Today we feature Roberto Santilli. Roberto just won the 2020-2021 South-Korean KOVO V-League with the team of Incheon Korean Air Jumbos. Congrats!
But Roberto's experiences go much further than this recent victory. He has coached for over 2 decades in Italy, Poland, Russia and was coach of the Australian National mens program. He for sure has a very rich coaching experience. Enjoy his answers to our questions.
Roberto, why and how many years ago did you decide to commit to being a professional volleyball coach? What pushed you towards that decision?
It was 1978. I was 13 years old and in my hometown, Rome, I went to see the world volleyball championship final, Italy v Russia.
There were 15,000 spectators in the stadium and I couldn’t conceive all the types of emotions I felt.
This experience really had a deep impact on me and I fell in love with the sport. I’ve spent the rest of my life chasing my love all around the world.
Choices in life are made because of the models we find in our life and I had a real role model in my father, even though he didn’t coach, he always enjoyed gathering the children of our family and instructed them how to play sports, get better at kicking a soccer ball, ...
He really instilled that coaching passion in me.
What advice would you give yourself as a starting coach? An advice that is so clear and logical for you now, but that you had to develop over the years.
When I was young I was thinking to organise the people around me, my way, but overtime I have realised the job of the coach is to understand the individuals that make up the team and inspire and allow them to be the best that they can be.
Do you have a particular goal as a coach? Maybe a goal that you already reached or a goal that is so hard to reach that it gives you daily motivation?(and some healthy stress :-))
The goal is usually aligned to the club, the place where you coach, but my personal goal is to always enjoy doing my job.
It’s important to me to have a happy life.
The future of volleyball, how will the game evolve according to your opinion?
In the last few years the game has become very physical and I think we lost a part of the technical skill that really make a difference at the highest level.