On October 22, 2012, Jim Coleman would be turning 80 years old. His passing a over a decade ago, in August of 2001, meant heaven picked up one of the best volleyball minds in the world to ever walk into a gym. At our USA Volleyball offices, all our historical material is in a large library area known as the Jim Coleman Memorial Library. Recently, Natalie Cook and two other Beach Volleyball Olympians toured our USAV offices. One of the things they were stunned by was the vast history of our sport organized around the office, especially in the Coleman library. When we move into our new offices next month, the Coleman library will quadruple in size, and get materials from Doug Beal’s, Margie Mara and my own personal library. If you are ever in Colorado, our office is your office, so make sure to swing by, we are located next to the I25 freeway that runs from El Paso TX to Laramie WY, less than an hour south of Denver, off the Garden of the Gods Exit. 4065 Sinton Road. GPS it if you need to, but you can see the big USA Volleyball sign from the freeway easy….
Jim rode for the USAV Brand, as Bill Neville says about those leaders who give to the sport’s national governing body. My son during his internship here at USAV, spent time in the JCM Library, and I assigned him to study Jim’s work on the Immediate Feedback Video System as one of his project. Later in this blog, you can see the system, using Jim’s ideas, which we retested this past summer doing camps in places like San Francisco, Lander Wyoming and even Canada. It works simply, and is VERY affordable. Before getting to that section however, I would ask you to take a moment to learn more about Jim, and let others know of the impact he had on our sport.
Ever look at a volleyball antenna and wonder when those became part of the game? It really was not that long ago, after the Olympics in the sixties, and the creator of them was Jim Coleman – and some fishing poles.
Thirty years ago Jim and I both owned “portable” Kaypro computers – based on the CP/M operating system, 30lb luggable metal machines with 5.25 inch green monochrome screens. Mine had a 10 meg hard drive, massive at the time, and cost about 2,000, and Jim had almost as expensive dual 5 ¼ inch floppy drive system. It was back then in the 70s and 80s we would share stat ideas Jim really was first at implementing statistical systems which are still used to this day. He also was the one who got the FIVB to add colored panels to the volleyball, and mentored thousands of coaches around both the USA and the world. US National Team coaches Bert DeGroot, Doug Beal, Carl McGown, Marv Dunphy, Fred Sturm, Bill Neville and many more were mentored by him. Virtually every collegiate men’s coach in the 1970s to 1990s, including the greats like Al Scates, Don Shondell, Arnie Ball, Ken Preston, Pete Hansen, and so many more were also guided and enriched by sharing time with Jim.
As a coach, Coleman was our second national team men’s coach we ever had, and led our 1968 Olympic team to an amazing upset over the Soviet Union. Many might not know that en route to that match, a lighting storm had struck two locals standing under a tree by the road. The team happened along just after the bolt, and Jim got out to help save their lives, then they continued on to the gym….classic Jim Coleman… He coached the USA men until 1970 and again in 1980 and yet again in 1990.
He also led George Williams to an NAIA National title in 1974. He was an FIVB Instructor, and a USAV CAP Cadre member for decades. He even spent a year coaching a women’s team in 1987, the MVL (Major League Volleyball) Minnesota Monarchs. He was a member of the FIVB (International Volleyball Rules Commission) for 24 years and was an editor of the FIVB Rules Casebook. So many of our best rule modifications which helped grow the game were tested and enhanced by Jim. In our NORCECA zone, Jim helped nearly every nation’s elite coaches become better, in person, by lengthy letters and phone call conversations, and over team dinners and commission meetings.
As the library entrance poster above notes, Jim was part of 7 Olympic Games, 8 Pan Am Games, 5 World Cups, 6 World Championships and 11 NORCECA Championships. He was rightfully inducted to the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1992. He is missed, but his impact is felt still in America and around the world, each and every match played.
If Jim were alive today, you would see him in the gym, busy wondering how to improve DataVolley, tweaking things using Dartfish, recording players an Ipad2 and the Coaches Eye, or taking things recorded on his TIVO and/or laptop and running it through Kinovea. So in his honor, and because it is both affordable and functional, using his own words below, you can record players in skill performance, and delay it from 10-30 seconds (or longer, you set the delay time) so they can perform the skill, then swing by the TV and see themselves before returning to the skillset. It also allows you to record the scrimmage and at any time, stop and take the team to see the moment/situation on the screen before returning to play. At the USOC, dozens of cameras and large 60in flat screen TVs are permanently mounted in every training area – from gyms, to the training rooms for judo, boxing, wrestling and more… These can be set to record the court action in real or delayed time, and the overall wonderful system cost over a million dollars. From what Jim created, and we have updated below, your gym system will only cost about $200, and you can move it from court to court, and even from site to site. As you know, from the IMPACT chapter five on motor learning, immediate feedback is best….
IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK VIDEO SYSTEM (IFV)
July 2001 Jim Coleman
1) Learn to use your remote control. Read the manual on this. There are two areas of the remote with which you will become familiar.
a) The top group of buttons which begin with the “Tivo” button and finish with the “select” button. These were used in programming your Tivo unit and will be used to select screens to view.
b) The lower middle buttons beginning with “play” and finishing with two buttons under the “slow” button. These are used to control the Tivo unit in the gym. You need to read your manual on these buttons and become skillful in their use. The most important will be the “pause” button (the one which looks like an equal sign turned vertically).
2) Basically, you will connect the camera, Tivo and TV set as given below. Begin recording on the camera, then push the “pause”. Then push the “pause” again after the number of seconds that you wish the delay. For instance in a spiking line, you may have a 10 second delay. In this ten seconds, the spiker will walk over to the TV set to see himself/herself. This will take place while the other spikers are being filmed. For a group of blocks the delay may be on minute, for a defensive drill the delay ma be two minutes. It is your skill which determines the correct delay.
3) Whenever you have an athlete watching himself/herself, always have a specific goal for that viewing. If you tell the athlete, “Go watch yourself spike”, the athlete will tire in about three viewings. If you tell the athlete, “Make certain that your last step with your left foot is just slightly forward of your right foot”, the athlete will observe this and stay focused on the task for a longer period of time.
CONNECTING YOUR CAMERA, TIVO AND TV
1) Your Tivo unit has been programmed to work in the following manner.
2) Connect the output from your NTSC Video Camera to the Input of your Tivo. Make certain that the colored coded wires match.
(Normally there are only two output jacks from your camera and three input ports in the Tivo. Don’t worry, just use the two. Actually you may not wish to connect the sound cable and may use only one cable.)
The Tivo manual will call these colored cable/jacks “Composite” cables or jacks. Normally we call them RCA cables or jacks. They are just the normal colored cables that we us all of the time.
(Note: Cameras made for use in other parts of the world may be PAL or SECAM format rather than NTSC format. Tivo is programmed only for NTSC.)
3) Your have the opportunity to connect the camera to Tivo with an “S-Video” cable or an “coaxial cable with RF converter”. Don’t use these unless you reprogram the Tivo unit. They will not work.
S-Video gives you a slightly better picture. Cables are normally short and expensive.
Coaxial cables can be much longer than the other cables, but give a slightly poorer picture. They also require that you purchase an inexpensive RF Converter (Radio Shack) and have electricity for the RF Converter.
4) Connect the Tivo unit to your Video Monitor (TV set). This cable makes little difference. Again, normally the RCA cable/jacks are used.
5) Plug in and turn on all units. TV on Channel 3 normally. Normally a Tivo commercial will come on and take a few seconds to boot up. Make certain that the camera has a picture showing.
The screen which comes up will the “Tivo Central”.
Arrow down to “Watch Live TV” and arrow right.
Your unit should now be working.
There is normally about a one second delay between time that the camera records an action and the time that it is seen on TV. You adjust this pause longer for your purposes.
Experiment on how to use the “pause”, “9 Second replay”, “slow” “return to real time”, “forward” and “back”.
6) With practice and experimentation, you will learn the use of the Tivo, which I have not yet learned. This is truly a versatile tool for coaches and educators. It takes practice to learn to use IFV efficiently.
I play match tapes into the Tivo system from a camera or VCR and use Tivo to view matches. It is very good this way.
Over ten years ago those were his words….a man well ahead of his time….Meanwhile, here is a system USAV Region Services, with Cody’s work, created and used in summer of 2011, using the TIVO series one or two box (do not get a TIVO 3 and 4 do not have the RCA input jacks you need for the video camera to work), and a battery system – it is less expensive to forgo the battery and simply plug the cart system into a long extension cord, as long as you have a plug! Also note in advance, the default on TIVO is cable, and you will need to use the remote to move the input to camera/RCA input. We were able to get new/hardly used TIVO recorders for under $50. Note also that these need not be a TIVO brand digital recorder – so you might find good prices on other systems that have been developed in the last 10 years – by Sony and others. We just wanted to make ours using the TIVO brand, to honor Jim’s work….
