Australian men’s national team coach Mark Lebedew is currently working in polish Plusliga leading Zawiercie. He is very active in many volleyball areas.
I am very happy that Mark accepted proposal to start cooperation with VolleyCountry on various projects. Let’s dive into short interview with Mark.
When did you become volleyball coach?
I decided I would become a coach when I was very young, about 21, and went to university to study sport. I first coached a couple of years later when I had an injury and couldn’t play for a year. After university, I received a scholarship to work with the National Team for one year, and in 1997 started work full time as an assistant coach. With the National Team I went to the Olympics in Sydney 2000. I moved to Europe in 2002 and have worked in various leagues and clubs since then.
You were coach in Germany for many years, now in Poland. What is the main difference between volleyball in Germany and Poland?
What is the same is the number of passionate people who love the sport as fans and working in clubs. The level of all the teams in the league is a little bit higher in Poland, but the main difference is the size. Volleyball is an important sport in Poland. All the matches are on TV. There are many more casual fans, people who aren’t big fans but know volleyball well. I have worked in many leagues, including Italy, and Poland is my favourite league.
Australian men’s NT is playing quite well under you in world competitions. Are you satisfied with your NT results?
The results have been good, but mostly I am pleased with the development of the players mentality, and approach to playing. The team is not afraid of any team, which we showed at World Championships. Now we must work to win those matches.
You are also active on internet. You run blog marklebedew.com where you provide interesting informations for volleyball players and coaches. Why did you decide to have your blog and what is your goal with site?
My first idea in writing the blog was to give information to Australian volleyball fans and coaches who didn’t have access to European volleyball. Over the years it has evolved into a platform for coaches and a way for me to explore different areas of thinking about the game. And I also really enjoy writing.
I see you are developing (co-developing) volleyball apps. Can you tell me more about it?
The apps also came up from writing the blog. I started to write about timeouts and one of the blog readers, Ben Raymond, reached out to me and offered to do some analysis. The first outcome was the series analysing the effectiveness of timeouts. From there we came up with different ideas of analysis and Ben developed a web based platform that gives us a lot of options. Now we have some commercially available tools that I think are incredibly valuable for coaches. We have tools for checking Data Volley files, analysing setters and reporting on all areas of the game.
Now you start cooperating with VolleyCountry. What do you expect from this cooperation?
Working with Volleycountry, I look forward for the opportunity to connecting with more volleyball fans from all over the world, through my articles, potential online courses and also in person at VolleyCountry events.