From The First Chair Podcast

Episode 12 - Tips for Rookie Head Coaches with Niko Rukavina

July 24, 2018
In this episode, Frank & Thierry welcome Niko Rukavina to discuss his path early in his coaching career and many tips for rookie head coaches will be shared.
(1:44) - Resource - I am a New Coach, USA Volleyball
(4:15) - Thierry's top three recommendations to a rookie head coach
(9:36) - Frank's top three recommendations to a rookie head coach
(15:00) - Niko's bio
(15:32) - How did a multisport background help Niko as a volleyball athlete?
(17:35) - How did Niko transition from left side to libero in his fifth year in University?
(21:38) - What are Niko's thoughts about being an assistant coach with your alma matter soon after your playing career?
(23:50) - How did Niko successfully transition from post-secondary athletes to 18U athletes to 13U athletes?
(25:40) - What were some of the biggest challenges Niko had to face with 13U athletes?
(29:30) - What brought Niko into coaching?
(30:50) - Who are Niko's mentors?
(31:55) - What particular skills or habits did coach Rukavina take from his previous coaches under whom he played?
(34:00) - Many coaches in the volleyball community including Frank believe Niko Rukavina is a young coach that is doing it right. What are Niko's thoughts about this statement?
(36:40) - What age group does Niko's recommend for a rookie coach?
(38:00) - What advice does coach Rukavina have for a coach that works with younger age groups such as 13U and 14U?
(39:25) - What certification level is Niko at and how did he go about completing it?
(40:09) - What are the benefits of head coaching a team and assisting with another team?
(41:45) - What is Niko's long term coaching plan?
(43:00) - What did coach Rukivina do specifically with his team to maximize both age specific needs and competition success?
(46:40) - How important is the serve-pass part of the game? What was done to develop it?
(48:12) - What offensive system was chosen and why?
(49:50) - What is the plan for setting at 15U?
(50:35) - How long would Niko like to go positionless with his club team?
(52:33) - What are coach Rukavina's thoughts on prohibiting overhead passing at the younger age groups?
(55:50) - What advice does Niko have to help rookie coaches deal with off court elements such as seasonal planing, physical preparation, etc.?