Photo by Aaron Babcock
Nebraska Volleyball

The Lo-Down: What a Typical Day Looks Like for Nebraska's John Cook

September 18, 2018
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I think something all Nebraska volleyball fans have wondered at one point in time is what does a typical day look like for one of the greatest volleyball coaches in the country? What keeps Coach John Cook grinding day in and day out to stay on top, winning championships, signing the best recruits and still making time to walk his pair of Irish Wolfhounds at night? Well, after living with him for 18-plus years, I definitely have answers for you. Some might surprise you and some you might have expected, but either way, his daily routines help explain why he remains so successful.

6:30 am – He somehow wakes up every day at this time, without an alarm clock. 

7:00 am – He is fond of reading the paper and eating his usual breakfast: granola, almond milk, blueberries, a banana and fresh squeezed orange juice. And he always takes his vitamins!

8:00 am – Arrive at the office.

Aaron Babcock
Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook at his desk prior to a match against Indiana in 2016.

8:30 am – Coach Cook has settled in and begins planning practice for the day, while listening to Pearl Jam or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He will also start watching video on the current week’s opponent.

11:00 am – He sometimes has a press conference, or he sometimes has other media obligations like a TV interview. When he doesn’t have to deal with the media though, he will go to a yoga class or the chiropractor.

12:00 pm – You’ll find Coach Cook in the weight room working out. He never misses a workout!

1:00 pm – He heads over to the training table to eat lunch. He usually opts for a spinach salad and spaghetti.

2:00 pm – Coach Cook starts his meeting with his coaching staff to go over the goals for practice that day.

2:30 pm – Training session with the setters.

3:00 pm – Practice starts for the whole team.

6:00 pm - Practice ends and Coach Cook is usually meeting with the media again, whether it is an interview for a local news station or talking with local reporters.

6:30 pm - He meets with his staff again to review practice.

7:00 pm – If he doesn’t have to do a radio show or speak at an event, Coach Cook is headed home.

7:30 pm – He is usually enjoying one of Wendy’s homemade meals. She cooks every night that he can make it home in time for dinner –– the best coach’s wife around.

Courtesy of Lauren West
Coach John Cook with the Wolfhounds.

8:00 pm – He will take his two Irish Wolfhounds, Callie and Keaohdan, for a walk.

9:00 pm – He sits in his home office and watches video, either from practice that day or on the opponent Nebraska plays that week. He may also have some calls from recruits that he has to answer.

11:30 pm – Coach Cook finally shuts it down for the night and gets ready to do it all over again the next day!

I recently asked him, “how do you stay motivated to continue to put in all of the time and energy to keep Nebraska volleyball at an elite level?”

“I love being a part of something great,” he said. “I love teaching and building, and I really love being around the people I work with every day and our players.

“Not sure there is anything better than getting together with a group of people and setting goals and working hard to accomplish those goals. It’s fun to dream bigger and try to do things that have never been done before at Nebraska.”


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