DiscoverCoach Your Brains Out, by Gold Medal Squared
Coach Your Brains Out, by Gold Medal Squared
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Coach Your Brains Out, by Gold Medal Squared

Author: CYBO and Gold Medal Squared

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Coach Your Brains Out, by Gold Medal Squared has been releasing weekly podcasts going on five years now! Founded by professional beach volleyball players John Mayer and Billy Allen, the primary goal is practical, useful education that will help you become a better coach. Our podcasts are released every Thursday afternoon, so set your notifications accordingly!
190 Episodes
 1:03 - Drawing from his own experience, how Joe has tried to develop skills within young and beginner players.3:22 - Eliminating unforced errors in high school volleyball.Coaching a mentality of making the setter’s life easier.7:55 - Without stats available in the early parts of the club season, how should coaches approach the triangle?Focusing on transition primarily.8:41 - When first ball becomes a much more important part of the game.10:07 - Joe’s experience coaching the national team at NORCECA + its importance to players involved.11:04 - Difference in practice time between the national team and highschool/club, and even at the collegiate level.Maximizing practice time13:11 - Focused coach = focused players16:45 - Breaking down the women’s national team’s win against Brazil in the Gold Medal match in relation to the triangle, and Joe’s biggest takeaways.18:48 - With little time to prepare, focusing on covering up weaknesses rather than expecting a quick change in an athlete’s ability.20:14 - Breaking down the men’s finals in the Olympics, and how Joe would implement the triangle in the ROC/Russia’s coaching.20:55 - Russia’s missed serves + resulting in only one ace, balancing aggressiveness with practicality/tacticality.24:05 - Making the decision to serve with the purpose of blocking + defending, or serve with the purpose of getting aces.26:54 - Joe’s thoughts on + takeaways from the beach in comparison to indoors.28:01 - Increased possibilities + strategy.35:56 - What Joe is looking forward to in the upcoming season.Another link to his blog: CYBO the book! the show:
1:49 - Why Joe has been taking a break from social media and the internet + what he has gained from it.3:45 - Freeing up time to focus on his own thoughts and opening up time to write a new book/training manual.4:20 - Joe’s blog (what he was originally planning on writing in a book format)5:00 - What Joe thought he gained or missed by taking a break.6:20 - Value of being bored + value of also taking breaks from educational resources.Fostering great ideas from boredom.7:14 - Joe’s blog (what he was originally planning on writing in a book format)Read Joe’s blog here: resources on his blog (some film, stats, etc).10:59 - Joe’s triangle connecting terminal serves, first ball, and transition aspects.12:36 - The extent to which the “Terminal Serves” aspect has an impact on matches from varying age levels.13:55 - Putting terminal serves in the context of stats.14:19 - “Our aces + opponent’s service errors” vs “Our service errors + opponent’s aces”.15:16 - Measuring first ball attacking/putting it in the context of stats.18:48 - Understanding transition win percentages.22:25 - What to work on if one point of the triangle is successful, but another is lacking.26:27 - What the standard would be in indoor volleyball + how high school volleyball practice can be structured to meet that standard and potentially go beyond it.Get CYBO the book! the show:
Introducing Kasey, Andy, and Harjiv + why they think motor learning is important.0:42 - Kasey’s thoughts.2:00 - Andy’s thoughts.3:46 - Harjiv’s thoughts.6:16 - The Guidance Hypothesis in relation to feedback.6:22 - The only law in motor learning: Fitts Law.7:19 - Using the analogy of bowling balls and bumper lanes to demonstrate the importance of removing dependence in athletes.8:30 - Information and feedback is better processed when given in a concise form + why coaches should put in the extra effort to do so. 11:29 - How coaches should approach giving feedback to their athletes.13:25 - How much of feedback should revolve around the athletes thoughts + using open questions to elicit feedback from athletes.14:51 - Limiting feedback to avoid overloading athletes with information, while also effectively sharing information with them.15:00 - Evaluating the influence of the coach’s ego + pushing it aside to better develop athletes.17:11 - Finding the right time to offer feedback to athletes.18:32 - How the institution of self-regulated learning within athletes during practice can also be used as a constraint to main focus during matches.19:43 - What do players actually benefit from becoming less reliant on coaches?20:51 - Including a step-by-step process instead of overloading athletes with information all at once.Identifying critical points of tasks.Correlating it to success to improve the mentality of athletes.21:56 - Precise feedback is not always the most effective feedback.25:06 - Targeted feedback vs. “untargeted feedback”.27:01 - Feedback is ultimately a constraint.30:15 - Studying the effects of giving more feedback.33:51 - Why youth coaches should hold back on giving vocal feedback without the backing of data, spreadsheets, film, etc.Get CYBO the book! the show:
