54. Julio Velasco: Be a happy and energetic coach.

In this 2nd Julio Velasco Masterclass article, we focus on the mistakes he feels he made and the lessons he learned from them. But we also go deeper into Julio's favorite resources which helped him become a master coach.

54. Julio Velasco: Be a happy and energetic coach.

Julio covers possible rule changes to our game (also check out 'The Experiment'), how he regains his focus, and he talks about The Jungle Book, Socrates and Plato.


Julio, according to you, what rule change is necessary? And why would you want to see this rule implemented?

I think that the double touch must be eliminated. It's not advantageous to our game. And for junior volleyball it's a terrible thing. They aren't playing. A serve mistake, another mistake, another mistake, they never play.

Our sport is already challenging to play. We have to let them to play. This it's not solved with refereeing. We just have to eliminate that rule.

This is one thing.

Something else is the challenge system. We need less interruptions in our game. I mean, you make a challenge, no problem, but you'll lose the opportunity to take a time-out, for example. Otherwise it's just too many interruptions.

And for men's volleyball. The game will be nicer to watch if we had more defense.

There are a lot of people who prefer high level women's volleyball. Over men's volleyball.

I hear more and more people say that they like the women's game more. Just because they defend more. It's not that easy to resolve this problem.

This was my next question. How can we resolve the problem?

Many years ago I wrote to Acosta about just this. It's not fair to apply the same rules to men and women. There must be a distinction.

For example. Middle blockers should stay on the court, in the backrow. But only to defend in second line. You can make a rule that they cannot attack after reception.

But you must also put in the rules, what the concept is of 'reception'. Because that doesn't exist right now. 'A first touch', is not the same as a reception.

But the middles should stay on the field. So you defend with seven. Which will give you the opportunity to be more tactical in defense. You can put a player three meters out of the field, for the balls that touch the block. Or one guy for the tip balls. Or 3 people digging the diagonal.

Now every team plays exactly the same. That is not good for our sport.

They play exactly the same. We need more variability of tactics, especially in defense.

The spiking is already nice and will get quicker and more spectacular. But we need more defense.

But not in the women's game. If you put another player in defense there the ball will never go down. But for the men's game it will be great.

I think that we can improve a lot. Eliminate interruptions and get a better defensive game in the men's game.

Best game you've ever seen. What recent or game from the volleyball vaults did validate once more that volleyball is the greatest sport on the globe.

Just the overall quality of the game is now higher than in the past. In any sport.

But the semi-final between Italy and Brazil in 1990 was the most emotional for me.

With 20.000 Brazilians screaming. That was a fantastic match.

Even more amazing than the final.

Of course, we won the final and became World Champions for the first time. But the atmosphere was incredible during that match against Brazil. The tiebreak ended 3-2.

That is all extremely 'easily remembered.'

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

Putting my problem next to the 'big problems' helped me a lot.