Advice for Being Great At Anything

Jim McLaughlin was the head coach of the University of Washington Women's Volleyball team from 2001-2014. I consider him one of the best motivational speakers I have ever witnessed. It is his superpower. I attended every one of his opening "introduction to volleyball summer camp" speeches that my kids ever participated in so I could learn more about volleyball, after playing for over 30 years myself. In 2013, Jim spoke about how to be great at volleyball in a way that reminded me of doing math, playing flute, and generally being a productive human being. I will share my notes on his top 10 points. Each one can and should be interpreted to suit your own situation.

Jim McLaughlin's Rules for Playing and Coaching Volleyball (and So Much More!)

as scribed by Sara Billey

1. Have Fun!

2. Work hard to improve yourself.

3. You are responsible for your attitude.

4. See and hear things that tell you where to be.

5. Be mindful of what you are doing.

6. Make a commitment.

7. Compete.

8. Improve individually and then say and do things to make the team better.

9. Simple movements are better than complex movements.

10. The best coaches know their players.

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From Wikipedia on 5/11/2017: Teams under McLaughlin's coaching have accomplished two national championships, four Final Four appearances (most recently in 2013), six trips to the Elite Eight, two national players of the year, three Pac-12 (formerly the Pac-10) Conference titles, and 13 players that combined for 28 AVCA All-America awards. McLaughlin was named the 2004 NCAA National Coach of the Year and received the 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2013 Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards. He is currently the head coach at Notre Dame.