Archive for Volleyball Coaching News & Info

BUCS 2014 Volleyball Final 8s to be in Edinburgh

BUCS announced on Thursday that the 2014 edition of the volleyball Final 8s will be held at the University of Edinburgh. I’m not familiar with the gym and can’t find a photo of it online, but the press release says it’s been “…used several times for BUCS Home Nations events and again, an Olympic training venue.” That at least makes it sound better than the gym at Leeds Met where the 2013 Finals 8s were held. That place was widely reviled by the participants for having insufficient service area or overhead space, lacking in air circulation, having a dance studio as a warm-up area, and generally being a tight squeeze for the 16 teams playing on the two available courts.

That said, Edinburgh is by no means centrally located. That likely will mean added travel costs for everyone involved. Last year, for example, the Western league sent 4 teams to Finals 8s – Bournemouth men & women, Bristol women, Exeter men. Leeds was already a lengthy trip from down in the South West. Edinburgh would require just about all day travel via ground transport.

It will be interesting to see the scheduling on this. At Leeds the last time around they did alternating men’s and women’s waves of play on the two available courts. Literally, the Pool A men would play two matches, then the net would be lowered and the Pool A women would play two matches. Each team plays 4 matches – 3 pool + 1 cross-over. If Edinburgh has 4 courts then at least the pool play can be done on Saturday. That would leave just the cross-over matches to be played on Sunday, allowing teams an early departure time.

2013-14 BUCS Men’s and Women’s Western League Teams

The BUCS website has been updated with the the teams for the upcoming season. The Western league is the one in which teams from the South West compete. Here are teams for Division 1.

Men’s Division 1
Bath
Bournemouth 1st
Cardiff
Exeter 1st
Gloucestershire
Southampton


Men’s Division 2A
Bristol
Bournemouth 2nd
Exeter 2nd
UC Falmouth
UWE Winchester


Men’s Division 2B
Aberystwyth
SW Pontypridd & Cardiff 1st
SW Pontypridd & Cardiff 2nd
Swansea
UW Newport

Women’s Division 1
Bath
Bournemouth
Bristol
Cardiff
Exeter 1st
Swansea


Women’s Division 2A
Gloucestershire 1st
Southampton
Marjons
Exeter 2nd
UC Falmouth


Women’s Division 2B
Aberystwyth
Gloucestershire 2nd
SW Pontypridd & Cardiff 1st
SW Pontypridd & Cardiff 2nd
UW Newport

Bournemouth won both the men’s and women’s Division 1 last season. Aberystwyth was relegated out of both men’s and women’s Division 1, with Gloucestershire moving up on the men’s side and Swansea earning promotion on the women’s side.

It’s worth noting that last year there was no Division 2B for either men or women. There were 8 women’s sides last year in Division 2A, so we’ve seen a net addition of 2 teams there – Southampton Solent out; Exeter 2nd, UW Newport, and UC Falmouth in. On the men’s side there were only 6 teams in Division 2A, so it’s a net pick up of four teams – Southampton Solent out; Bournemouth 2nd, Exeter 2nd, UC Falmouth, UW Newport, and UWE Winchester in.

Adding 6 teams in one year strikes me as a pretty good indication of the direction of volleyball in the South West. That’s nearly a 25% jump in the amount of playing opportunities on offer in the region for a group of young people ideally situated to become future coaches. And of course the growth also means more coaching opportunities for those of us already in the field.

By the way, don’t go by the fixture list BUCS has posted on the site. They feel the need to fill that in and basically make stuff up. The recent history of the Western league is to due tournament style competitions as much as possible.

Graphic Help Wanted!

I need a couple of graphic elements designed for the website and related social media, if anyone out there has the skills and creativity.

Website Banner
The banner you currently see on the site is just a stock one which came with the blog theme. Obviously, I’d like something much more appropriate to the coaching volleyball concept. That banner is 940×150 pixels in size.

Twitter Photo and Header
Ideally this would match up with the website banner for the sake of consistent branding. The header has a recommended size of 1252×626 pixels, while the photo is only 73×73.

Facebook Cover and Photo
Same idea as with Twitter – something that will have brand consistency with the website banner. The photo is 160×160. The cover looks to be something like 840×310, keeping in mind that the photo overlaps part of the lower left area.

Business Card/Stationary Logo
It would be nice to be able to hand out business cards or other print materials (or PDF versions) featuring a logo for the site.

If you would like to give one or more of the above a go, let me know. You can leave a comment below or use the contact form.

Welcome to Coaching Volleyball!

The primary motivation of this website is to bring together volleyball coaches from England to their mutual benefit. The hope is that along with providing information these pages – and the associated Facebook group, Twitter account and YouTube channel – can become a virtual meeting place where the country’s volleyball coaches can collaborate and cooperate toward building a stronger base of coaching talent. That should, in turn, contribute to a stronger, richer volleyball community.

One could think of it as a kind of fraternity. The idea behind Coaching Volleyball is that it acts as a platform for the free sharing of information, ideas, opinions, and opportunities. And not just in the virtual world, but in the real world as well.

In an ideal world there would be a top level organization providing a strong platform for those interested or involved in coaching volleyball. We all know, however, that Volleyball England has limited resources, and what it does have to invest in things like academies. There’s also no big volleyball coaches group in England, like the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in the States. The hope here is that this website can at least partly help to fill the gap for local coaches.

To help that along, the expectation is that this site will offer …

  • Programme/Club Administration and Development insights and ideas
  • Practice and Training Plan development recommendations and considerations
  • Drills & Games to use in training and practice sessions
  • Coaching Education resources and suggestions
  • Volleyball Career information and advice
  • Reviews of volleyball coaching related products, services, and other offerings

Look for articles and feature content to start filling in over the next few weeks. I will author a lot of content myself based on my own varied experience coaching volleyball at various levels and operating in numerous administrative capacities (my bio). I’m expecting, though, that others will contribute based on their own experiences. And of course discussion will be encouraged at all times.

Most important than the content, though, is the opportunity for volleyball coaches to come together in a collegial fashion to exchange information and ideas. Part of that will naturally be online through discussions, but it is hoped that there will be some live events as well – either online or off – to further the connectivity and collaboration. I’m hoping for that to include things like:

  • Webinars on topics of interest
  • Social Meetings to develop personal relationships
  • Instructional Sessions to share knowledge and experience
  • Training Cross-Collaboration to help each other out and gain added experience
  • Mentorships to help new coaches develop

To facilitate the fraternal sense mentioned above, and to keep the group small and close-knit (at least for a while) the site will be run on a membership model. In the mean time, while the site is being fleshed out and shaped, it will be open for general access.

Suggestions are more than welcome! Feel free to use the contact form to offer them or to ask any questions you might have.

Best Regards,

John Forman
Head Coach – Exeter University Volleyball Club BUCS teams
Coach – Devon Women’s Volleyball Club (NVL1)