By John Kessel
May 23. 2015
There are long time players who reminisce about the way volleyball used to be played in the days of sideout, not rally, scoring. Having played for years, I remember the competitions which started at 8 am and went until 4am the next day, or speaking to parents about their child still playing in an event after midnight. Sideout scoring, when you only got a point when you served, at times meant the score would still be 0-0 after 10 minutes of play. Still, players fondly remember those battles and even play the game by “old school” rules. If you really want to play by the old rules, you can read William G. Morgan’s rules from 1897, and play on a 6 foot 6in net, with “air dribbling,” a 25 foot court, and even games of 1 vs 1.
A doctor friend was recently listening to my frustrations in the ways coaches simply keep teaching the way they were taught. So many coaches don't think they need to attend any clinics because they feel they are already good coaches, since they either played (no matter if jungle ball or college ball level) or have watched the game.
As we observed these self-anointed "coaches" who either lacked any formal training, or who have not taken time to learn the facts, science, research and lessons from IMPACT, in favor of their own opinions, he made comment that hit home with me – “If I practiced medicine the way I did just ten years ago, I would be sued for malpractice…” Then we sat and watched who "coached" by making kids run after losses or even do push-ups during a match after some sort of error.
We looked over to another court where the coach was acting disgusted, slamming a clip board even, as if the players below average performance was somehow done on purpose and a personal insult to their coaching "expertise."
Behind us was another court where we did not even have to see the court as we heard a coach yelling at her young players about not caring enough to win and for missing so many "stupid serves."
What will it take for these supposed coaches to get with the times? To begin being a teacher rather than a sports talk commentator? To give specific positive feed forward rather bailing out on the job of teaching and simply making kids run? To “coach” in the roots of the word, taking valuable cargo from one place to another SAFELY. I bet few of them even know about the ongoing development of safe sport by the US Olympic Committee, but I will share it here www.safesport.org for parents and players may know more than the coach, and have to teach a lesson.
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