I’VE HONESTLY NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. THE ATMOSPHERE THAT KARCH KIRALY AND THE USA STAFF CREATE IN THEIR GYM IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE
– Trevor Ragan: Train Ugly Founder
Did you know that before 2014 the USA Women’s Volleyball team had never won a gold medal or world championship, ever?
Last October, that all changed when they took down China 3-1 to take home the USA’s first ever women’s volleyball world championship.
Thousands of factors went into this victory. There was obviously some luck involved, some 50/50 situations that could of gone either way, some seemingly impossible plays. However – another, more concrete influence on this achievement was the coaching approach of Karch Kiraly.
In 2012 Karch and his staff were given the reigns of the USA Women’s Volleyball Program. They have implemented an unorthodox but science-based approach to development that has helped the team reach new levels.
“Science has shaped everything we do in the gym in terms of developing players. We are training to perform not to drill. All of the science tells us that we do the most learning when practice looks like an actual game – Which is really random and not just super controlled. That governs just about everything we do in the gym. We’re trying to make every second in our gym count as much as possible to make the most transfer that we can get.”
– Karch Kiraly: USA Women’s Volleyball
MODELING THE GROWTH MINDSET: A Story about Karch and His Staff
Last year I spent a week at the USA Volleyball training facility in Anaheim. Karch, Jamie Morrison, and Tom Black were unbelievably nice for having me out and were three of the most brilliant coaches I’ve seen. I took books full of notes (message me and I’ll send them to you) but the one thing that stood out the most was their devotion to learning.
After every single practice that I watched each one would come over for a chat and I was absolutely blown away by what they did.
Rather than the typical smalltalk BS you’d expect in this situation: “Hey thanks for coming.” “Where are you staying?” “What do you have going the rest of the day?” “How do you like the cali weather?” “Have you been to In-And-Out yet?”
They sat next to me and asked me questions like: “What did you think of that practice?” “What did you like?” “What do you think we can be doing better?” “What did you see?”
Wow – These were Olympic coaches searching for ways to get better and asking advice from some 28 yr old guy who knows about |—this—| much about volleyball.
That is the epitome of a growth mindset and what it truly means to be a learner.
I’ve seen and heard a lot of people talking the growth mindset talk but very few people actually walk the walk.
It was way cool.