Coaching Log – Jan 27, 2014

This is an entry in my volleyball coaching log.

The men’s team was given the opportunity to do joint training with the local NVL men’s side, so the women had the opportunity to go a little longer than usual this session. I took advantage of that to mix the squad up a bit more for 6 v 6 play than I might have otherwise done. I did this because I wanted to give the starters the chance to play against each other a bit rather than just playing against the B team.

After the dynamic warm-up I had them do the Twenty-One drill in groups of four to get in some ball-handling and additional warm-up. I then put them through some individual digging of balls myself and my assistant hit over the net. After that we did some target serving, and from there I moved them in to winners 4s. That hadn’t been my original plan, but I did it to accommodate a player development, to mix the players up in game play, and to prepare them for playing 6s.

After that I did 4 rounds of the 22 v 22 game. I split the players up such that each team had one line of starters and one line of second teamers. In the first round I matched up the first team front rows. After that I flipped the lines in an alternating fashion so all four combinations were played. From there we went on to starters vs. second team playing Bingo-Bango-Bongo. At the end I had them finish with some short serving.

It wasn’t an easy session. The players were clearly flagging toward the end in terms of energy and focus. Following Sunday’s long day for 8 of them, it wasn’t a major surprise. From my perspective, it was quite a frustrating practice. I’ve been harping on a lot of mental stuff, and got on them when they weren’t doing things like covering properly. I also got on them about panicky play, in particular just putting balls back over the net and giving up unnecessary free balls.

At the end of the session I talked with them about my frustrations. I told them how I felt, but that it was a reflection of increasing expectations as the team has gotten better. They will eventually get there. I’m basically training them for Championships and they know that. I will be much more positive with them on Wednesday when they play their next league match.

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John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John most recently coached for an NCAA Division II women's team. That followed a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

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