Well, I made it to England intact, arriving in London just about 24 hours after I woke up on Sunday morning. Went straight from Heathrow to ACS Cobham where the Volleyball Development Camp I’m attending this week is taking place. It’s a 12-person camp with 8 boys and 4 girls among the better juniors level players in England. The camp staff comprises a former England youth national team coach and a current professional one from Poland. I talked a lot with folks, but by mid-afternoon was mainly struggling with my lack of sleep. My primary goal right for Night #1 is trying to get something like a normal night’s sleep.
Yes, they have Mexican food in England. No, it is not the same as in the US. 😁
Jetlag = waking up at 3:00AM, which is what I did this morning. Managed to have a good day, though, even on the limited sleep. My second day at the camp here featured meeting one of the volleyball commentators who works matches for the FIVB. If you watched the world feed coverage from VNL and/or the recent Olympic qualifications you may have heard him at work. He also coaches in England, especially on the beach side at the international level. We had a wide-ranging conversation.
By the way, I found out on Monday that the session I agreed to present at the Volleyball England coaching conference next month has turned into a 3-hour workshop. The focus will be developing the middle offense. Got me some work to do!
It’s only fair that I also talk about some good food in England after yesterday’s post. Behold the Cornish pasty! Definitely something I’ve missed since leaving England.
Managed to sleep until about 5:15 today, so we’re making progress!
I decided to take a day out of the gym today to get some much needed work done. Doesn’t look like I’ll have chance of that for a little while, so I took the opportunity while I had it. A lot of it involved working out the details for later in the trip. Most of that I’ll share in future updates. One interesting development, however, is that it looks like I’ll be going to watch the Hungarian national team play on Saturday against Greece. I’m going to meet up with my friend Ruben in the city of Szombathely, which is where the match is happening as part of what I believe is a 5-team friendly preparation tournament for the upcoming Euros. That will be about a 2.5 hour train ride for me from Budapest.
It’s not often you get to meet a 3-time Olympian (though I’ve met a 5-timer). Today Brazilian Erika Coimbra took part in the camp session to give the players a bit of extra motivation. Cody Kessel was also going to stop by the camp this week, but other commitments kept it from happening.
For the soccer fans out there, I found out today that Chelsea have their training ground nearby. That means Christian Pulisic probably lives around here somewhere.
After one last morning with the good folks at Volleyball Development Camps, I’ve left the English shores and landed in Budapest, Hungary. Just an overnight stay before hopping a morning train to Szombathely over near the Austrian border. There I’ll meet up with my coaching friend Ruben Wolochin, and I believe the coach he is replacing at his club Fino Kaposvar who has moved into the management side of things. We’re going to watch Hungary play in a European Championship preparation event. Sorry I couldn’t get a better picture.
Arrived in Szombathely and met up with my friend Ruben. We watched European Championships preparation matches between France and Slovenia, and Hungary and Greece. Got to meet Hungarian coach Jan De Brandt, who is someone my partner Mark Lebedew interviewed for the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.
First day going to training at Fino Kaposvar. The team had an AM workout session then an afternoon practice.
The Kaposvar women’s team was on court before us today (different club, but use the same facility). First chance for me to see then. To be honest, they didn’t do much of interest.
The outside of the arena Fino Kaposvar plays in (along with women’s volleyball and men’s basketball). I’m basically there twice a day.
After another hard day’s work in Kaposvar, @ruben_wolochin is helping me fortify for tomorrow and the days still to come.
György Demeter is the former coach of FINO Kaposvar who is now sporting director. He’s a legend in Hungarian coaching. I gave him a copy of the second Volleyball Coaching Wizards book today at training.
A view from up in the seats as the FINO Kaposvar guys get some play in during training.