0:39 - Balancing development of athletes, starting from a young age and lasting as they become older.0:42 - David Epstein - “cult of the head start” (balancing long term development and short term development in terms of success).1:55 - John’s thoughts on how playtime should be treated with young athletes.3:45 - Practice planning example: what John would do in one hour of practice. 4:05 - “Play practice play” model.6:42 - Helpful advice coaches should give from the sidelines.7:10 - Developing intuition and independent problem solving within young athletes.9:11 - Effective debriefing post match.10:49 - Effectively coaching young kids who are easily distracted or not paying attention.11:07 - Creating standards.11:59 - Quick, rapidly moving games to keep kids attentive.14:37 - Tips for maintaining attention during offtimes where coaches may want to explain or demo a drill.16:03 - Working with kids who demonstrate a lack of effort during practice.17:06 - Trying to figure out why they might be not putting in effort during practice.17:29 - Kids that are not trying vs. kids that are disrupting practice.18:07 - In a situation with a variety of skill levels, challenging kids at a higher level while also not drowning out kids of a lower level.20:39 - The greatest takeaways from all the interviews John has done.20:59 - Importance of humility.21:26 - Understanding that the core tenet of coaching is love (both the sports and the athletes).22:46 - John’s plans on upcoming live and virtual coaching development programs.Get CYBO the book! the show:
0:27 - John’s podcast and development of the Changing the Game project.Podcast link: the Game Project link: - John’s main advice for youth sports coaching.3:04 - Examples of negative coaching that drives off young athletes from playing sports.3:27 - Importance of having fun and encouraging genuine enjoyment of sports.6:57 - Differentiation between seriousness and having fun, and maintaining both.7:39 - John’s “ideal practice” scenario + his advice on running an effective practice.8:54 - How to effectively interact with parents in the early coaching stages.9:29 - One of the most effective forms of practice - interleaved practice.10:36 - Showing parents that learning is messy, and that effective practices are not necessarily organized.13:07 - Building trust and connections with athletes and parents.13:39 - What happens once coaches establish trust with parents?15:16 - Dealing with parents coaching off the sidelines of games.17:13 - Advice for parents to help their children grow as athletes.20:44 - Establishing a healthy dynamic between parents and children in the context of sports.24:01 - Do development and learning of fundamentals come before playing games, or do they emerge from playing experience?26:51 - Why isolated, “fundamentals first” training is widely practiced.Get CYBO the book! the show:
0:31 - In contrast to the “before practice” checklist, what are key components of the “during practice” checklist?0:58 - Dependent on the kind of coach and the “coaching moment”.2:53 - Common things coaches should avoid when giving feedback to their athletes.Staying on track with the original goal of practice and minimizing information overload.4:51 - Should coaches focus on working with groups of athletes at a time, or just individuals?5:09 - Example given in the context of young athletes.8:11 - Importance of encouraging athletes to practice on their own time by their own volition.9:06 - Chris’ thoughts on including progressions and themes in practices.9:41 - Benefits of interleaved practice that mimics the constant change in games.11:42 - Balance of variety and consistency in practice planning.13:32 - If the original practice plan seems to be ineffective, should coaches stick with the plan or improvise?14:37 - “Coaching experiments” and the impact and importance of showing vulnerability as a coach.16:01 - Chris’ thoughts on having post-practice consistent routines and discussions with either the coaching staff or the athletes.20:23 - Ways in which coaches can get feedback on the effectiveness of practiceWriting down things to focus on in one practice + increasing skill sets23:03 - Similarities and differences of working with beach volleyball coaches and coaches from other sports.26:34 - Chris’ thoughts on intentional coaching and why he emphasizes it. Get CYBO the book! the show:
