This is an entry in my volleyball coaching log.

I’ve been looking to work more on serve receive offense in training of late and I used this session to get some focus on that. The practice plan was fairly simple. After dynamic warm-up I had them go right into a serving warm-up and then do a little target serving. From there I shifted into the Get-2 serving & passing drill with an overall team target for 3-passes of 30. I then went into back court Winners 4s as a game and hitting warm-up of sorts before shifting to a mixed squad 22 vs 22 for about the last 30 minutes of training. This was our shorter session (only 90 minutes), so it went quickly.

The serve receive drill could have gone a bit better. Several of the players struggled with their footwork – oftentimes moving too aggressively, which resulted in having to play the ball too high and close to their body. They also had to go back to zero a couple of times for letting balls drop for insufficient effort. It was on the other side of the net from where I was target, so I didn’t see what was happening. The players didn’t get too frustrated with each other, though, which was a positive.

In the 22 vs 22 game I added a quick set and blocking focus. Normally a team wins a big point by either getting a 1st-ball kill off serve receive or a 1st-ball transition kill. Otherwise a second ball goes into the rally winner. This time I said a quick attack kill or a stuff block would get them a big point. There was a block or two, but no quick set kills. In fact, after a brief flurry in the beginning there were precious few quick set attempts. That will have to continue to be a focus in future game play drills.

I was very pleased by the intensity in the 6 v 6. It was some of the best, if not the best, of the year so far. There were still some moments of players not being fully switched on and communication needs to continue to improve, but the overall play was quite good.

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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.

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