Wednesday, 29 May 2024

You Are The Magic

“You are the Magic.” These were the words of wisdom from my friend and mentor, Carl McGown, that have resonated with me for over 40 years. Carl was a true believer in the power of hard work and science when it came to coaching. His book, “The Science of Volleyball,” demonstrated his dedication to understanding the sport on a deeper level.

I had the privilege of working with Carl four decades ago, where we shared research and ideas on incorporating motor learning science into volleyball. We even coached together at Graceland College (now University) in Lamoni, Iowa. Carl’s focus on motor learning revolutionized the way we taught young athletes during our intensive training sessions.

One of the key lessons we learned from Carl was that children learn best through observation and participation, not through lengthy explanations. Instead of overwhelming beginners with an array of technical details, we found it more effective to focus on one aspect of the game at a time. By breaking down the process into manageable components, we helped young players develop their skills with greater ease.

Carl’s impact extended beyond the volleyball court. He was passionate about elevating the sport in America, and his dedication inspired others to join the cause. I had the opportunity to speak at clinics alongside Carl, and I witnessed firsthand the ripple effect of his teachings. Coaches and players alike were captivated by his knowledge and unique approach.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  U.S. Men's National Team Faces Tough Loss Against Argentina

Throughout his career, Carl emphasized the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest scientific research on learning. He challenged traditional methods and encouraged coaches to create the right environment for athletes to thrive. This included incorporating statistical analysis, principles of motor learning, and techniques like whole over part training and random over blocked training.

Carl’s legacy goes far beyond his coaching expertise. He touched the lives of countless individuals, including my own children. As a single father, I often brought my kids to clinics, and Carl and his wife Susan played a significant role in their upbringing. Special moments were shared in places like Cairo, Egypt, and various locations in Italy, where my kids had the opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches in the world.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from Carl was the importance of patience and timing. When my son Cody was struggling to gain recognition from college recruiters, Carl suggested that we consider a “gap year” to allow him to further develop physically. This decision proved to be life-changing, as Cody experienced a growth spurt and eventually earned a scholarship to Princeton, where he excelled and set records.

Carl’s influence extended beyond the volleyball community. His emails, numbering over a thousand in the past five years alone, reflected his passion for knowledge and desire to make a difference. His impact on my work is evident, especially in areas such as feedback and external focus, where I have incorporated his insights and research findings.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Bamboo and the Power of Play

The way Carl communicated left a lasting impression on those around him. His body language and cadence were unmistakable, often causing others to unconsciously mimic his movements and speech patterns. It was a testament to his charisma and ability to captivate an audience.

As we honor Carl’s memory, let us continue to embrace technology and collaborate to further grow the game. Through platforms like the Volleyball Coaches and Trainers Facebook page, we can carry on his legacy of sharing knowledge and supporting one another. Carl’s belief that everyone has the potential to be the magic echoes within us, and we can honor him by continuing to inspire and guide future generations of coaches.

Feel free to share your thoughts and stories about Carl’s impact on the world of volleyball in the comments below. Together, let’s celebrate his remarkable journey and the profound effect he had on the sport we love.