The owner of the www.volleyball.it website, Luca Muzzioli, regularly uses his position to write editorials on certain aspects of the sport that move him. His latest brings up a very interesting point. In the form of an open letter to incoming Italian National Team Coach Mauro Berrutto, he praisees the impact of Brazilian setter Bruninho, on the team of Modena and the league in general. World Champion Bruninho normally plays in the Brazilian league but due to the early exit of his team from the playoffs and injury problems in Modena he was brought to Italy just before the playoffs. As Muzziola records, he joined a team that had been unconvincing to that point, indeed it had sacked the coach during the season. Last weekend the team was knocked out in the playoffs after taking European Champions Trento to a full five matches in their semi final series. The difference was Bruninho. What he brought to the team is something that no setter in Italy possesses; great technical quality and above all, a winning mentality which ‘made inroads into the hearts and minds of his teammates’, not only in games but also in training.
And that is the key. It is relatively easy to bring a winning mentality to games. Everyone loves to play. But what separates winners and nearly winners is bringing that winning mentality to training. Winners win every day, not just on the weekend when there is a crowd. And that what separates winning coaches from nearly winning coaches, instilling that mentality into his team. In successfully doing that over a period of team years, Bernardinho sets himself apart from all his peers, and history.