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

Yesterday we had a match against the team which looked from the results so far to be both a beatable opponent and one we needed a win against if we were going to try to finish above the relegation zone. We didn’t get the win, instead losing in disappointing fashion. It occurred to me at some point during the third set that the team basically looked like they’d hardly played with each other together at all. Players were colliding going for some balls, and looking at each other on others. Granted, this is only the second match of the season where we were able to field all the top players together in their strongest positions at the same time, but they’ve been training together for 6 weeks now, so it’s a bit concerning.

That isn’t the only issue, of course. We’re just not playing intelligently enough – missing bad serves, over-reacting way too much, not making adjustments. We’ve got a very inexperienced setter. The second MB position isn’t very strong and overall blocking needs to be much better. Unfortunately, missing players and schedule conflicts haven’t given me much opportunity to try some different things with the line-up. I have some ideas for things I’d like to try. We’ll see if I can actually get them in, though.

One the plus side, the second team absolutely crushed their Division 2 competition in a pair of matches. I don’t think they conceded more than 15 points in any set, and held a team to just 6 at one point. This is much better than I expected given the lack of a libero (we could only field 6 players) and the relatively poor defending of the to MBs. I wasn’t on-hand as they were playing away, so I await the report. The group was quite strong in attack the other day in training, which may have been a factor. A 25-6 set, though, suggests serving the other team off the court.

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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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