You’ve got the perfect mission for your program. But, you’re having trouble getting everyone bought in. Or maybe your coaches aren’t 100% lined up with your goals.
You might be asking yourself, ‘how can I get my staff aligned with my mission?’ To answer that, we reached out to our partners from the MAVS Volleyball program.
The MAVS Volleyball headquarters is in Lenexa, Kansas. The mission is to provide the best training for volleyball players in the entire “Heart of America” region. With over 30 girls and boys teams, as well as dozens of other programs including camps, clinics, private lessons and other leagues, MAVS Volleyball is fulfilling its mission every day.
So, how are they able to keep everyone, from the head staff down to the parents and players, so in tune with their mission? We recently spoke with the 16-1 coach Kelley Bugler to find out those answers.
Below you’ll find four ways Kelley and the coaches of MAVS Volleyball carry out the mission each and every day.
Passion Over Experience
It seems like a simple recipe: hire coaches that are passionate about your mission. Makes it easy to sell what you’re trying to accomplish if the new coach believes in the product.
It’s important to hire coaches that are completely bought in to your mission. So important, in fact, that Kelley would rather work with a passionate coach over one that has mountains of experience.
“A large part of our mission is carried out by the coaches. So we have to buy in. How can an athlete buy in if a coach isn’t? I would rather find coaches that are mission-driven over coaches and players that are skilled. We can teach skill. We can’t teach philosophy,” she said.
Kelley is a good example of what she preaches. She played for the MAVS her senior year of high school before playing at Marshall University. After she graduated, she returned to the MAVS as a coach- her first coaching gig. She had to learn a lot about her new position, but she didn’t have to be sold on the MAVS mission.
Encourage Constant Collaboration
Kelley was able to learn quickly as a new coach thanks to a MAVS policy that encourages collaboration of coaches. When opportunities arise for coaching clinics, the club is quick to promote attendance.
“We’re given a lot of opportunities to better our coaching skills. We attend one-day sessions and coaching clinics. I attend at least one national coaching session every year and the MAVS are great at letting me attend.”
When not leading practice or attending tournaments, the coaches all practice together, making it easier to share different tactics or drills. At tournaments or championships, the MAVS coaches are free to share expertise with other club coaches, allowing an easier chance to network.
“I’m always trying to learn from my colleagues. Throughout the year, I try to talk to at least 2 or 3 coaches from other programs at every event. It really makes my job easier when I have the support and trust in the club.”
Create Short Term Goals to Fulfill Long Term Goals
A big part of the MAVS success is the constant setting of goals, both short and long term. Each short term goal is created as a step toward the long-term goals of the club and the player.
To provide the best training in mid-America, the MAVS created a series of developmental programs, dubbed MAVZ KIDZ. They’re designed to get players interested in volleyball at a younger age, before it’s time to sign up for a travel team. Kids are introduced to the game in which they’re taught the fundamentals and exposed to higher level coaches. By the time they’re old enough to play travel, there’s already a solid foundation for what the MAVS sell.
Last but certainly not least, Kelley encourages all new coaches to over-communicate with parent, especially about expectations. Create an open door policy to build trust. Be truthful. If a coach is making a decision that a parents may not like, explain why in as much detail as possible.
“I think this is something I’ve definitely gotten better at. I schedule at least 2 one-on-one meetings with just the girls, but my door is always open. Everything from a change in position to rotation shifts to less playing time is explained to parents and players. It just makes everything so much easier.”