Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Turning timeouts over to the players

During some timeouts this season, UC-Irvine men's volleyball coach John Speraw, who guided the Anteaters to a national title two years ago and won a gold medal in Beijing this past summer, has "started saying less and asking more questions, instead of telling them what to do."

According to Coach Speraw, his objective is to "teach these guys to be responsible, independent young men, and part of that lesson needs to start on the volleyball court with how they strategize and how they communicate with one another. I wanted [the players] to talk among themselves. I’ve done that periodically and with some good results. I like it."

As for his players, they say it helps give them ownership:

"I think it empowers us a lot. And because we’re being so vocal with each other, we can understand it and put it into terms better for other guys on the team, especially the younger guys, who don’t have as much experience," senior Taylor Wilson said.

"We talk a lot about being a self-sufficient team. We talk a lot about what’s going on and what the other team is doing and we try to figure out ways to score points on the other team. [Coach Speraw] really promotes that a lot. He likes to have the staff sit down. They say a few things here or there, but he really enjoys when we can try to figure out how to try and stop a team."