Updated: Oct 7, 2020
My short answer is "No, they are Super-Human." I can remember my graduate assistant on the first day of the Tour of Texas Qualifier say "I'm exhausted...you guys do this every weekend you go out recruiting?" When you add it all up - 60 hour work weeks in the office; hours of work at home watching film and making recruiting phone calls; days on the road traveling; no weekends off; being away from family for days at time and sometimes back to back weekends; 12 hour days in convention centers recruiting; constantly trying to improve your team, yourself as a coach; "what's a 3 day weekend?"; oh and by the way, you care so much about your players that it sometimes keeps you up at night.
Of course they are human. Coaches make mistakes too! I know I have. I've made mistakes game-planning, given bad serving zones, created poor practice plans, made poor substitution decisions...certainly I'm not the only coach that has done that right :)
Coaching is hard. I'm not sure, as much as I know we all try, if we are immune to the issues and pressures of the outside world. Family stuff, team culture issues and thinking about whether or not you have done everything you can for a specific athlete (scholarship, academic, training...), are thoughts that are on every coach's mind and that is sometimes (often) during a match.
But I don't think that's how we view them most of the time. We often think they are resistant to all things non-volleyball and must live in some universe where only volleyball exists; waking up each morning and hitting volleyballs against the wall while we eat breakfast and creating practice plans while we sleep - although I must admit I have woken up in the middle of the night to write down some new drill ideas :) but that certainly isn't normal. Coaches have hobbies, enjoy spending time with their kids and spouses, watching other sports on TV and sitting in Church on Sundays.
Coaching is often referred to as a "Thankless Job" so lets do our best to change that this week. Text your coach and say "Thank You" or tell them in person at practice this week. It will probably mean more to them than you could really know. They are, after all, only human.
PS - to all of my coaching friends that are able to read this - you're doing awesome, thank you for all the things you do for your athletes, programs and families. Keep up the good work!
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