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

I finished up with my individual meetings on Tuesday feeling like the players were in a generally good mental state at this point. Of course, things can change once we get into playing the competitive matches.

I had two major focuses for this training. One was to see lots of the three setter candidates for starting first team setter in action. The other was to work the first team together in something at least approximating the 5-1 line-up we’re likely to use over the weekend and next week should that indeed be our first BUCS league match.

With that in mind, I designed the following training:

Dynamic warm-up
Blocking and hitter transition footwork
Wall serves as a serving warm-up (because of odd numbers), then target serving
14-player Serve-Pass-Hit
Continuous Transition hitting
22 vs. 22

Because I had 15 players, for the Serve-Pass-Hit I added a second setter on one of the half-courts. I had the players rotate such that the hitter went to set on the other side and I had them play out the rallies. There was some confusion, but I forced them to work through the problems with minimal intervention from me – as they would have to in a match. That took longer than I had really planned, which meant I dropped the transition hitting, but I didn’t feel like it was a big loss.

For the two 6 v 6 games I basically put them in to A/B sides, though I mixed the players around. There are three clear starters right now (two returners and a new MB). The other three positions were rotated some to get a couple of different players working through. I had all three setters in the A side on one or more occasions (I did give the new addition from last week a bit more time as I’d seen her less, but liked what I did see).

Overall, the game play was massively improved. Clearly, just having one setter (which I did for both sides) smoothed out a lot of the rough patches. The hitting was way more impactful, with some very good swings from a number of players. There’s still plenty of work to be done on communication and movement/positioning, but things are coming along. The serving was VERY strong when they were doing their target work.

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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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