This is an entry in my volleyball coaching log.

Generally a pretty good day’s performance. The second team won both their division 2 matches, which likely means they will end 2nd in the table (they only have 4 league matches, but also have a cup competition starting in February). My assistant was with them, so I didn’t actually see them play, but the reports back were positive.

The division 1 team continued their progression. They aren’t where they can be yet, but it’s getting closer. I decided to go with the player I dubbed Setter B in my last log entry. While her stats weren’t much better in the last training, she’s a better defender, handles balls close to the net better, is an effective attacker when she needs to take the third ball, and is generally a more stable court personality – especially in pressure situations.

We beat the league leaders in a tight match to start the day, handled one of the teams from the lower half of the league without a lot of trouble, but lost a tight one against the defending league champs (who we beat a couple weeks back). The results on the day mean the three top teams in the league (including us) are all on 2 losses. We have three matches left with teams in the lower part of the table, while the other two title contenders have to play each other one more time. That means if we win out we can finish no worse than 2nd, with first place maybe coming down to tiebreakers.

The thing the last match of the day highlighted, though, was the need to stay aggressive in the attack. When the tentativeness crept back into our play for spells it cost us. Fortunately, I think the team is recognizing that. There were also some elements of not staying completely switched on all the way through plays, resulting in stupid points being given up. Serving has definitely come along quite well and is putting teams under considerable pressure. The defense also played well and I was pleased to see adapted to the other team’s attack. We do need to get better blocking, however.

There are two more training sessions before we wrap it up for the term. I will use them as an opportunity to work on more technical stuff than I’ve had the opportunity to do in recent weeks. Hitting mechanics will be part of that to keep improving that side of our game. As that comes along it should challenge our blocking to get better, though I may need to find some ways to expose them to better hitters to accelerate the development there.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager for Volleyball England (overseeing the national team pipeline systems), 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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