We trained Team Customs in the morning again from 7-8:45. This time we worked on offense mostly and warmed the guys up with pass to attack footwork and then got into a Pass-Don't Pass drill where they could actively work on their footwork and the setters could work on their set tempo to the hitters. After that we worked with their middles on tempo and footwork as well before getting into a defense vs. hitters drill called +7/-7 to end the day. We had a great practice and the coaches want us to come back (seems to be a re-occurring theme, we must be doing something right!) and met with their team manager. We had a great discussion on why it is necessary to change the way we do things to improve and break the time tested mold every once in a while. the whole if it ain't broke don't fix it thought but the problem is here, it is broken and we need to fix it.
Our last day of the coaches clinic. We covered the last part of the theory including hydration and nutrition in training, using one voice in practice if you have multiple coaches, competition and training period practices, periodization in training, strength and conditioning and plyometrics, and practice design. After that we had the coaches design a 2 hour practice that they would use on the players outside. After our 11am tea break, which has been the great part of our week since it hepls us block the theory sessions easier, we finished the practice plan and went to the courts to get the teams started. Since it was running short on time, players didn't get to the courts until almost 12:30, we had about 5 coaches that wrote down the practie plan lead things so after they had the players line up guess what the coaches had them do...yeah, stretch. Evidently NOTHING we had talked about the whole week got through and they weren't even following the practice plan that we had put together. Lost in translation I guess. After we got everything straightened out things went pretty smoothly. We had a quick lunch break and then took the coaches to the sand courts with some of the older players. We talked to them about the importance of using sand training as a training tool both physically and mentally and showed the coaches some basic drills.
After the beach portion, we handed out certificates to coaches and players and took a LOT of pictures. One great part of the clinic was we had the very first national team beach players from India for the men and women. We had a great conversation with them including Mohammed Grouse saying he loved visiting Sant Monica Beach in Cali because it reminded him of Baywatch. Once Mark and I had stopped laughing (well sort of, because we were laughing about that for a LONG time, we talked more and they invited us to their town at another time to do a 15 day beach camp. We are definitely excited about that.
So after quick showers, Mark and I were off to the airport and a 3 hour flight to Delhi where we would stay overnight and then head to the Taj Mahal in Agra the next morning for a quick little 1 day trip on one of our 2 days off (Jan 31-Feb 1). After an uneventful flight we were picked up by one of the guys with the Volleyball Federation of India and a driver and drove about 20-30 min to some random hotel in an alley (it was nicer on the inside), told the clerk we indeed wanted a room with twin beds and not a room with one king (we've already shared a king bed the previous weekend in Ooty so we were good), and had to switch rooms immediately since the room they gave us was musty, stale and couldn't have been used in a solid 30-35 years judging by the smell. The one bright side was Road to Perdition was on at the hotel, so that was a good end to the day. We're fired up for the trip to the Taj Mahal tomorrow!