Coaching Volleyball Magazine October / November 2015 - Page 19

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Study Abroad: Coaching at the Club Level By John Foreman This first article in our new series on coaching at the international level kicks off our commitment to bringing you fresh perspectives on the coaching profession. Keep your eyes peeled for subsequent articles that will appear across platforms, in Coaching Volleyball 2.0 and the AVCA blog. As for me, I’ve just begun coaching at Svedala Volleyklubb. Svedala is a residential town of around 10,000 inhabitants about 15-20 minutes from the major southern Swedish city of Malmö. That’s just across the bridge from Copenhagen (yes, that “The Bridge” from the Danish/Swedish television series). The club can be thought of as a fairly typical youth/juniors program with a professional team sitting on top. Having youth teams below the pro squad is a pretty standard setup in European volleyball, and even a requirement in some of the leagues. My hiring at Svedala came about in one of those random sorts of ways that can happen sometimes when you have developed a decent professional network. A friend coaching in Germany’s top league is connected with my predecessor here, an Aussie named Luke. They were chatting on Facebook one day, and upon hearing that Luke was leaving, my friend looped me into the conversation. SVEDALA VOLLEYKLUBB GREETINGS FROM SWEDEN! This article starts a series in which I will be sharing my experience as a U.S. coach working in professional volleyball overseas. Honestly, until this past spring I never even considered the prospect of coaching here in Sweden. After the better part of three years coaching at the university level in England, I was pretty sure I’d end up back in the States. Yet here I am – head coach of a women’s team in the Elitserie, Sweden’s top division. Being an American coaching professional volleyball overseas is a little uncommon. Among the big names in our sport, Doug Beal and Carl McGown both coached abroad. In the current generation, USA Women’s National Team assistant coach Jamie Morrisson spent time in Switzerland a few years ago, and has just headed back overseas to work at a top club in Turkey. COACHING VOLLEYBALL | October/November 2015 17