I previously shared something called the Second Chance Game. The basic idea is that a player who makes an error immediately gets an opportunity to correct their mistake. For example, a hitter spikes a ball into the net. The coach immediately makes them repeat the attack until they make a good swing. Note, though, that you need not confine this sort of error correction to one certain type of game. It can happen at any time, in any game or drill.

I saw many examples this approach in my 2014 visit to pro teams in Germany , and in a number of other places since. They did it in passing drills. They did it in defense drills. It came when working on movement. It came when working on setting. The point was to not accept the bad repetition – especially if it was because of poor technique, bad decision-making, etc. – and reinforce the desired execution.

You could argue second chance is often best used in drills because it’s easier to have a do-over in those situations than in game-play. That’s a really limiting perspective, however, and not shared by coaches I’ve seen use the concept. In fact, I’ve seen it used most often during game play. There are two caveats, however.

First, second chance when your team plays can create a continuous rally situation. This can be useful at times (such as when you want some conditioning), but you definitely need to have a plan for ending one rally and starting a new one.

Second, you should focus on something specific for the second chance. And just as importantly, you need to stick to that focus.

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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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