A while back I reviewed the book The Science of Volleyball Practice Development and Drill Design. Here’s a quote from it on the subject of coach involvement in pre-match warm-ups.

“Coaches should also not be actively involved in on the court pre-practice and game procedures and warm-up activity. Coaches do not toss, hit or set during a game, so to be game-like, players should perform these responsibilities. This requirements force players to take an active role in game management, assume leadership and acquire the skills needed to perform effectively. As a result, they must learn to execute the ball handling techniques needed to operate pre-game or practice drills activities (toss, hit, shag, and feed, etc.). If a player cannot hit the ball accurately in drill situations, how can he/she be expected to execute effectively and accurately in a game situation when under intense pressure”

I broadly agree with this. That said, sometimes you want a coach run an exercise for the sake of efficiency. Or to include more players in the focus activity.

I definitely don’t like it when a coach basically just takes the place of a player. Pre-match hitting lines is the classic example. I really don’t like seeing coaches toss for the hitters. This is especially true when it’s because the setter isn’t good enough to set them. There are two big problems with that. First, if the setter isn’t good enough they clearly need the reps. Second, if the setter isn’t good enough to put up hittable balls, how many attacks will the hitters get in the match? Do they really need to warm up something they won’t do? Seems like you could spend time working on other things to better effect.

What do you think?

You may also find these posts interesting: What to do on half a court during warm-ups and Improving pre-match warm-ups.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.