What to Do When You Hate Your Volleyball Coach

Tips for Coping When You Don't Like Your Coach

Coach and volleyball player smiling
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Chances are that at one point or another during your career you are going to run into a coach you don't like. It may be the coaching style, the decision-making or even just the personality itself that rubs you the wrong way.

Before you transfer or quit the team, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you're not going to like everyone and everyone is not going to like you. This is something you'll have to deal with throughout your life, not just on the team.

You can't always run away from a bad situation. Sometimes you have to stay and make an effort to improve it. Other times, you'll just have to endure it until you can make a change.

Second, in any coach-player relationship a little rain will fall. Most of the time, your coach is just trying to make you better. That's a coaches job and they'll do it the way they see fit. Just because you don't agree with his or her choices does not mean that you are not benefiting from them. He or she may get on your last nerve, but they may also be helping you at the same time by pushing you to play harder.

Here are a few tips for dealing with a coach you hate: 

Be Objective

Being objective is one of the most difficult things to do when it comes to taking a good, hard look at yourself. The best thing you can do is to take a step back and analyze the situation as best you can.

What is it about your coach that you can't stand?

Is it that he or she makes you work hard when you don't feel like it? Is it because he or she calls you on your excuses? Is it because you're not in the starting line up?

If so, the problem may not be your coach at all. You just may not like what the coach has to say because it steps on your toes. If you don't want to work hard, or you have an excuse for everything, you should work on an attitude shift.

Your coach is trying to help you and you should listen and comply.

If you feel your coach is singling you out for ridicule or you feel like you are being harassed, you may have a real problem that you need to address it. Keep in mind that you may be overly sensitive because the remarks are stinging your ego. If you can't tell for yourself if you're being treated unfairly, ask some of the people on the team that you respect if they've noticed a difference in treatment when it comes to you. If they have, you may need to take some action.

Make an Effort to Understand

If you're having problems with your coach, make a real effort to understand where he or she is coming from. In most cases, they are just doing the best they can to get the best out of each of their players. Although you may not like the way they go about it, try to see the big picture.

What is your coach trying to do? If you're not sure, you should ask. Set up a time to meet with your coach and voice your concerns. Ask some questions and see if you can come to an understanding. Tell the coach what you need, but be willing to listen to his or her answers regarding what he or she is trying to provide for their athletes.

Your coach may just be using a tactic to get you to focus or to fire you up to play well.

Take note of whether the tactic is working. You may not like being yelled at, but do you play better when you're angry or do you tend to let your anger take your mind off of the game?

If you're really uncomfortable with what the coach is doing and don't think that it is in the best interest of the team, then you need to make a decision about whether or not to stay. But do not make the decision in haste because no situation is perfect.

Buy In

One way to determine if what the coach is trying to do is effective for you is to stop fighting it. Buy in to the system even if you are doubtful about its validity. Is it possible that the idea might work even though your coach is doing something you're not used to?

The only way to find out is to try it. Coaches will have a lot of ideas for improving your team.

Some of them will be good and some bad. Some will work and some won't. The idea definitely won't work if the team won't fully invest in it.

Consider the fact that your coach might know best and try out what he or she says. After you've given the tactic some time to develop, you'll have a better idea about whether it helps or hurts your team.

Give yourself some time to settle into the system and give your coach the benefit of the doubt. If you choose to believe that your coach has your best interest at heart even if his or her delivery is disappointing, you may be able to get yourself through the season.