Mens National Team Coach completes FIVB Course

FIVB Level 3 Coaching Course – Kettering 8-14th August

The last time a FIVB Level 3 was run in the UK I was still a junior Simon Loftusplayer taking part on my first GB High Peaks Training Camp so the opportunity to take part on such a coaching course this summer was not to be missed.

The course participants were made up of various English age group National Team coaches, GB coaches as well as a Spaniard, a Croat and a candidate from Trinidad & Tobago. Leading us through the course was the legendary Miloslav Ejem and Tony Westman. Miloslav has worked on the FIVB Coaches Commission and has written numerous books on Volleyball, whilst Tony was National Coach for the Danish Women’s team for seven years. The wealth of experience they brought to the course was invaluable.

After braving the carnage that is a Monday morning on the M1 I arrived in Kettering for an intensive week of theory and practical sessions on all aspects of the game revolving round the international game. These seminars ranged from Statistical Analysis, including the use of Data Volley, to the development of advanced drills. The use of Data Volley in the international game is now so important that coaches take their statistician with them when they change jobs. We were also lucky enough to have a group of players from the England Development programme to work with for the practical sessions. These sessions ranged from the testing of athletes to drill progression and skill development.

One of the great aspects of this course was the interaction of the candidates and the opportunity we got to exchange good practice as well as philosophies on the game. Some of the most interesting discussions revolved round the role of the coach and how the coach utilised planning and periodisation in preparing their teams. From my time with the national team these areas have proved to be the most demanding.

London Test EventOn the Friday of the course we travelled to Horse Guard Parade for the Visa Beach Volleyball Test Event as part of the London Prepares series. This was indeed a special day; as usual Beach Volleyball created its own special atmosphere and the presentation of the venue was fantastic. Better still we were lucky enough to see both GB pairs play, including Scotland’s own Shauna Mullin. Both teams won and finished the event in 4th & 5th positions. A big bonus of the trip was the chance to catch up with Morph Bowes, who since finishing his own glittering playing career is now coaching the Women’s Beach Programme with great affect. His views on coaching and fostering relationships with players are superb and thought provoking, I hope that I will be able to utilise his skill set with the National team Programme in the future.

Of course it wasn’t all hard work, on the last night Steve Jones, the GB Women’s Sitting Volleyball Coach invited us to his house for dinner and I must say Steve and his wife did a magnificent job hosting all us. Steve Jones for Dinner

….and then it was over, a week of gaining a lot of information, which will probably take weeks or months to digest and make practical sense of. The course was very intensive and I think the course gave me a lot to take back to my programmes. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would like to thank the SVA for their support on getting me on to the course. Hopefully, I am a better coach for the experience and I can’t wait to put some of the theory
in to practice during the forthcoming season.

Simon Loftus Men’s National Team Head Coach