PostScript… In that same spirit of Jim’s fishing pole antennas, from the MiniVolley book, is this way of creating antennas from Bike Safety flags/used bike inner tubes. I created these many years ago when on a US State Department training in El Salvador, their national women’s team coach asked for a set of antennas, as there was only 1 set of antenna in the country, and the men’s team owned it. So with the 70 bucks I was given, I repaired a set of real antennas that was discarded in the vball storage closet at the University of New Mexico where I was coaching, and then bought 20 sets of bike safety flags. A request to the local bike shop to save inner tubes they were replacing got the attachment method at no cost, and some duct tape kept them on… Coleman approved of the idea wholeheartedly…
The following comments were made on our previous web platform and have been transferred here to maintain the historical record.
On February 27, 2012 Cheryle Gagnon wrote
USA Volleyball is an inspiration for athletes and non-athletic people who enjoy watching the sport. I am organizing a Special Event on Block Island, RI and would like to honor the USA Volleyball players. A shirt signed by some of the players would be an exciting silent auction item for a very worthy cause. Public Awareness. If you would be so kind to mail one, it will be greatly appreciated. Cheryle Gagnon Event Organizer Block Island Events For A Cause P.O. Box 1111 Block Island, RI 02807 Thank you, Cheryle
On February 27, 2012 Chuck Stemm wrote
WOW! I can remember working various NORCECA and World League tours with Jim. They were for our and men and women's USAV National and Olympic team qualifying events and different tours all over the country. Being as Jim would say "his second in command" meant you bettr get it right the first time, there were no do overs! Working with Jim meant you had to keep up with him sometimes 24 hours a day until Jim said everything was just right for the event. I can remember one time that he, I and one other person had to go and dismantle a whole Olympic size volleyball court. We loaded it, the poles and nets and took it to a gym where a Men's International 4 team money tour was to be held. We then had to put it all back down, tape the floor and get all his gadgets ready for matches. My wife and I also worked for Jim in Florida at the 2000 NORCEA Championships where USA Women's National team qualified for the Olympics. Some of his inventions and inovations would blow your mind. He would take the time (which for me was a lot of time) to explain what a particular item was, its purpose and function. Such as his own invention of an electronic light system with differetn colored bulbs. It went on the net pole near the 2nd ref to show the #1 ref substituions, timeouts, etc. It had more electric wires than you could imagine and each one had to be connected exactly right. Such memories can not be wiped away by time. We lost one of the truly great volleyball minds not to mention a mentor, friend and great volleyball mind! Jim we miss you
On February 27, 2012 Charlie Jackson wrote
Jim Coleman is the only person I know who might have done more for the sport of volleyball than Kessel. I miss him a lot, especially playing at Ocean Beach with the gang there. I always marveled at how he could play for hours when he was in his 60s. I'm just glad he touched my life. I can brag to the young players that I knew the guy who invented the antenna and the statistic for Kills.
On February 28, 2012 ajb wrote
Great historical info. Great vb person. Any way to input the names of the 1968 team?...that foto is super...but the names are so faint, they can't be read...
On March 02, 2012 Gene Dowers wrote
Dr. Jim took the reins of the Washington State University volleyball program in the fall of 1982, just as I was getting excited about learning to play the game. He taught virtually every section of PE recreational volleyball and the "Coaching Volleyball" classes for PE majors. I took every class I could from him and was thrilled to have him introduce me as a "volleyball fanatic". HIs teaching was compelling and his skill set, in his 50s, was inspiring. I recall him playing his WSU team 6-on-1 and winning every time. He brought the Men's National Team to Pullman early in the summer of 1984 for some focused, isolated preparation for the Olympic Games. It didn't hurt that the Coliseum at WSU is practically a twin to the Olympic venue in Long Beach. We fanatics spent a month shagging balls for the soon-to-be Gold Medalists and learning at Jim's elbow. When Jim moved on, I taught all the classes that he had and prayed that I could pass on even half of what he taught. As I grew in the game, I came to appreciate him more and more and have regularly fallen back on the concepts I learned from him in my 17 years of high school coaching and 8 years as a club director and coach. I'm so glad that we crossed paths in the wheat fields of Eastern Washington 30 years ago.
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