Vladimir Alekno is unarguably the best Russian volleyball coach and one of the finest in the profession worldwide. The successes he reached as a coach of three clubs and the Russian national team are pretty much countless: champion of France with Tours (2003); 10 times champion of Russia with Dinamo Moscow and Zenit Kazan (2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18); 7 times holder of the Russian Cup (2006, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) and another 6 times holder of the Russian Supercup (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017); 5 times winner in the CEV Champions League (2011/12, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18); winner at the Club World Championship 2017.  

In three periods he was also coaching the national team and his greatest achievement was the Olympic Gold in London 2012 where in an inexplicable match Russia made a famous comeback against Brazil trailing two sets to zero and 22:19. The awkward decision to start the third set with Dmitry Muserskiy as an opposite and Maxim Mikhaylov as an outside hitter was an absolute guarantee that Alekno will leave the court either as a fool or as a genius. The latter. He became a pure national hero.

Alekno is popular with his hard (maybe even harsh?) methods towards the players, but these measures guarantee the discipline every sports team needs. During an entrepreneur conference in 2016 he explained this phenomenon: “I’m a coach. When I’m speaking normally, no one understands me.” It’s as simple as that. The motto of Alekno? “Without strict rules you won’t be able to achieve anything – it doesn’t matter if it’s about sports, business or just life”.

But how does Vladimir Alekno choose his players? How is he able to motivate them even in the toughest situations? Watch in the video below and for more videos – subscribe to “Volleyball Explained” YouTube Channel.