Coaching Log – Nov 10 2014

This is an entry in my volleyball coaching log for 2014-15.

After watching way too much panicky play recently, I decided to do a few things to get the players to try to slow things down and use their brains a bit more in scramble situations. The first part of that was to introduce a minor “punishment” for playing the ball one-armed. I did that right from the start when I had them do rotating partner pepper, which was then followed by 4-person over-the-net pepper.

After doing some serving, the slowing thing down idea continued with a variation of winners I had them play. They were required to bump set – no hand sets allowed. This was intended to get them focused on both technique and intention (not just flinging the ball up in the air somewhere). Initially, it was back row attacks only, but at the half-way point I allowed them to hit on the net. I finished training with the Belly Drill to get them into a more intense scramble situation.

Having the consequence for the one-arm plays definitely worked to get the players more focused on using proper technique and not just hyper-reacting to the ball. Predictably, that slipped when the pressure and intensity was turned up, which just means more work needs to be done in that regard.

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John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women's team. This follows 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.


  1. Kelly Daniels says:

    There it goes with that unfortunate word. Wouldn’t it be kosher if we used another word, such as “consequence”. How about, ‘as a result for using one arm playing the ball minor conditioning reps were implemented’. Sound and it’s a lot better than “punishing” your team/athletes. Just saying, not judging.

    • John Forman John Forman says:

      There’s a reason I put the term in quotes and used consequence later – and linked to the prior exchange.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.