Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

There is NO Magic

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a winning coach? Many of us search for “the answer” or the perfect set of “drills” that will guarantee success. But the truth is, there is no magic formula. Success in sports comes from hard work, understanding the science behind the game, and a touch of randomness.

Throughout my coaching journey, I’ve had the privilege of learning from a mentor who has been shaping the world of volleyball for almost four decades. He has played a pivotal role in the success of USA Volleyball, from the 1984 Olympic gold medal to the 2008 Olympic Gold. Yet, surprisingly, many coaches, both old and new, are unaware of his impact.

This legendary figure has been present at every Olympics, World Championship, and Pan American Games that mattered to the USA men’s program. He has coached renowned players like Karch Kiraly and Hugh McCutcheon, and countless other national team members.

One of the remarkable stories that showcases the power of his coaching is that of Hugh McCutcheon. As a young and passionate volleyball player, Hugh sought guidance and support to pursue his dream of playing college volleyball in the USA. He found his best fit at Brigham Young University (BYU). Under the mentorship of this incredible coach, BYU’s program flourished, leading them to win three national titles.

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It’s fascinating to see how the love for the game has been passed down through generations. Carl and his wife Susan have instilled this passion in their son, Chris, who now coaches BYU. Chris was named the national coach of the year and continues to grow the game.

So what sets this coach apart? It’s his unwavering commitment to lifelong learning and his dedication to the science of coaching. His book, “Winning Volleyball,” is considered one of the best resources in the field. His contributions have also been recognized in coaching programs, like the USAV Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP).

Reflecting on the impact this coach has had on the sport, it’s evident that his influence extends far beyond the court. He has mentored coaches and players alike, making a difference in the volleyball community worldwide.

As we delve into the world of volleyball, let’s remember that success is not about finding a magic solution, but rather about embracing hard work, continuous learning, and the joy of the game. Together, let’s grow the sport and share our stories of how coaches like Carl McGown have impacted our lives.

To learn more about BYU’s men’s team, read the full article [here](insert link).


How can I become a successful volleyball coach?

Becoming a successful volleyball coach requires a commitment to hard work, a deep understanding of the sport, and an openness to continuous learning. Embrace the science of coaching, seek mentorship from experienced coaches, and never stop honing your skills.

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What are some resources for aspiring volleyball coaches?

There are several valuable resources available for aspiring volleyball coaches. Consider reading books such as “Winning Volleyball” by Carl McGown and exploring coaching programs like the USAV Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP). Additionally, attend coaching clinics and seek guidance from experienced coaches in your network.

How can I create a winning team?

Creating a winning team goes beyond talent and skill. It requires fostering a strong team culture, effective communication, and developing players’ mental and physical abilities. Establish clear goals and values, provide structured and purposeful training sessions, and prioritize teamwork and sportsmanship.


Success in volleyball is not about finding a magic formula. It is a result of hard work, dedication, and continuous learning. One coach who embodies these qualities is Carl McGown, a legendary figure who has made a significant impact on the sport. From coaching Olympic gold medalists to mentoring an entire volleyball community, his contributions have shaped the game. As we strive for success, let’s remember the importance of embracing hard work, science, and lifelong learning. Together, we can grow the sport and honor the legacy of coaches like Carl McGown. Visit to learn more and join our community.