Deserving To Win

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I don’t know if it is widely known, but Brazilian volleyball coach Bernard Rezende (better known as Bernardinho) wrote a book.  As a supporter of volleyball books in all forms (I have bought and read the Lloy Ball book! and helped translate Platonov into English) and possesser of a 1-click account on Amazon, I recently bought a copy.  In Portuguese, of course.  Since knowledge is rarely transmitted without some effort on the part of the learner, I am also trying to read it.

It is a hard slog (well not that hard, I just cut and paste in Google Translate) but the nuggets within are worth the effort.  One such nugget is the notion of ‘deserving’ victory.  In one section he writes of his Olympic champion team not of working to win the gold medal but of working to DESERVE the gold medal.  Obviously you can’t control whether you win or not, but whether you deserve to win is determined by you.  Later he expands on the topic a little and saying that in the most stressful moments, the team that feels they deserve to win, will draw on that to find a way. The examples he uses are ones of overcoming some kind of hardship or of knowing that they have trained particularly hard.

There may well be something in that.

Tagged Bernardinho

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

Cover v2


  1. Maybe a bit is lost in translation, but perhaps a better word than “deserving” to win is being “worthy” of winning. something about “deserving” has a ring of entitlement and resentment. But certainly i like what it is Bernardinho is saying. I’ll definitely tell my team to work towards being worthy of winning, whether they ultimately win or not.


    1. Are you suggesting that google translate isn’t infallible?
      I know what you mean about the ring of entitlement, but I like ‘deserve’ as a description for this particular idea. Whatever the exact word, I like the idea a lot. He goes on to describe the spirit in the team before the final. The feeling was one of, ‘we have done more work, we have been through more hardship, we deserve/are worthy of’ the gold medal’. It’s an idea, or a variation of an idea, that I haven’t really heard before and I like it.


  2. I’ve used it before 🙂 only makes it more difficult when you lose, but then the team feels more deserving next time and so the cycle begins again.


    1. Simon used the ‘deserving’ thought last night in a game…

      Except he told us we didn’t deserve to win…

      He wasn’t wrong!


  3. If I could somehow get word back to Bernardinho, I’m sure he would be delighted to learn his philosophies have such practical use 🙂


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