00:35 - Making the transition from being the head coach of the USA Field Hockey national team to a coaching consultant.2:04 - What Chris has used from his coaching experience and implemented into consulting + what he would have done differently throughout his early career.3:41 - How coaches have received Chris’ advice + how he identifies what kind of coaches he is coaching.7:05 - What Chris thinks are the most prevalent or frequent areas in which coaches can improve in.9:30 - “Checking for understanding”: a technique Chris uses to make sure that coaches are on the same page.13:54 - How Chris actively develops coaching skills by making them work harder to figure out through trial and error rather than through being lectured. 15:34 - Step by step process to make sure that all coaches are on the same page.17:07 - Making sure to focus and maintain the goal or core idea of the game/activity.21:12 - Key things coaches can do before a training session.22:22 - Establishing the purpose of the practice to maintain engagement and actively attempt to accomplish goals of that practice.23:49 - Importance of effective communication: implementing the best games or activities to get the standard/purpose of the purpose across to the players.25:09 - Should players be involved in the planning process of practices?26:57 - Benefits of letting players be included in this coaching process.27:18 - Importance of letting go of your ego for the purpose of this process.Get CYBO the book! the show:
0:31 - How the pandemic has affected the mental health of Dan’s players.1:43 - Ways in which Dan’s been trying to deal with feelings anxiety and pressure.4:00 - Finding professional help to strengthen the mental health of athletes.6:18 - Using the team environment to create bonds + having older players use their experience with playing anxiety to offer advice to younger players.7:19 - How Dan has tried to maintain team bonds throughout the pandemic.8:50 - Building connections even with pandemic restrictions.9:46 - Exercises coaches can use to get players to open up about their mental health.10:56 - Importance of communication with players and listening to athletes.12:20 - Giving back to the community: why Dan and his players do community service.13:36 - What Rae Strong is and how people can get involved.Link: - An update on how Rae is doing today.18:38 - Why and how Dan ended up coaching Tim Bomgren and Jeremy Casebeer at the AVP Chicago event.20:09 - Why Dan doesn’t take money for coaching on the sand + why he enjoys being a part of the beach community.22:34 - Dan’s players getting involved in the AVP Events.23:24 - How less established players can take down the “giants” of beach volleyball.25:04 - What Dan is doing currently to grow as a coach.
0:41 - Dan’s thoughts on being able to coach/work with his wife (having the opportunity to create crossover between coaching styles).4:42 - Key factors to Dan’s success coaching a smaller program at Lewis University.5:18 - Importance of recruiting coachable players with good work ethic.7:16 - Lewis University’s volleyball popularity among the general students.8:32 - Disadvantages of a small volleyball program and university.8:38 - Less of a social life in comparison to larger universities + harder to find ways to stay engaged within the community.9:49 - Younger alumni (younger program) who generally aren’t able to help fund the program yet.10:33 - Importance of Dan’s team culture/philosophy (having fun, team mentality, being outside the box, and ownership and pride of the program).10:47 - Having fun + developing team mentality: enjoying competing in practice and in games as well as team activities outside the gym.12:49 - Maintaining team culture despite Covid limitations.13:04 - Journal writing.13:19 - Reading sports psychology and volleyball related books as a team (e.g. The Inner Game of Tennis).15:16 - Making sure that players have self-discipline and put in the work to get better as a player and an individual. 16:17 - Importance of learning about the history of the Lewis University volleyball program (being proud of the program).17:55 - How Dan makes sure and can tell that his players are invested in the team culture.20:26 - How Dan’s team culture and philosophy is reflected in and improves the team’s performance.22:34 - What is done in practice to help close the gap between potentially more “talented” teams.24:56 - Dan’s recruiting process (particularly how he finds the right players for the program).27:49 - How Dan frames the program’s success when talking with his players.Get CYBO the book! the show:
0:38 - What has changed in the last decade that has allowed pitchers to increase their pitching speeds (despite the factor of genetics).2:12 - Active range of motion vs passive range of motion.3:08 - At what point can athletes transition from focusing on developing healthy shoulders to focusing on increasing their speed?5:03 - In terms of volleyball, what can be done to increase hitting speed?5:34 - Using weighted arm sleeves to develop faster arm swings.5:59 - Developing clean and efficient arm swings is a large factor in increasing speed.8:02 - How Vic would structure exercises using weighted arm sleeves.11:19 - In addition to developing healthier shoulders, will a lower load also help people hit harder and throw harder?13:13 - Are there benefits of measuring players’ spike and serve speeds?14:28 - Using measurable and visual results to increase motivation.15:40 - What kind of coaching styles and methods have worked for Vic?16:01 - Identifying anchor points16:28 - Verbal and visual cues (in the form of analogies and metaphors)17:20 - Time constraints19:08 - How Vic discovered these coaching methods.20:49 - How players have responded to Vic’s coaching + example of how Vic walks a player through practice.23:41 - Vic’s new overhead sports practice facility in Amarillo, Texas.
