What’s up, I’m Alex, beach volleyball player and coach, and creator of the Learn Beach Volleyball Fast project. When I started playing this sport, I had a feeling that something in the beach volleyball world was lacking, the quality of the coaching and instruction I could find (offline and online) was just not the quality I felt should be possible. This bothered me, because I really wanted to become good at the sport, but I felt somehow… trapped.
So in search for solutions, I ended up starting to think about the game a lot myself, as well as learning about coaching, rapid skill acquisition, sports psychology and other things I thought could help me. Slowly but surely, I started seeing more clearly why I thought there was something lacking in beach volleyball instruction worldwide.
After only 1.5 years as a player, I ran my first coaching experiment. I combined some coaching tricks from a world famous singing coach with whatever beach volleyball knowledge I had acquired at that point. Afterwards, I read the feedback from the guys I had coached. When it included things like “I have learned much more from you than from all the pro’s in our club” and “The difference between you and others is that when you coach, I actually end up fully understanding, and learning what you are teaching”, I knew I was onto something.
Now, a few years later, I have decided to take the knowledge I have acquired and also make it available online, because I know people worldwide are having the same frustrations as I had. My hopes are that this project can help also you to learn beach volleyball faster and with less frustration, and that in the long term we will together actually change the standards of how this sport is learned and taught.. Because so far I want to say it’s not even close to it’s potential.
Now… the million dollar question. Who the hell am I? Can you trust me? Can I even play volleyball? Am I a credible source?
I have now for 3.5 years coached players all the way from beginners to national tour and lower level FIVB players, and constantly get to hear that I have an attention to detail, way to communicate things and big picture view of becoming a good player that the players have not experienced with anyone else. On the Learn Beach Volleyball Fast Youtube-channel, I have gotten to hear I make the best tutorials on Youtube.
Yet, if you search for my name, you are at least not yet going to find me very high in the ranking lists, and people like to trust coaches who have actually reached some sort of success as a player, right?
There are reasons for everything. There are reasons for me not having played so many tournaments yet (they can actually hinder your progress, depending on what you are working on), I started my coaching career and this online project very “early” compared to my playing career, which has made my relative success as a coach compared to as a player, quite different from other players who also coach. Many other people start coaching only after their careers are done, I started coaching almost as soon as possible, to make sure I’d be as prepared as possible to coach myself as a player.
However, to fully understand all of this, I realized one needs to take a deeper dive into my history, why I started playing beach volleyball, what drives me, what have I done very differently from apparently every other beach volleyball player in the world, and a bunch of other things. All too long for an about page like this.
So instead, I decided to record a podcast episode where I talk about all of this. If you want to understand more about what makes a guy dismiss most beach volleyball help out there, reinvent “everything” himself and then later start a project called Learn Beach Volleyball Fast, I’d recommend you have a listen to the episode here (link coming soon, stay updated for the podcast launch!)
In case you’d still be skeptical, feel free! :) I have had no lack of skepticism and lack of belief from other people on this journey, so I’m used to it. The thing is, that slowly but surely those same people that used to be skeptical are starting to ask me to coach them, when reality starts to catch up and they realize the guy with the crazy ideas might after all be up to something. This project is still in it’s beginning stages and I really appreciate all the support I get. Hopefully you will have a good time here, learn a thing or 15, and join me on this journey!
/ Alex Haapamäki