The Net Live : Lloy Ball, Recovery and Coaching Ethics

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The last couple of episodes of The Net Live have included some very interesting interviews and discussions.

On the podcast from 25th October, Lloy Ball is the guest and talks about his career, his chances of playing in the national team and some of the things that changed along the way for him to become one of the best three or four setters in the world.  One of the key points he talked about was no longer having the fear of losing and what a difference that makes.  He talks about himself losing that fear and about seeing it in the eyes of the Russian national team players.  Fear is an emotion that is often involved with professional sport where the stakes are so high and it is one that I have encountered myself, specifically in the form of ‘fear of losing my job’.  This particular fear is a very dangerous one for a coach, as being controlled by it can very easily lead one to pay less attention to the actual details of performance and more attention to how things look from the outside.  Actually as I write that sentence that is exactly the danger for a player too.  Excessive risk taking allows one to say ‘I tried everything’.  Over conservatism allows one to deflect blame by saying ‘I did my bit’.  Neither leads to long term success.  Releasing oneself from the fear allows one to ‘do the right thing’, whether that is actually right or wrong.

The 2nd November ‘edition’ has a couple of worthwhile moments.  The interview with the US National Team head trainer is really interesting.  He talks about setting up a medical network but goes on to quite some detail about recovery, regeneration and managing athletes during a tournament.  While discussing recovery / regeneration he touches on sleep, coping with time change, nutrition, physio treatment, weight training and active recovery modalities.  Some of the discussion points will end up in my programs, probably sooner rather than later.  Later in the program the hosts, prompted by the firing of a well known college coach for alleged abuse of his players, discuss, from personal experience, some of the issues involved with coaching juniors (particularly junior girls) and how it affects them in their coaching.  Body contact and use of profanity are among the specific issues they raise.  While most of them don’t affect me personally, I appreciated the way they discussed what is a sensitive issue as rational adults and without hysteria.

And that is a good general description of the show.  Volleyball discussion by rational adults, without hysteria.  It’s just mostly about American volleyball, but you can’t have everything.


  1. I’m sure those guys actually know better than me, but as far as I know yes it is. The story was that the fast ball to position 2 was his favourite set, and red was his nickname. When the AIS program started, they (logically) adopted a lot of US terminology. Other bit and pieces have fallen by the wayside but the ‘black’ and ‘red’ remain in the Australian volleyball lexicon.


  2. So, a controling fear could make it hard to act or react… But how can you release yourself from the fear – especially if it is not just the fear of losing a game, but something or somebody?!?


  3. Gladwell’s “Blink” which is all about split second decision making says that when you are in “danger” or your heart rate is particularly high, your senses and body control narrow (a primitive survival instict to protect yourself from a physical threat). You make bad decision when you are in this state.

    Akai How do you release yourself from fear? Well that’s the buddhist question. How do you release yourself from worldly concerns like fear, anger attachment etc etc. ? no simple answer for that one!


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