John Kessel developed and posted what he’s calling his “10 New Commandments of Volleyball”. It’s actually commandments for coaching, not something more broad in terms of the overall sport or anything like that, despite the inclusive title. They are worth reviewing in full. Here they are in brief:
- Be demanding, but not demeaning
- Use the net
- Include back row hitting in each training
- Develop 2-side players (can play left or right side of the court)
- Catch them doing things right
- Train more in terms of reading than technique
- Ask questions, don’t tell them the answer
- Train the mentality of “good errors”
- Teach players to use both sides of their body
- Make things as game like as possible.
I’ve definitely written before about making things as game like as possible, which I think ties in with using the net (here, here, here). I’ve also talked about the question of good vs. bad errors and encouraging the mentality of being accepting of mistakes (here, here). The idea of increasing the amount of reading is something I posted on earlier as well.
Including back row attacking in training is something I do a lot of myself with my teams, and have done for years. In fact, I had my Svedala team in Sweden do back row swings for the pin hitters in the first minute of pre-match warm-ups. I go that route to get players to reach and focus on hitting deep before hitting on the net.
Two of the more thought-provoking commandments, to my mind, are the ones related to players training both sides of the court and both sides of the body. I regularly make use of small-sided games. They feature players playing both sides of the court. I’m not sure if I have really thought much about that from an intentional perspective, though.
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