat on me.”

For more news from this country click on Germany.

Also, see the WoV Community profile of Alexander Waibl.

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