0:46 - How Vic was introduced to and gained an appreciation for volleyball.1:52 - When and why Vic made the transition from playing in the majors to coaching - using his own experience to help younger, developing players.3:27 - Simple and inexpensive warm-ups and routines coaches can teach to players and implement within their own practice.6:50 - More expensive and heavy-duty equipment to invest in for better shoulder health (e.g. crossover symmetry, motion capture equipment).Marc Pro device mentioned: - What part of Vic’s previous coaching that he would try to do differently.12:01 - Applying shoulder techniques in volleyball (preventing the full extension of arm above your head in a straight downward motion).14:52 - Posture’s effects on shoulder health.15:40 - Should you lower your elbow when extending your arm and shoulder?17:11 - Developing correct arm swings in younger players who have to compensate for lower reach above the net.19:25 - How to correct high elbow and extended shoulder motions that lead to weaker shoulders.22:25 - Aqua bags, and utilization of them during practice.24:43 - Using weighted balls during practice (weighted med balls, weighted baseballs, aquabags).27:05 - Implementing practice methods that Vic uses in a volleyball context.28:43 - Pre and post practice exercises and routines to maintain shoulder health.Pre-practice -  Crossover symmetry and band exercises.Post-practice -  Eccentric exercises.29:39 - Repetition counts for pre and post practice exercises.32:17 - Benefits of soft tissue massages (using lacrosse balls and foam rollers).
Show Notes (Angie Akers episode 2)1:11 - Challenges Angie faced when transitioning to coaching April and Alix + dealing with the pressure of coaching an already successful team.1:57 - Adjusting coaching to fit the circumstances within their team.5:06 - Dealing with awkwardness and discomfort within teams to develop better relationships later.7:58 - Transitioning from an Assistant Coach for the Dutch to a Head Coach with Team USA.9:49 - Describing April and Alix’s excellence.12:35 - Implementing “Dutch Directness” in practice and coaching.15:14 - Will the US national team develop more cohesiveness between teams, modeling after other foreign teams.16:40 - Tailoring coaching to the individual (particularly in the case with April and Alix).17:45 - Dealing with differences in scouting judgement before games (e.g. wanting to serve different players.18:10 - “Don’t get married to your plan” - being adaptive and flexible with strategies during games.19:23 - Reflecting on the year - what Angie wants to work on as a coach.21:19 - What Angie is “dominating” in: areas she believes she’s doing well in.21:54 - Listener Questions22:05 - The most difficult part of coaching the A-Team/April and Alix.22:41 - April’s perspective on facing disappointment or undesired results.24:10 - Angie’s favorite part of the Olympic experience
1:11 - How Angie ended up coaching April and Alix and representing Team USA in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.4:15 - How Angie used a pre-mortem exercise to prepare for the Olympic Games, and avoid potential mishaps while accomplishing their goals.4:56 - Covid 19’s limitations on relationship building and team building exercises during the Olympics.6:43 - Facing and preparing for heat and humidity in Tokyo.9:27 - Written form of a pre-mortem to manage anxiety and nerves.10:53 - Role of past FIVB tournament results in preparation and practice, and identification of what was needed and when.13:01 - Why they sat out of the Gstaad tournament.15:30 - How the Olympic format and preparation helped them dominate their opponents during the Olympics.17:03 - How Angie used film study to structure practice and prepare during downtime between games..17:56 - Emulation of “playing” against opponents during practice and warmups.19:20 - Would Angie have coached an underdog team differently than April and Alix?20:16 - How Angie, April, and Alix approached every match.21:18 - How John and Andrew would approach every match.22:49 - Circumstantial warm up/preparation for different tournaments vs relatively consistent warm up/preparation (e.g. Cancun compared to a colder environment).24:00 - Enjoying the Tokyo Olympic activities.25:32 - Finding a routine during the Olympics, and filling up free time while staying mentally sharp.
-Story of resiliency -Handling pain-Building leadersGet CYBO the book! the show:
-Specializing at a young age-The skill of being a good teammate-Changing rolesGet CYBO the book! the show:
-Mental training-Pushing through valleys-Coach and team's roleGet CYBO the book! the show:
-Expectations-Physical and mental preparation-Enjoying the workGet CYBO the book! the show:
-Monitoring stress-Antifragility and injury prevention-Keeping athletes healthy-Concussions and common injuriesGet CYBO the book! the show:
-What it means to be antifragile-Creating an environment that facilitates antifragility-The role of stressGet CYBO the book! the show:
-Leaders listen-Player-led approach-Building leaders-Traditional and Transformational culturesThe Twin Thieves - CYBO the book! the show:
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