This is an entry in my volleyball coaching log.

I started this training with a talk about expectations for Final 8s – namely that I go into it not fearing any of our prospective competitors. Will there be some good teams? Absolutely. Do I expect us to win all our matches? No. But I do think we can be competitive in all of them and make the other team work for it. I explained that starters are likely to get the majority of the playing time, but that non-starters could get time as well, depending on how things go.

After the meeting, the players did their dynamic warm-up. There was some tardiness which required several minutes of punishment before we got into the volleyball. That commenced with the serving warm-up, finishing with target serves. A positive was that everyone completed the assigned serves in the allotted time. I think that was the first time all season!

From serving I moved into a split court situation. I divided the court lengthwise and had the OHs and OPPs on one half and the MBs, Setters, and Libero on the other. The hitter group did some serve receive and passing and hitting with my assistant. The MB group worked on quick attacks off a free ball pass. The latter showed a bit of success, but still needs a lot of work – particular in a game-play situation.

Because of the tardiness punishment, time got crunched, so I couldn’t do quite all the stuff I wanted to do. My plan had been to first do Bingo-Bango-Bongo and finish with a 3-serve wash game to get some work on both transition and serve receive. Instead, I did a few rotations of Scramble, then B-B-B.

I wasn’t happy with the focus in play, generally speaking. The players looked at least mentally tired, if not physically tired. The calisthenics they had to do for punishment may have been contributory, but I made a point after training to tell them I expect better next time.

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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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