Derek Olson is a hungry person. Metaphorically more than
literally, although Derek can plow through a big meal too!
I’ve been fortunate to know Derek for almost fifteen years,
and what comes across in the most authentic way is that Derek
is hungry, almost starving for improvement. For himself as a
coach to improve, for the players he coaches to be at their best,
for the sport of beach volleyball to improve as a whole.
For context, Derek and I played against each other in numerous
beach volleyball tournaments over the years in our late 20s,
mostly in California. We then adventured through Brazil while
I coached him and Jeremy Casebeer in FIVB tournaments.
After Derek transitioned into coaching, our teams played each
other many times, and I always felt that his teams were wellcoached,
tough opponents. For the sake of congeniality, we’ll
just say that our record against each other is split fifty-fifty.
We’ve shared meals, hotel rooms for national team events,
swapped too many stories to count, and Derek’s thirst for
knowledge of the game is as deep as the ocean.
The blueprint that Derek has laid out for us is tremendous—
it’s a launch pad for any hungry player to gain a sense of
control over their journey; a journey that can feel isolating,
confounding, and frustrating!
The Volleyball Journal addresses so many areas in which I’ve seen
players of all ages struggle, and this book will help them bring
their own dreams to fruition. Growth mindset breakdown?
Check! Authentic confidence explanation? Boom! Mindfulness
and awareness tools that are simple? You know it! Figuring out
how to actually watch and learn from video? Absolutely!
Another key strength of this book is that you could read
it cover to cover in fifteen minutes and then actively use it
for years. I can be impatient with extraneous clutter, and I
appreciate the radical clarity and simplicity that Derek laid out.
Derek has taken the best of so many resources and crystallized
them into a tangibly useful instrument of improvement. I’m
honored to sing not only his praises, but the praises of this
book, and I look forward to using it with the beach volleyball
team that I coach!
– Andrew Fuller
Head Beach Volleyball Coach at Stanford University
2021 AVCA National Coach of the Year