Qualities Of Great Players

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qualities of great players

One of my (many) pet peeves is excuses. The breadth and depth of the excuses that one hears is breathtaking.  I particularly dislike hearing excuses from coaches.  That is not (necessarily) that I think coaches are special, but because I know that part of a coach’s work is to not accept excuses from their players.  And of course, the excuses that I most particularly dislike are coaches complaining about players.  One of the subtle complaints that coaches make is sharing lists of qualities of great players**.  Typically those qualities are outside the control of the coach, thereby creating a quiet ‘out’ for the coach should they fail to achieve the success they think they should.

So to cut a long story short, I have made my own list of what it is that makes a great player.

Bad players have coaches who don’t take coaching seriously. Coaches who have never gained any qualifications, and use a few drills that they did when they were a player. 

Average players have coaches who take matches seriously. Coaches who have done the bare minimum study, and collect drills to make them better.

Good players have coaches who take coaching seriously. Coaches who do all the courses they should do, spend some time preparing for each practice and match and love the game.

Great players have coaches are passionate about the game and about coaching. Coaches who never stop learning, and never stop trying to make their teams and players better. Great players cannot help but be motivated by their coach’s passion.

**Less subtle complaints are rants about how players are ‘different’ now.  Those ones really get my goat!!


The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.


Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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One comment

  1. Men’s volleyball must change. Great players are defined not by coaches or by their capabilities – in my opinion – but by the rules of the game. The current game rules favour big hitters at the net or at the service line. The rules of the game promote the selection of players who are athletes – of a certain type – not men who can play volleyball. My argument is based on about 12 years of watching my son play the game as it is constituted today. My sense of Volleyball today is that the game is dying. It is dying – despite the players being great athletes – because the fans are not getting enough of what they applaud and want to see. They applaud 1] continuous play 2] blocking at the net. Sure the ace serve bring oh, and ah, responses but the kill does not so much because they are so commonplace. Continuous play is exciting: it is full of energy and skills – that is movement of players supporting each other as they dig, pass, and transition the ball around the court and across the net. Blocking is also a skill that is under-performed by the big slow moving athletes and yet honed by agile volleyball players around the globe. In my opinion – blocking is a skill of timing, positioning, teaming, etc… Mark, I do not know much about volleyball but I know that the game is not progressing in a way that will make me watch more and more of it. I watch my son and I barrack for any team he is a part of. But at the International Level it seems to me that Volleyball is becoming more and more limited as entertainment and that is a shame. Cheers, Richard

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