Training Plan: Toughness, Passing, Court Work

Priorities: Start to identify best passers, work on mental and physical toughness and conditioning, court positional work

Training time: 2 hours

Space: 1 court

Players: 14

Notes: This session followed a hard one two nights prior, and a slower one the prior evening where the team worked on rotations positioning, and coverage.

– – – The Plan – – –

Warm-up: Started with a dynamic warm-up because of lingering stiffness and fatigue from the sessions the prior two nights.

Light Positioning Work: Used the Newcomb game to have players run through rotations, coverage, and base/defense positioning work as a light on-court warm-up continuation featuring court movement.

Serving warm-up: I had them partner up across the net. They started at about half-court just serving the ball back and forth with a focus on good mechanics. As they felt warm they backed up until they got to the point of doing full court serving.

Serving Game: Ran the Amoeba serving game two times through to work on directional serving.

Target serving: I had them do 5 good serves each to Zones 1 and 5 where they had to put the ball in the last 3 meters of the court, as well as 5 good serves in front of the 3-meter line. I gave them 5 minutes to complete the drill.

Serving and passing: Ran the Get-2 passing drill and recorded passing stats. Kept the drill going until there were 30 total 3-passes. About 6 balls hit the floor with no or insufficient player effort, resulting in 6 punishment runs (rather than going back to 0 as I wasn’t doing an out-loud count).

Hitting: Had the whole team run quick attacks to help reinforce the need for good passing.

Passing: Put the team through the Run Serve Receive drill with each player having to get 7 good passes to get out.

Serving: Ran the Run & Serve drill to put the players under physical and mental pressure (especially after all the running they’d had to do prior).

Game-play: To get them playing and to continue the process of mixing players up and giving them a chance to get to know each other on the court, I had them play Winners 3s.

Team play: I finished up with 6 v 6 play to reinforce the positional work from the prior day and the beginning of training, and to start evaluating players by position.

– – – Observations – – –

I actually tried doing a winners variation drill after the second bit of passing, but the players were missing too many serves so I had to drop it quickly and move on. The serving bit which followed was scheduled, but just moved up.

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John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women's team. This follows a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

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