Inside the Coaching Mind with Terry Pettit

Terry Pettit Coaching

Conversations on Coaching, Team Building, and Leadership

All Episodes

Dani Busboom Kelly won a national Championship as a libero for the University of Nebraska in 2006. She won a national championship as an assistant coach at Nebraska in 2015. Now she is in position to compete for a national championship as the head coach for the number 1 ranked University of Louisville women’s volleyball team. She talks with Terry about her team and her journey as a coach. We're also pleased to announce a content-sharing agreement with Lee Feinswog and Ed Chan at Volleyball Magazine, the best source of volleyball news on the planet.

Nov 12

36 min 28 sec

Terry Pettit and Jordan Larson Jordan Larson started every match in the last three Olympics. During her professional career, she has won awards in international competitions as the best server, the best passer, the best defensive player, the best blocker, and the best attacker. She was the MVP in the Tokyo Olympics. She talks with Terry Pettit about her journey from Hooper, Nebraska to playing in three final fours at the University of Nebraska and becoming what Karch Kiraly has called the best female volleyball player in the history of the United States.  Video Version:

Sep 10

1 hr 8 min

Karch Kiraly had already won three individual Olympic Gold Medals as a competitor when he became the head coach of the USA Women's National Volleyball Team in 2012. In August, Kiraly led his team to the Gold Medal in Tokyo Olympics. Kiraly talks about his leadership group and the culture that was created that allowed the team to flourish despite several unforeseen challenges during the Olympics. Video Version  

Aug 25

1 hr 9 min

Bruce Rasmussen has been the Director of Athletics at Creighton University for close to twenty-eight years. He has hired exceptional coaches and led fundraising efforts that allowed Creighton to have some of the best basketball, volleyball, baseball, and soccer facilities in the country. But it is Bruce's servant leadership that puts the well-being of the student-athlete ahead of athletic performance that has defined his tenure at Creighton. In the interview, we make reference to the song, "Don't Let The Old Man In."  Scroll down for the video of the song. I also recited one of my is the text of it... Today We Are Losing A Teacher (from Trust and the River) by Terry Pettit Today we are losing a teacher. Today we are losing someone who taught us the difference between the light in a Renoir and the light in a Monet. Today we are losing some who taught us about the “shock of recognition” Nathaniel Hawthorne felt when he first met Herman Melville. Today we are losing someone who said there is a difference In whether you spell gray with an e or a. Today we are losing the person who taught us about the golden rectangle And why we are pleased when we see a nautilus shell or lines in just the right proportion. Today we are losing the person who introduced us to e.e. cummings and these lines from Robert Frost that begin: “One ought not to care, as much as you and I, when the birds fly round the house and seem to say goodbye.” But of course, we do care, that was his point. Today we are losing a coach. Today we are losing someone who taught us a fireman’s carry, a jab step, A summersault at the end of the pool. Today we are losing a sponsor for the letter-club, the Latin club, The student council and the band. At the University, the graduates wait with diplomas, eager to become Engineers, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and MBAs. Life awaits them with guaranteed contracts, stock options, and cars with exotic names. But who is going to teach us about why the boy in Faulkner’s short story Refuses to shoot the bear? Who is going to introduce us to language that goes crazy? Who is going to show us the innate beauty in mathematics? Who is going to tell us about Crazy Horse and Willa Cather? Who when we’ve done our best and things don’t go our way . . . Who when we’ve studied hard and don’t pass the test . . . Who when we get open in the big game, and take the last shot . . . And miss . . . Who is going to put their arm around us and tells us That everything will be OK? Today we are losing a teacher. ----- Here is the video version of the interview.

Aug 14

1 hr

Lexi Sun is a returning 5th year senior on the University of Nebraska women's volleyball team. The All American outside hitter talks about her journey to self-awareness, confidence, and the value of her work with Brett Haskel, a sports psychologist at the University of Nebraska, and the development of a new brand, "The Sunny Crew." Links for this episode: Lexi Sun on Instagram Sunny Crew Apparel Watch the interview on YouTube:  

Jul 11

58 min 17 sec

2020 AVCA National Coach of the Year Craig Skinner talks about Kentucky's preparation to win the NCAA Division I Women's volleyball championship. Craig gives insight into his game plan and why he had confidence in his team going into the championship match with the University of Texas. Note: The audio version of this podcast will show up in your feed. If you prefer video, here is the exact same interview as uploaded to YouTube.  

May 10

53 min 48 sec

Salima Rockwell talks about her playing career as an All American setter with Penn State and the U.S. National Team. She also discusses her career in coaching with Texas and Penn State and becoming one of the best volleyball color analysts.

