Billy Ketch Allen

A Mostly Volleyball Blog


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CYBO – Successful Partnerships with Peter Haberl

On this episode of Coach Your Brains Out, Dr. Peter Haberl talks about an extensive study on Olympic beach volleyball partnerships and what makes a team successful over the long-term.

Dr. Haberl works as a sports psychologist for USA Volleyball and I’ve met with him a few times this off-season to talk about my own new partnership. One of the big takeaways from our interview is the idea of having a shared team philosophy and the communication of those values.

“You don’t need to have the same personality…but what you need to share is a common philosophy and a common motivation.”

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CYBO P-Rod Paul Rodriguez – Part 2

The Talent Code Author Daniel Coyle talks about skateparks as the ultimate learning environments:

“For flexible skills…the practice space should resemble a really fun skateboard park: lots of self-directed action at an endless variety of obstacles where you make lots of errors and learn a little something from each of them. Most flexible skills ideally don’t require a coach, but rather an addictive space to ‘play.'”

What would a volleyball practice look like if it was designed more like a skatepark? Instead of repeating a regimen of drills, players are encouraged to freely experiment within the game. Would it increase skill development? Innovation? Fun? Continue reading


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CYBO P-Rod Paul Rodriguez – Part 1

Coach Your Brains Out is a volleyball heavy podcast so it’s great when we can get out of the world of bump set spike and hear from coaches and athletes in other sports. There are always lessons to be gleaned from anyone working to master their craft and handling pressure. It can also teach us to look at our sport in new ways.

This interview is with professional skateboarder, Paul Rodriguez. P-Rod has accomplished so much in the world of skateboarding including eight X Games medals and continues to push himself toward new challenges. Continue reading


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Coach Your Brains Out

In April of 2015, I started a coaching podcast with John Mayer and Nils Nielsen. We spent our first episode huddled over an iPhone talking about warmups. The conversation went all over the place and the audio was rough, but it was fun to get together and talk volley and different coaching ideas. I titled the podcast “Coach Your Brains Out” as a joke, thinking we’d come up with something better later. We never did.

Over two years and one hundred and something episodes later, we’re still going strong putting out an episode a week. We usually record remotely now and our sound has gotten better thanks to some microphones. We’ve also added Andrew Fuller to the crew. It’s crazy to look at the list below and see all the amazing guests who’ve come on and shared with us. If you’re into coaching or playing sports (especially volleyball) then this podcast is for you. I’ve learned a lot doing this podcast; it’s made me a better player and coach. That’s why I still do it. Continue reading