#CEVCoachesConvention: The Speakers: Angiolino Frigoni

Article Fri, Aug 4 2023
Author: Victoria Georgieva

Angiolino Frigoni is the other speaker at the 2023 #CEVCoachesConvention, that will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, from September 22 to 24. Frigoni, a world-renowed Volleyball coach and expert, will delve more into talent identification and design of content for teams practising three times per week, while his practical session will address 14-year-old boys (U15 men). 

Frigoni counts on a remarkable career in the field of Volleyball - his latest big achievement is leading the Italian U21 Men’s National team towards the Worlds title back in 2021. 

In the 90’s, together with the legendary Julio Velaso, Frigoni is behind the successes of the Italian men’s national team - Silver in the 1996 Olympics; Gold at the 1990, 1994 World Champs; 1996 World Cup; two Golds, one Silver and one Bronze from EuroVolley; six times Gold medal winner at the World League.

Frigoni has worked with the women’s national team of Italy as well, bringing them to the Bronze ot EuroVolley 1999 among other achievements. On a club level, the Italian specialist has achievements in Champions League , bronze at the CEV Cup 2017, and more, and more… 

Angiolino will arrive in Sofia for the Convention, ready share his experience with the coaches who are ready to learn a lot from him. 

Even when working with senior teams, Frigoni has always kept an eye on the development of youth teams. Counting on 35+ years of experience in the coaching area, Angiolino shares that his passion for teaching has kept him close to the sport. 

“I have always liked teaching. I was teaching at school, and started coaching by chance. It was in a school in a village where I live. There was a girls’ team that was playing good, but the PE teacher did not know a lot about Volleyball. I was 21-years-old, and playing Volleyball in the team of the village. They asked me to help for the preparation of these girls, because they had potential. It is there where I got passionate about it, although I didn’t know much about coaching. I was teaching them what my coach was teaching me - I was conveying the message. That year, we arrived at the school finals, finished on the 6th-8th place, but the result wasn't important. What was important that they inspired me to coach Volleyball.”

Frigoni continued then his studies, combining them with coaching. Step by step, first as an assistant coach, then as a first coach, he reached the SuperLeague, and received a call by Velasco for the national team. 

The transition from player to coach wasn’t that difficult for Frigoni. 

“I had it easy, because I was doing both things at the same time. When you want to become a coach, you need to know the technics, but there is also the methodology part on how to teach the youngsters.”

The most important thing about being a Volleyball coach, according to Angiolino, is to keep on learning.

“Me, including at this age of 69, I keep on learning. The sports world, the world in general, is changing - the coaching systems change, the systems for physical preparation change, so you need to always remain updated.”

Angiolino Frigoni

Frigoni says he has always been following the youth generations, even when coaching the men’s teams. “The youths’ level of now is much more similar to the Volleyball they see in TV, to the real Volleyball”.

Besides the changed playing systems, there is also the opportunity to watch. “Observing is an important part of learning, and before, we didn’t have that. I use a lot of observing when teaching. However, you need to guide the players what to see/watch/observe.”

How is the process of talent identification looking like through the eyes of Frigoni?

In Italy, we go and search for the players. One of the most difficult things is to understand what a player could give you, not what they are giving to you right now.”

“We have to use systems to measure the potential, and we always work with data. Of course, there are some fundamental things: you need your players to be tall, besides libero and, sometimes, setter. But we also measure the reach of the hands, for example, not just the height. You make the block with your hands, not with the head.”

However, seeing the level of capacity is crucial. 


“You can’t work only with data, I use a lot “l’occhiometro” (from Italian, “eyes” and “meter”). The thing that the coach sees behind the data - is this player adaptive, is the player searching to improve and correct the mistakes, is the player is taking seriously the challenge to change…” 

How can a coach build confidence in their qualities? 

“That comes only with the experience. What is in the hands of the coach, is to keep on studying, asking, exchanging opinions with colleagues. But above all, a coach must be in love with the process of teaching. Independently of what type of players the coach has, the coach always has to believe that these are the best players out there.”

“If you, as a coach, don’t believe in your players, the players understand it. You need to give importance to all your players. You are basically a manager, a pedagogic professional, a psychologist.”

Is training three times per week enough when coaching youngsters?

“I believe that we need to be realistic when we talk about how many times per week we can train. The bigger part of coaches who work with younger players, don’t have more than three times per week. And the bigger part of them don’t have more than two hours to spend in the hall. So, we need to understand what the necessary things are, what the not so important things are and build programs based on priorities. We need to think wise and how you use the time we have.”

What the coaches attending the CEV Coaches Convention in Sofia can expect from the sessions with Frigoni?

“I can only give my experience. What I have done, what I am still doing.”

Angiolino Frigoni