Mar 22

1 hr 7 min

Kelly Sheffield, is the Head Women's Volleyball Coach of the Wisconsin Badgers, the team that is currently ranked number 1 in the AVCA Division 1 volleyball poll. The Badgers have started the season 10-0 but have had challenges with Covid-19 both with their own team and with their opponents. Coach Sheffield talks with Terry about the Big Ten, and the Badger prospects for the National Championship in April.

Mar 11

30 min 57 sec

Terry Pettit interviewing Tom Hilbert Tom Hilbert is the highly successful women’s volleyball coach at Colorado State University. During Coach Hilbert’s tenure, the Rams have qualified for twenty-three consecutive NCAA National championships. In his conversation with Terry, he talks about the unique challenges of coaching his least experienced team during a pandemic. When purpose and goals collide, Coach Hilbert is choosing to focus on purpose.

Feb 12

53 min 53 sec

Clockwise...Terry Pettit, Lori Endicott, Christy Johnson and Kelly Hunter. Lori Endicott, Christy Johnson, and Kelly Hunter are extraordinary women who played the setter position for Nebraska Volleyball. Christy and Kelly led the Huskers to National Championships and Lori was named "The Best Setter in the World" in the Barcelona Olympics. In today's podcast Terry talks with the three of them about leadership in the setter position, and what to look for when recruiting someone to be your next setter.

Jan 20

1 hr 6 min

Support our podcast with your donation. George Lundeen, a world-class figurative sculptor from Holdrege, Nebraska works with a team of ten other sculptors to create the largest sculpture project in decades: Stations of the Cross at Cloisters on the Platte. George talks with Terry about becoming an artist and developing a team for a once in a lifetime project. Here are photos and videos of some of the sculptures mentioned in the episode. Lori Endicott in front of the volleyball sculpture on the University of Nebraska campus. Astronaut Mike Massimino in front of the Swigert sculpture at Denver International Airport. Thomas Jefferson George Lundeen's Robert Frost sculpture mentioned in this podcast episode.

Jan 5

51 min 4 sec

John Cook and Terry Pettit Talk About Coaching During a Pandemic in the first episode of our new season. In Season II, episode 1, Nebraska Head Volleyball Coach John Cook talks with Terry Pettit about coaching during COVID in the coming season.

Dec 2020

48 min 45 sec

Ronnie D. Green became the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska on May 16, 2016. In the six years prior to that he served as the Harlan Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In today’s podcast he describes his leadership philosophy as servant leadership that evolved before “it was cool to do so.” We talk about Black Lives Matter, the challenges of students returning to campus during Coronavirus and the role of Nebraska football to the state of Nebraska’s identity.  

Jul 2020

1 hr 5 min

David Cook is a speaker, consultant, coach, author, and film-maker in the field of Sport and Performance Psychology. In 1995 David and Terry Pettit met at the Nebraska High School Coaches Clinic and that conversation would impact the future of Nebraska Volleyball. One way you can continue to support "Inside the Coaching Mind" is to visit and consider purchasing one of his three books, "Talent and the Secret Life of Teams,"   "A Fresh Season" and "Trust and the River." Terry also presents on leadership and teambuilding to athletic departments, private businesses  and some of the most progressive organizations in the country. You can find out more about this at

Feb 2020

43 min 30 sec

UNL Coach John Cook congratulates Ogallala's Steve Morgan on his successful career. Photo from Lincoln Star-Journal. Steve Morgan coached at Ogallala High School for 45 years. During his tenure the Indians won 984 matches, three state championships and were runners-up four times. Morgan talks about becoming a high school coach after serving two years in the military where he was introduced to the game. He coached both of his daughters and his youngest, Lyndsay was his assistant for seven years. No high school volleyball coach has impacted the culture of great volleyball in rural Nebraska as much as Steve Morgan.

Dec 2019

44 min 40 sec

In part two of being interviewed by John Baylor, Terry Pettit talks about training leadership, and how extraordinary leadership led to Nebraska's first national championship.  He also talks about how volleyball has changed, and what we might look for in the future of the game.

Nov 2019

37 min 16 sec

Terry Pettit talks about what he looks for in hiring a head coach, his vision for Nebraska volleyball, what the differences are between leadership on an athletic team and leadership in private business, and why he left coaching when he was only fifty-three years old. Terry is interviewed by John Baylor, the voice of Nebraska volleyball.

Nov 2019

39 min 56 sec

Photo Credit: Rene Saunders, the 2016 Volleyball Magazine High School Coach of the Year, talks about her progression from playing two sports in college, to winning four state championships at Omaha Skutt High School.

