This is an entry in my volleyball coaching log.

The team played its fourth league match of the season against one of the weaker teams, with fairly predictable results. We won the first set easily, 25-13, though I was not particularly pleased with the performance. There were communications lapses and the sort of little errors that shouldn’t be present in a team that’s played a number of matches together already. I expressed my disappointment between sets.

The second set was quite nervy. It finished 25-18, but we didn’t pull away until it had gotten to 12-12. We’d actually been behind most of the time up to then. I made two changes in the line-up to get my bench players in – one at M2, and one at O2. The latter had been a starter most of the time thus far. She wasn’t on the Cup trip, however, and one of the other OHs who was also had a good practice session the other day, so I’d wanted to reward her with the start. The MB was someone who I hadn’t been able to see in match play for a while, so I wanted to give her a run out.

The change in MB created some issues. Not that she played poorly, but she tends to take any ball that comes near her and is big enough that no one is going to be able to contest her. I felt like this impacted our S and O1. The latter set several ‘tweener’ sets between the MB and the OH, which led to issues over who was going to hit the ball, and some rather flustered play, though it eventually settled down.

Although the opposition didn’t serve particularly hard, our passing was relatively poor. We also reverted to tentative hitting, which was disappointing. Granted, the sets weren’t great, but there were opportunities to hit the ball hard. Obviously, I need to keep focusing on aggressive hitting in training. After Monday’s work on hitting mechanics, I need to build in attention to explosive approaches as that’s part of where the tentative swinging begins.

On Saturday the 2nd team will be in action in their first second of Division 2 fixtures. We’re a bit thin on bodies, but should have enough quality to play effectively.

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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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