This post comes from early in my second year in England.
Today I’m starting the Volleyball England Level 3 course. It was supposed to run back during the first week of August. That would certainly have made things easier on my schedule, but they had to postpone. The result is that I’m going to miss several training sessions and a pair of matches for the teams I coach. If you’re a typical coach, you’ll know how much that bothers me.
My coaching certification process began years ago while taking USA Volleyball’s CAP I course. These courses naturally change and adapt over time. Based on these observations of the program these days, though, at least some of what I learned then has stuck. In particular, these foundations are a major part of how I coach today.
- The game teaches the game. Skills are transferred best in game-like situations.
- Principles matter more than methods.
- The pleasure of competition should always exceed the pressure of competition.
- Effective coaches will tell their players what they want to see them doing, not what they did wrong.
- Teach the whole rather than the part, for example teach the full spike rather than breaking it down in parts.
- A team’s practice must be deliberate and focused.
- Specificity is a key in motor learning. Give students specific cues such as “Good job reaching for the ball.” This is more helpful than being a cheerleader and saying, “Good shot.”
- There is a greater transfer in skill in random training rather than block training.
I had a chance to take the FIVB Level 2 course, which runs immediately following the VE 3 one. It’s 2 weeks long, though. No way I can miss that much time away from my teams – not to mention by PhD studies!
Anyway, my plan is to provide daily updates on how the course goes, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, here’s the course outline provided to me to give you an idea of what we’re covering.
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