As I mentioned before, I’m a Badger alum, so I watch their volleyball team with a more attentive eye than other programs. Because I know the type of team Kelly Sheffield inherited, I am more than amazed at the turnaround he spearheaded. So I asked him about some of the critical things he and his coaching staff did that helped to create a much more successful team. Check out what he had to say.
The coach’s role
- Consistency. Sheffield says his team should never worry about what kind of mood he’s in. Monday’s the same as Thursday, after a win is the same as after a loss.
- Knowledge. I think it goes without saying that we’ve got to know what we’re talking about and staying up to date on the latest training methods.
- Energy and enthusiasm. That looks like lots of player feedback, coaches engaged with athletes…not chatting with one another.
The player’s role
- Connect with teammates. Sheffield expects high energy and enthusiasm from his athletes. If he’s bringing it, he expects to see it from players as well.
- Put personal traits aside. He says that it’s tough to be an introvert in a team sport. I wrote about some techniques to work with the introverts on your team a while back, you should check it out. Studies say that 75% of folks are extroverts, so it’s easy to see why those traits are valued in leaders.
- Be an active participant in their own rescue. If something’s going wrong—on or off the court—the player has a responsibility to seek help. Whether it’s coming in for extra reps on their own or, if it’s a classroom issue, seeking out tutors. Whatever it is, coaches aren’t psychic, players have to help us out.
Success is sometimes a moving target, but these tips should help us all to start down the right path.
Check out the Sheffield series:
Coaches Corner: Kelly Sheffield
Coaches Corner: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Coaches Corner: What Does Enthusiasm Look Like?
Join me in a series of interviews with successful coaches. I believe what we learn from our coaching peers can be applied to our teams, our recruiting efforts, and how we behave as professionals. These interviews will be less Q & A and much more philosophical in nature, keep coming back to see who I’m talking to and what they’ve got to say!