After I became coach for the Exeter University Volleyball Club in 2012, I realized I needed to put together a sort of playing guide. A lot of the players were relatively inexperienced. They also came from an array of different countries (about 25 all together). I designed the guide as something to give everyone our basic structure. We only trained a couple of times each week, and and there wasn’t much time between tryouts and our first match to set things up. The guide helped speed up the process of developing team play.

The guide goes over a few primary areas of focus.

  • Rotation-by-rotation set up for a 5-1 system.
  • Rotation-by-rotation primary serve receive formation (with notes and observations)
  • Secondary serve receive formation for each rotation (with notes and additional ideas)
  • Additional points of emphasis for serve receive.
  • Diagrams for base defense and notes
  • Diagrams for perimeter (middle back) defense for attacks through zones 4, 3, and 2
  • Notes and thoughts on defense implementation
  • Free ball and down ball defense

The guide is 9 pages long.¬†Depending on the your team and players, you might find it useful to introduce the 5-1 offense, and the basic ideas of the perimeter defensive system as well. I think it’s a pretty comprehensive look at things. Because I wrote it for a specific situation, though, there may be things which are more or less applicable for you and your own team/program.

If you want a copy, fill out the form below.


John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Volleyball Technical Director for Charleston Academy. His previous experience includes the college and university level in the US and UK, professional coaching in Sweden, and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. Learn more on his bio page.

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