This is an entry in my volleyball coaching log.

For the first time in a long time I had a full squad in training. That let me finally get the full first team squad working together and I took advantage of that to go heavily on the 6-v-6 action. My intention was to have things be positive and aligned toward fostering intensity and success.

After dynamic warm-up I had the team go straight into serving. I gave them an objective to get 10 serves deep in the court, and if they got them all then to switch to short serves. I was pleased to see that by the time I called the end of the drill just about everyone seemed to be working on short serves.

After serving I had the team play Winners 4 with the two setters staying in (winning setter goes to/stays on the winning side). Initially it was back row attacking only. I did that to get them warming up their hitting in terms of focusing on good reach and deep swings. There were some quite good hits, which was a positive. During the last couple minutes I let them hit on the net.

From there I shifted to the 7-point rotations game. I set bonuses for real points – kills, blocks, aces. This worked the team on serve receive, as I wanted, though it could have gone better in some ways. Things were not helped by one of the B-side players going down with an ankle injury relatively early on.

From there I shifted to a game where the B-side served every ball and the A-side rotated after a good play, then finished with regular game play.

During the 6-v-6 I had the whistle out to stop play when I saw positional errors, lack of coverage, lack of focus, etc. I didn’t end up having to blow it very often, and almost not at all after the first few minutes. The play over all could have been better, and some of the intensity slipped as training went on. The earlier injury may have been a factor. I do plan on bringing back some of the over-speed type drills for Wednesday’s training to ratchet things back up.

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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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