There’s a short article from Cassidy Lichmann in the Fall 2019 edition of AAU Volleyball Magazine. In it she shares five things that she thinks could stand getting more work. In brief, here’s the list.

  1. Out-of-system setting
  2. Attacking overpasses
  3. Hitting shots
  4. Passing deep serves
  5. Reading

I totally agree with #4. Even at high levels in the college game I see players trying to pass a deep ball by backing straight up while keeping the ball midline. What tends to happen as a result is the ball gets passed high and well off the net. Platform angle control is difficult in this circumstance. Players need to learn how to take the ball to their side.

With respect to #2, I agree with Cassidy that too often front row players don’t handle overpasses well. Not sure I’d put it on this list, though. Or at least I can think of things that are more important. Cassidy thinks good overpass play is worth potentially a point a match. That’s not enough for me to prioritize it in training.

Out-of-system setting, on the other hand, can be worth a whole lot more than one point per match. And I agree that most teams probably don’t do enough work on it, as part of overall work on playing out-of-system. When I was on my 2019 EuroTrip, every professional team I visited did regular work on every player being able to put up a good set.

Hitting shots is for sure something that probably deserves more training, though I think that’s age level dependent. At the younger ages it’s probably more important to work on developing power. Once that’s in place, you can build in the shots.

Finally, I totally agree on #5. You both can and should explicitly teach players to read – in all facets of the game.

Read the full article here (pg 12).

What are your thoughts on this list? Anything you would add/remove?

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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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