Oct 2019

38 min 46 sec

John Baylor, play by play announcer for The University of Nebraska Women’s Volleyball for 26 years. Seated next to him is color commentator and Former Husker Lauren Cook West. John Baylor, who has been the play by play broadcaster for Nebraska Volleyball for twenty-six years has seen more Nebraska volleyball matches live than any other person. He has also evolved into one of the best sportscasters in the country. He talks with host Terry Pettit about that evolution.

Oct 2019

42 min

Janet Kruse Sellon and Barbie Young Gutshall, summer of 2019 in Grand Island, Nebraska. Barbie Young Gutshall and Janet Kruse Sellon grew up in small towns in Nebraska in the 1980s. Both went on to play volleyball at the University of Nebraska and played on teams that advanced to National Championship matches.  They also graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical School, but their paths to becoming physicians and mentoring women have been different. Today they talk about how athletic completion prepared them for the challenges they face on a daily basis. 1989 Big Eight Champion Huskers - (Back row from left): Assistant Coach Terri Killion, Assistant Coach John Cook, Carla Baker, Janet Kruse, Cris Hall, Sara Hesch, Stephanie Thater, Linda Barsness,Student Trainer Jill Douglas, Head Coach Terry Pettit, Assistant Coach Cathy Noth. (Front row from left): Manager Kari Possehl, Trainer Therese Volmer, Becky Bolli, Valerie Vermeulen, Virginia Stahr, Val Novak, Eileen Shannon, Debbie Brand, Katherine Pettit. 1986 Big Eight Champion Huskers - (Back row from left): Assistant Coach Jay Potter, Assistant Coach Jeff Nelson, Virginia Stahr, Enid Schonewise, Linda Barsness, Michelle Davis, Carla Baker, Karen Dahlgren, Kathi DeBoer, Head Coach Terry Pettit. (Front row from left): Manager Tina Siefkes, Barbara Young, Lori Endicott, DeLisa DeBolt, Jackie Cook, Angie Millikin, Susan Hansen, Tisha Delaney, Katherine Pettit.

Sep 2019

36 min 42 sec

John Cook, Head women’s volleyball Coach at the University of Nebraska, continues a conversation with host Terry Pettit. The focus this time is how John made the decision to change his coaching behavior when he faced coaching burnout in 2009. John also talks about how he worked to create “ultimate trust” with a setter that led Nebraska to two National Championships. I hope you'll click one of the subscribe buttons so you won't miss an episode! Inside The Coaching Mind is sponsored by Talent Plus and produced by Shortcut Content.

Sep 2019

28 min 43 sec

Sharon Zavala and Bill Root have coached high school volleyball for a combined 85 years and thirteen state championships in the state of Nebraska. In a conversation with Terry Pettit they discuss the challenges of coaching high school athletes, and how that has changed since they began.

Aug 2019

38 min 14 sec

Three-time national coach of the year, Kirsten Bernthal Booth, head women’s volleyball coach at Creighton University, talks about building a program, developing leadership, and being a more efficient coach. Kirsten inherited a program that had not had a great deal of success, and has built into a consistent champion. Creighton has won five consecutive Big East championships and tied for 5th in the 2016 NCAA Division 1 volleyball championship. I hope you’ll click one of the subscribe buttons so you won’t miss an episode! Inside The Coaching Mind is sponsored by Talent Plus and produced by Shortcut Content

Aug 2019

30 min 6 sec

John Cook, head women’s volleyball coach, at the University of Nebraska shares what motivated him to set a goal of working towards a program that would pay for itself. John talks about how his vision of what being a coach is, and how that has evolved during his career as a high school coach through his success of winning four national championships at Nebraska. John also talks about the most important thing that an athletic director can provide, emotional support. Buckle up! I hope you'll click one of the subscribe buttons so you won't miss an episode! Inside The Coaching Mind is sponsored by Talent Plus and produced by Shortcut Content.

Aug 2019

29 min 59 sec

“Saying Inside the Coaching Mind is about volleyball in the state of Nebraska, is like saying the Wizard of Oz is about a tornado and a balloon flight. How does a state with three times as many cows as people, become so enthusiastic and successful, in the sport of women’s volleyball? Join our conversation you will become a better coach, communicator, and team-builder. “ – Terry Pettit In this "Welcome Episode," you'll get a feel for of the intimate of conversations with extraordinary coaches that will be episodes in our podcast series. The samples in this introduction are taken from conversations with Head Nebraska women's volleyball coach, John Cook, Grand Island Central Catholic Head girl's volleyball Coach, Sharon Zavala, and Creighton Head women's volleyball coach, Kirsten Bernthal-Booth. I hope you'll click one of the subscribe buttons so you won't miss an episode! Inside The Coaching Mind is sponsored by Talent Plus and produced by Shortcut Content.

Jul 2019

6 min 30 sec