I don’t remember who said it, but I once heard the early part of a new volleyball coach’s development called “the drill collecting stage”. I thought it extremely apropos. It hits the mark very neatly. I’m guessing it’s not something confined to volleyball coaches either.

Basically, this is the phase of a new coach’s development where they are learning different ways to teach skills. They are answering for themselves “How can I train … ?” Or perhaps “What’s the best way to teach …. ?” It is a necessary period of learning for any coach. It creates the foundation for developing priority driven training plans. Also, being able to dynamically adapt practices as required.

The eagerness and enthusiasm of this stage in coaching development can get a bit carried away, though. It can result in what I referred to earlier as Fancy New Drill Syndrome. It can also take a coach down the path of just compiling a collection of drills, games, and coaching methods which they don’t necessarily understand as fully as they should.

As members of the volleyball coaching community, and the broader volleyball community in general, we really don’t want to dampen the enthusiasm of new coaches. We need all of them we can get and more! This stage, though, is where mentorship can be highly valuable in helping with guidance.

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.