It’s that time of year again! Time to look back on the happenings of last year, which saw it’s 10th anniversary, and and to give some thought to what might be ahead for the new one. So here goes!
By the way, this post’s featured image is something created by DALLE via ChatGPT. For some reason, it always wants to put hats on coaches heads. Maybe they’re meant to be beach coaches.
Interestingly, just like in 2022, a job change tops the list of big events for me in 2023. As I announced in May, I left my position as Assistant Coach at Radford University to become the Strategic Manager for Talent at Volleyball England. In that role I oversee all of the national team programs. I am also the Performance Director for Indoor (there are separate ones for Beach and Sitting). While I started the position at the end of May, a slow visa process didn’t see me actually move back to England until September.
Most of my work in the position in 2023 was developing a new 5-year plan for the Talent programs. I talked with people around the country. Met and shared my thoughts with the Talent Working Group, and then with the Volleyball for Life Subgroup (the former sits under the latter). Then, finally, near the end of October I presented to the Volleyball England Board. While the planning work in a strategic role never really ends, that presentation marked the point at which my team and I could start focusing more on implementation. And there’s a lot of implementing to do! I’ll be a busy boy on that front this year.
Travel & Education
The only real travel I did in 2023 that wasn’t linked to moving to England was my trip over there in April to attend Cup Finals weekend. And prior to that, to hang out in the gym with a coaching friend who was preparing his team to play in one of the finals. It also ended up being when I got offered the Volleyball England job, but that was never my purpose for going.
I did spend some time over the Summer going through content on USA Volleyball’s new coaching education system (well, new compared to the old CAP system). That’s something I really need to get back to, as it kind of slipped away with the England move pending.
Probably the biggest educational development for me last year was starting to listen to audio books. Coach to Coach was the first. I listened to that while walking on campus at Radford. I’ve since also listened to Pep Guardiola: The Evolution, The Tough Stuff by…