Doug Beal: Pretence does not interest us

  • The volleyball legend, former player and coach – Doug Beal speaks in interview for Akademia Polskiej Siatkówki about players’ preparations for a tournament, regeneration and other aspects connected with this sport.

    During the work with USA national team coaches place a particular emphasis on psychological approach to players. What kind of role should they play in players’ mental preparation?Coaches are responsible for psychical, tactical and mental preparation players for a tournament. Nowadays as never before differences between top teams (both female and male) are minimal. Like never before it is also important players do their best as often as possible. Coach works on player’s psyche during the practices and competitions. Creating atmosphere of rivalry during the practice is essential thing as well as cooperation between players to purpose a common goal.

    Should coach be like a father or mentor or strict teacher for his charges?
    The answer of this question largely depends on psychologist structure of coach as well as compositions of coaching staff. In my opinion it should consist of various personalities who could attract individual players. It is impossible to be a coach liked by all players. So there is no clear-cut answer.

    ‘Believe in yourself that you will be succeed’ – this is a maxim quoting by economist oriented towards success. ‘ Convince yourself that you are able to play good match and then you certainly will be ‘ – is it recipe for American players’ success?
    We are not interested in pretence. For us important thing is combination of effective use of time devoted during the practice and efficient mechanics what requires special exercises and proper feedback.

    American players always force themselves during the most important tournaments. Gold medal at Olympic Games is the best proof of it. What is the source of this incredible ability?
    In USA we have not neither professional league nor regular promotion of volleyball in TV thereby the most important event are Olympic Games. They attract unusual attention both in the financial and media point of view. In this way Olympics has became the main purpose for our players. It refers to both indoor volleyball and beach volleyball. Our success at Olympics and giving preference to preparation for this exceptional event show our way of thinking about priorities.

    You told that players were good teachers. What do u mean by that?
    I meant that experienced players can set an example for new younger members of national team. The best way to quickly construct succeed team is to allow the best or most experienced players to set standards or reference points for younger players during the everyday practice.

    You emphasize the importance of regeneration after tournament. Is there a way to measure level of tiredness in volleyball?
    The role of wellness and rest is very important. At today’s international world the most important task for coach is to determine appropriate schedule of participation players in training program . Given considerable number of national team players who are playing abroad and requirements setting in professional leagues, it is the best good solution to force players to take part in professional league and be engaged in national team at the same time. Proper managing of these movements (between league and national team – editor’s note ) by coach important ingredient of success.

    source: / Akademia Polskiej Siatkówki (Academy of Polish Volleyball)