As far as I can remember, if one of the baseball leagues in the States had a bad season, they just had a bad season. Period. And it’s not that managers don’t move around from one team to another, they do. But constantly? Hardly. Lou Piniella was manager of the New York Yankees for three years, win or lose, and of the Seattle Mariners for 10 years before that, win or lose. Mike Scioscia managed the Los Angeles Angels for 14 years, win or lose. And that’s just to name two major league managers. How many coaches have I seen lead the Brazilian Seleção in 12 years? I’ve seen four coaches (Felipão, Carlos Alberto Parreira, Dunga and Mano Menezes) be moved around six times, as if they were peas in a shell game.
Look, as the entire world now knows, Brazil has a serious problem with its Seleção, one that goes far, far deeper than the coaching level. Even if they kept the same coach for more than two or three years they probably still wouldn’t have a coherent, winning team. But there may be a lesson to be learned from Brazil’s two screamingly successful volleyball teams. The male volleyball team has been led for the past 13 years by Bernardo Rocha de Rezende, or Bernardhino, and they have 26 international wins to their credit. The female volleyball team has been led for 11 years by José Roberto Lages Guimarães, or Zé Roberto, with 24 international wins. Given the number of years each team has played together under each coach, you can imagine the bonds they have forged, the closeness, the respect they all have for each other, win or lose. Would that the soccer powers-that-be could pay a little more attention to one of the criteria that makes a winning team.
|Bernardhino, boy's coach|
|Zé Roberto, girl's coach|