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

This was a two hour session. I flipped men’s and women’s trainings so I could be sure to get all of the key starting players together as planned absences will otherwise prevent that before next Wednesday’s match. My main focus was 2-fold. First, a high training intensity for the first team players. Second, a look at the starting line-up I’m thinking to use next week.

After dynamic warm-up I split the players into 4 groups. Two of them were all first team players while two were either all second team or a mix (it was a 7/5 split). I had three groups doing 3-person over the net pepper, while I hit balls at the 4th group to do some individual digging. I only hit at the two all-first-team groups, though, both for the purposes of time and to provide a higher intensity for those players.

From there we progressed into some serving, followed by a serving & passing drill. I had the first team players working amongst themselves with a fixed setter setting to me as target. Similarly, the second team worked amongst themselves with an injured player as fixed target. I just had each server do 10 good serves, then swap positions with one of the passers.

From there I moved them on to some small-sided action. The first team played 3 v 3 with a fixed setter, initially playing two games to 7, then one more wash game along the lines of 22 v 22 where the team that won the first rally received a second ball from me and had to win that rally as well to earn the point. The second team did a 5-person pepper similar in nature to the 3-person they’d done earlier (player making the 3rd contact went under to become the next setter). Both of these were done in a half court.

The last segment was a 6 v 6. I served to the first team. If the second team won the rally, they got a free ball from the injured player. If the first team won I would attack a ball at them (down ball from somewhere in the court). It ended up having a something of a second chance aspect to it as well. The one issue I had with this game/drill was it didn’t allow me to use a libero on the starting side. I had to use a couple of the first teamers (those on the fringes of starting) on the B side because of missing/injured players. That caused some defensive issues, both actually made for a more potent attack going at the starters.

Generally, I was pleased with the overall intensity and caliber of play.

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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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