This is an entry in my volleyball coaching log.

The first training session back from the break began with a brief team meeting in which we started by reiterated the team’s goal – making BUCS Final 8s. All I had to do was ask if that remained the goal and look around at all the eager faces and shining eyes to see that the players all remain on board. That made it easy to then have the conversation about higher expectations this term, something I’d already began talking about at the end of last term. Specifically, I will be on them about maintaining their focus without lapses, and we’ll continue to build on the aggressiveness that slowly developed through last term, particularly on offense.

My focus for training was just to shake off the rust, see where the players were at physically, and to reinforce some basic stuff. Since it was a more technical practice session than a team one, it let me do a bit more in terms of technical feedback, which is something the players talked about wanting in the feedback survey they did (that’s something else we talked about in the pre-training meeting during which I told them my focus thus far had been on bigger picture, more team psychology oriented things).

I started them off with speed pepper to get fast reps after their dynamic warm-up, and progressed to more full pepper. They did their serving warm-up and then some target serving. After that, I had them do serving and passing triples then stepped that up to.the Get-2 serve receive drill. After doing some hitting, we spent the remainder of training playing the 22v22 game.

Not surprisingly, there were a lot of issues with foot movement – and of course timing after about a month off is never going to be perfect. Still, I was generally happy with how the session went. In particular, I liked the aggressiveness of the hitting. There were a lot of really good swings. Defense in the 6v6 part of the session at the end was also quite good. Definitely a good starting point.

I’ll pick up the intensity in the next training session, bringing in individual defense and otherwise putting them in situations where they are forced to always been in the play and not checked out.

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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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