January 31, 2009

Volleyball Coaching Jobs

Even after all of my 'reality' of being a coach, folks still want to do this for a living!

Hey Coach

I am a sophomore in college. I play men's club volleyball. I am also the head coach of the women's club team and I just became an assistant for the women's DIII team at my college. I want to become a collegiate coach when I graduate. I was wondering what else I should do to build my resume so I can become a head coach at the collegiate level?

Thank You

Well, Ivan, you are well on your way. The biggest item that you listed, in terms of your future, is that you are currently an assistant for a NCAA Womens Volleyball team. The other things that you are doing are good, but they will not get you noticed.

Here are some suggestions borne of experience in becoming a NCAA Head Volleyball coach:

1. Get your undergraduate degree - Does not matter what your degree is in, but you must get a degree.

2. Become older - Most NCAA college coaches are getting their first head coaching position just before 30. You need a few years of experience on your resume as a NCAA coach, and you need to have some separation in years from those individuals which you will be leading. Of course, we all hear of coaches being 25 or so and getting a head position, but this is the SCARY exception, not the rule.

3. As soon as you graduate, try to move up to a NCAA Division I assistant coach. This assistant level of pay will allow you to pay your bills and build up your resume. The trick is to get up to the NCAA Division I level (in any paid capacity) as quickly as possible. Professionally speaking, it is easier to go down a level, than up.

4. Be aggressive about developing your knowledge of coaching. Division III is an interesting classification because some programs are very serious about volleyball, while others understand their role as an adjunct to the experience of being a student. To expand your knowledge, attend coaching clinics that are presented by USA Volleyball, the AVCA or Division I programs. If you have an off day or two, go watch other teams practice - you learn 1o times as much watching practice than matches. You need to keep your eyes open to new ideas and philosophies that may be contrary to what you are using now.

5. Be a head coach of a Club Volleyball team, with an older age group. I know you are a college club coach, but learning how to interact with parents, to be involved in the recruiting process from a player point of view, to get the opportunity to watch hundreds of other teams play and also develop contact among the many college coaches in attendance is a good thing.

6. Be in the right place at the right time and have a bit of luck - It is crazy to say, but it is true!

Again, since you are already a NCAA assistant coach and you are young; you are potentially on a very good path to attain your goals. Now, just enjoy being a coach and not getting laid off by a Fortune 500 company!

Good luck!