The teachings of a winning coach like few others

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He’s conquered every trophy there is in his sport, and he’s a huge fan of Rickson and the Gracie family, to boot.

Bernardo Rezende, 51, coaching for the last 20 years, holds more than 30 major volleyball titles and earns up to 35,000 reais per lecture, where the theme is almost always the same: strategies and tactics for becoming a superchampion.

In a recent interview with reporter Milly Lacombe in “Gol” magazine, the Brazilian national volleyball team coach taught what he did to make a living through his passion, volleyball, and laid out some important topics for finding success in training and competition. GRACIEMAG.com compiled the highlights. Read, reflect, and dedicate yourself.

Bernardo, in CBV publicity photo

Mistakes:

“Making mistakes is key. But when you make that big mistake all you think is, ‘Shoot, this is really bad.’ You can’t see the bright side of it, and it tortures you so much until you go off in pursuit of another route. When you make a mistake, you question yourself, and the questioning breeds change, change breeds growth, and growth breeds satisfaction. The only ones who don’t make mistakes are the ones who don’t try. There’s a ton of people out there who don’t make mistakes because they don’t do. All they do is talk about what the other people do. At first, when we make a mistake, we end up in a miserable funk, overwhelmed with frustration. Only afterward do we manage to get out of it.

Getting over the hump:

To get out of it you have to assume responsibility. In Brazil, culturally, people aren’t big on assuming responsibility. “It was the government that didn’t do it,” “The opponent was better.” It’s always someone else’s fault. If you don’t assume responsibility, you’ll never understand why you messed up or how to fix it.

Comfort zone:

Discomfort is a perpetual part of life. If I feel comfortable, that in itself is a discomfort to me. But it’s discomfort that makes me forge ahead. I can’t sit back and relax. I try keeping the players on a tight leash. Anyone who can’t handle pressure can’t be on the team. I’m almost never in an absolute comfort zone. When things are going too well I get worried; something’s wrong. I’m not that good, it can’t be that easy. Feeling relaxed is unwelcome.

Fame:

Public recognition and the fans’ affection instill two feelings in me. The first is almost pride. I see it and I think, ‘Cool, we did something great.’ But then I get home and think, ‘I can’t allow myself to disappoint these people.’

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