We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Coach John Cook from the Nebraska Huskers. As you know, the Nebraska Huskers just won their 4th national title on Saturday night, and this is their third title with Coach Cook.
In an interview with Omaha News, Cook said about its 4th National Title, “Last night was probably the pinnacle night for the history of college volleyball of this country. It felt like a Super Bowl.”
If anybody would know what the pinnacle night for college volleyball looks like, it would be Cook. This is his 16th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2015. He has led the Huskers to 3 National Championships, 6 Final Fours, 10 conference championships and 14 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Coach Cook currently has 597 career wins and is the 6th-winningest coach in NCAA history. Among several other accomplishments, he is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and five-time Conference Coach of the Year.
Coach Cook shared with us his insights on what it means to be a great coach.
“Coaching is teaching, that’s the best way to summarize it. You are teaching them how to play the fundamentals, how to win, and how to have fun in the process.
Cook went further to differentiate between good coaching and better coaching.
“Coaching and leading are not the same thing. Leading is where you are trying to get a group of people to follow the leader. The leader creates a vision and sees that vision, and leads that group toward that vision. They are the one who has the final picture in their mind. In my opinion the best approach to coaching is when you focus more on teaching. And everybody teaches a different way, so there are several ways you can achieve great results with this approach. Essentially though, great coaching is great teaching.”
As the Huskers have experienced years of success with Coach Cook, it may be tempting to think the only way to become a winner is to win. Cook reminds us though that failures can sometimes be the biggest catapult to success.
“If you look at almost every successful person in history, they’ve experienced failure in their life at one point or another. When you experience that as a player or a coach, you have a choice here: how do you respond to it? You can either give up and quit, or use the experience as inspiration to get back up and try again harder.
“This doesn’t have to be the end by any means. Successful people sometimes fail, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are tons of examples in history from Michael Jordan to Abraham Lincoln that show us failure is a part of life. But it doesn’t mean that you yourself will be a failure.”
Congratulations again to Coach Cook and the Huskers for their fourth National Championship! Thanks so much for your time speaking with us.