Coaches Dress Code

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The most successful sporting league in the world (NBA) has a dress code for coaches.

The most successful volleyball league in the world (Italian) has a dress code for coaches.

I have a dress code for matches. I represent my sport, my profession and myself. Jeans are for going to the pub and I also like the ritual of preparation.

Platonov also had some thoughts on the matter. I like the idea of a game being a festival and a battle.
The main thing is that it should be neat and well fitting. However when genes and age have done their work and the coach loses his sporting bearing, but insists on appearing in public wearing sporting attire, in most cases it just looks bad. For me the game is both battle and festival, and just like the warriors in the old days, I endeavour to appear in ‘parade uniform’.

There are many books that can teach you about tactics and techniques. There are very few books that can teach you about coaching. My Profession: The Game by Russian coaching legend Vyacheslav Platonov is one of those very few. I could not recommend it more highly. To purchase this wonderful coaching resource, click here.



  1. I’m curious about your definition of “most successful”, but a topic for a different day.

    Believe it or not, NFL coaches also have a dress code. It’s just basically the complete opposite of the sort you’re talking about here. A lot of people think Bill Belichick led a “dressing like a slob” revolution, but it was actually a protest move.

    Gladly, baseball managers have moved away from wearing player type uniforms. As per Platanov, I always thought they looked silly.

    In NCAA volleyball, especially in Division I, coaches generally dress “neat and well fitting”. Suits are uncommon, but you do see quite a few male coaches in shirt & tie. At a minimum it’s trousers and a polo.


  2. Maybe I can’t discuss with you (and at your level) about tactics and techniques but this year I had the good fortune to coach in A2 in Italy and for the first time in my coach life I was forced to wear a suit during a volleyball match, following specific rules.

    In my humble opinion it is pretty weird to wear a suit during one of working day (the match) and to wear a tracksuit during the other one (practice days). I am a coach and it is quite normale to wear a tracksuit and I never like the obligations, especially regarding the way to wear or to appear, also because we are in a gym to play sport not to a gala dinner!
    In my case, coaching is not my main profession and in the company where I work every day, nobody asks me to follow a specific dress code, in the last years the companies that have a strict dress code (like our sport in my country) are more and more uncommon.

    Maybe we should benchmark against other aspects more important (the idea of a head coach and several coaches for specific roles like the NFL? How better and better entertain the spectators, especially TV spectators as the american sports? How to engage sponsors like the european football? etc.)


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