Volleyball Systems and Strategies is a book put together by USA Volleyball. It’s based on the work done in its Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP) – the US version of Volleyball England’s coaching certification sequence. It is a very comprehensive look at the next level of volleyball above that of individual skill. That’s how a team plays as a unit. To that end I think it has the potential to be very useful for new and developing coaches. It’s also useful for anyone thinking about how they can maximize the performance of their team given the types of players they have.
There are six primary sections to the book.
- Serve, Transition, and Serve Receive looks at the types of serves (float, jump topspin, etc.) and team serve receive patterns.
- Defensive Systems describes ways a team can set up in terms of both floor defense positioning and blocking.
- Defensive Strategies looks at different ways the systems above may be employed based on the strengths and weaknesses of your team and/or your opponent.
- Offensive Systems focuses on different offense configurations, such as the 5-1 or 6-2.
- Offensive Strategies discusses ways to employ an offensive system to put your team’s attackers at the advantage.
- Systems, Strategies, and the Team concentrates on developing good training plans and handling the team before, during, and after matches.
Each section of the book comprises chapters focused on one aspect of the bigger subject. These chapters generally feature five elements.
- An initial description of the system or strategy
- Personnel requirements
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Options for implementation
- Coaching points
The final chapter of each section (except the last) lists drills to work on the system or strategy covered. There are as many as 20 drills listed. That’s plenty to work with.
There’s a companion DVD with the book. It covers the primary topics listed above, excepting #6. It also shows some of the drills included. Call it about an hour in length.
There’s a lot of material in Volleyball Systems and Strategies. I think it’s pretty safe to say that if the reader can grasp it all they will be well on their way to being able to find the right systems and strategies for any team they coach, regardless of competitive level.
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