I saw the following question in a coaching group:

What strategies do you have for helping your athletes with serving mindfulness during practice? I think it’s so terribly easy to just mindlessly go back to the serving line and serve, but then you get in a match and all the sudden you want to be laser focused.

I think this is a pretty simple one to answer. Make every serve in practice intentional and mindful.


Don’t do drills where servers just serve to allow passing to happen. I’m talking about your bog standard serve & pass drill so many people use to work on reception. Instead, have the servers work on something specific and ensure they get coaching feedback and focus on that. Flip-Switch is an example of this. So too are servers vs. passers games like this one.

Same thing in games. Make sure each server is attempting something specific every ball. That could be through calling serves, even if you don’t necessarily do that in matches. Or maybe you use bonus points linked to serving objectives.

Do that and focused match serving will come naturally.

6 Steps to Better Practices - Free Guide

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter today and get this free guide to making your practices the best, along with loads more coaching tips and information.

No spam ever. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

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.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.