Atlanta 2012 – it’s a great weekend to be a coach. After a Long flight with Shauna Denney, Kim Stonehouse and Mike Hoang we landed in Georgiaand checked into our hotel. It was a real breath of fresh air to be traveling as a coach without the pressure and stress of competing. That was kind of a new experience for me and being with these good, and like minded people made the experience all the better. After a drink and a bite to eat we fell into bed to be ready for our early start.

Saturday was a long day with a number of intense sessions primarily focused on the six skills of volleyball. I think it would be impossible to pull a more competent and engaging group of coaches together to run the show. John Dunning from Stanford, Russ Rose from Penn state, Terry Liskevych from Oregon state (and former USA national team head coach) and Mark Barnard from Oregon State (and former Australian national team head coach).  This dream team along with coaching hosts from Georgia, Georgia tech and Emory ran us through and engaging and entertaining day. I was impressed how they were able to find a balance between the basics and the more advanced elements of the game.

The things that stuck with me?

  • Russ Rose and his direct approach and ability to teach his teams to be intense competitors.
  • Terry Liskevych and his masterful teaching methods.
  • John Dunning and his deep technical understanding of the game.

I enjoyed coach Stemkes’ (Georgia University) excellent setter progression and a ton of little tips and tricks from all the coaches like the different way these guys track serve pass stats to the way they teach their athletes to hit high and keep them from jumping into the net. John and Terry have two very different and contradictory passing philosophies yet they are both highly effective. I think one of the most enjoyable and unique aspects of this clinic was: the obvious friendship between the four main coaches and the way they have maintained a passion for the game and a youthful spirit. Yes even Russ.

Saturday evening found us at Taco Mac – a local sports pub where the coaches all met for a social. With over 200 coaches present, it was a treat that John, Terry, Russ and Mark all made an effort to engage us Canadians at length at our table. John gave me some great advice on how to handle timeouts and the time between sets. He told me what he tracks in his notebook and talked about pressure and stress. What an amazing one on one. I wanted to ask my commonwealth brother, Mark Barnard if they rotate the opposite direction in Australia but he was too busy repeating himself to the Georgians who keep telling him he sounded “just like Mick Jagger”. We laughed and talked till late and the coaches, although they must have been tired, stayed and shook hands, answered questions, signed autographs, took pictures, remembered names and took a genuine interest in the struggles that the many coaches laid out to them for their advice.

A big thanks to 403 Selects Volleyball Club and to Ken and Georgina Acheson for the opportunity to attend this amazing clinic and for making coaches development a priority.

Kelly Gedlaman.
Head Coach 17U Boys

















Kelly Gedlaman with Russ Rose of Penn State















Kim Stonehouse and Shauna Denney with Terry Liskevych of Oregon State














Mike Hoang with Russ Rose of Penn State














Kim Stonehouse and Shauna Denney with John Dunning of Stanford