No way out


image found via google on

Admittedly, Cortes’s conquest is a cringeworthy moment in human history. It does however, illustrate how having “no way out” can motivate people to be truly committed.

Late last year at the Australian Junior Women Development Camp, we were fortunate to be visited by Australian beach Volleyball team coach Mick Nelson and player Louise Bawden, who spent 3 days helping us with the beach component of the camp. Mick spent a lot of time talking to the coaches, and the one thing I took away was what he said about creating situations for athletes where there is no way out.

Enjoying a high standard of living, Australians are not as often exposed to the same “no way out” situations as some of their competitors overseas. Nevertheless, Mick described ways that he could create “no way out” situations that motivated them to find solutions and accomplish more than they would have thought possible. This could be as simple as not letting up on players when they are struggling to finish a drill.

As a coach that wants to address a list of stuff in a given training, I’m in the bad habit of moving on when things don’t go well to get to the next thing. Recently, I tried the “no way out” approach with a serving drill for beginners and while we didn’t spend too much longer on the drill, the players did improve a lot more than they would have originally thought themselves capable of doing.


3 Responses to “No way out”

  1. Brendan Dickson Says:

    Hi Hugh, I don’t know if you have seen this but it would be great way to get a bunch of coaches laughing at the start of a seminar. cheers Brendan check it out on youtube

    • Hugh Nguyen Says:

      I actually saw this yesterday and posted it on the FB pages of my Volleyball Club in Adelaide and my state team’s group page…. It’s quite good and accurate. the players are real and it’s beautifully shot!

  2. Alexis Lebedew Says:

    I like the idea of ‘no way out’, but I think it is just as valid for coaches as it is for athletes. There are certain fundamentals that you simply can’t succeed without, but there is a lot of pressure for coaches to ‘progress’ athletes regardless of whether they have learned/mastered these. What if the coach put themselves in a ‘no way out’ situation where they have to find a way for the athlete to learn, regardless whether they want to move on to something else or not?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: