Setter Out: A Drill for Setter/Libero Practice

One of the worst feelings as a coach is when you watch your team struggle with something you FORGOT TO TEACH THEM.

“Setter out” is one of those things. Most coaches think they can just say “Setter out!” and then their players will get it. While the concept is simple, players will need to practice this skill before they fully understand what you mean.

The best part is… this is one of those * CLICK * skills that, once players understand, they’ll be unstoppable!

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Feel The Burn: The Passing Drill That Keeps Players LOW

“Stay low!” “You’re standing up!” “Use your legs!” “Shrug your shoulders!” “Get down!”

You know you’ve said one (or all!) of these phrases before. But if you find yourself saying it over, and over, and over again, maybe verbal feedback isn’t working?

That’s why I like to run the drill “Feel the Burn!” Players get immediate feedback that signals they are standing while passing the ball AS IT HAPPENS.

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Switch Up Practice Tonight: Include Your Defense in Your Offense

For many of you, the middle of the season is upon on (or fast approaching), and with that, boredom can start to set in. The number of new drills and concepts which you’re teaching your team has probably dropped, and not only is your team feeling a lack of fresh energy, but you’re feeling it too!

This part of the season is my least and most favorite. When the monotony kicks in, it can feel like there’s nothing you can do! BUT! When you finally think of a fresh take on a drill or come to practice set on pepping things up, that’s when the magic happens.

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Stop The Shanks! 4 Passing Tips To Reduce Errors for Beginner Volleyball Players

Passing is a skill which is unique to volleyball. There is no other sport where you run after a ball and use your forearms to pop the ball up in the air! There’s no catching, throwing, or (usually) kicking here, and that makes the concept of passing the ball entirely new to first time volleyball players. 

Even players with a few seasons under their belt can struggle to pass to target consistently. That’s why I’m going to give you 4 tips to use in practice to reduce the number of shanked balls (you know, those ones that go flying backwards into the the stands) and improve your team’s overall passing skill.

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Teaching Your Setter To Set Along The Net, Not To The Hitter!

There are certain drills you run at practice throughout the season because they get your team moving, cheering, and they’re relatively easy and fun… 

This is not one of those drills.

So, why would you want to read more? Because! This is a drill you only need to do ONCE and you’ll have a new team. This is a drill that inspires those *click* moments that I live for as a coach.

This drill is particularly effective at teaching young setters (think 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade) how to set along the net, instead of to the hitters. 

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High Rep Serve Receive Drill

How many times have you gotten STUCK in a bad serve receive rotation? Either one of your players is having an off-day, or the server on the other team is just picking you apart. No matter what the reason, it stinks to be stuck there. Waiting, praying that the other team will just miss their serve and let you move on! Instead of trying the tactic of "wait and see," switch to being proactive!

This high rep serve receive drill will help your team understand the options they have when they can't get out of a certain serve receive rotation. Even better, if you coach them through it correctly, they'll often times make the change before you even realize it's time to switch things up!

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Coaching Volleyball: A Survival Guide for Your First Season

Coaching volleyball is about MORE than just running the best drills at practice! If this is your first time coaching volleyball, start here!

When you step on the court, you’re surrounded by young athletes with TONS of potential who are ready to listen to every word you have to say. Over the course of a season you share a ton of laughs, encourage them to dip deep and overcome challenges, and watch them grow in a sport you both love.

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Is Your Team Bad at Communication? Try These 3 Techniques!

How many times have you heard these instructions at a match or tournament… “Talk!” “Call the ball!” “Communicate!” Once in a while, this is fine. But when communication seems to be a nagging issue, there’s likely a root cause that you need to address.

Let's discuss how to improve communication for your volleyball team, shall we?

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Easy Passing Drill: Shuttle Passing

If you're looking for an easy passing drill you can run at your next volleyball practice, try shuttle passing! 

Shuttle passing is great for teams of all ages, and can be altered to change the level of difficulty for your team in particular! I've run this drill with 2nd and 3rd graders, and with high school teams as well. Once you understand the basic concept, you'll be able to make adjustments to the drill, making it a great ball control warm-up for your team!

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The Power of Games

When you are training a group of players to be elite athletes it can seem like spending time playing games at practice is a waste of time. What we sometimes forget as coaches is that fun is a major component of the learning process.Thinking back on my time as a player I first remember running around laughing with my teammates and playing fun games. Yes, I remember playing hard, training, and running through drills, but the most vivid memories are from when I was playing "deadfish," "the downball game," and more.

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Serving Around the World Drill Diagram

Do you need a quick game to run at your next volleyball practice? This easy serving game will challenge your players to serve to zones without them even realizing that they're learning! Just print out this drill and save it for your next practice. Keep it in your binder as a reminder when you need inspiration! You can make this more competitive by splitting your players up into teams and having them try to go around faster than the other team, going in reverse order, or even giving them a certain order they need to serve in!

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7 Ways a Volleyball Coach Decides Playing Time

We've all been there. "Why am I sitting out?" "Why does Sarah start but I have to sub in?" "Why do I never get to serve?" These are all thoughts we probably had as players on one team or another. We usually chalked it up to Sarah being the favorite, or the coach not paying attention to us, or not knowing what they're doing... Yes, those are teenage thought patterns.

We didn't often think beyond ourselves, and our parents were (occasionally) right there with us. As a child, my dad was my coach for a lot of my teams, so I usually got to hear him talk through all of the possible game-day scenarios he could think of, and what he would do in each instance.

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Hitting Lines vs. Defense | Drill Print-Out and Video Description!

Hey coaches! I’ve been advertising this drill a ton because not ONLY did I make a video describing the different ways to set it up, I also made a printable version for you! This drill, Hitting Lines vs. Defense, is one of the most versatile drills I’ve covered for you so far. The setup is easy and the concepts are pretty basic, but it’s SO useful! Just because it’s not complicated doesn’t mean it’s not for high-level teams either. Teams at all skill levels can use this drill and it will benefit them. Want the short version?

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Swing Set Drill - Team Setting Drill

One of the toughest skills I have a hard time creating drills for is setting. When you cover passing and hitting, these are skills that all players on your team will need to use. But setting? Yes, everyone needs to know HOW to set... But they will rarely set from the setting position and would therefore not benefit as much from constant setting drills. HOWEVER!

There is something to be learned from practicing this skill occasionally. I'm a big fan of training my players to play every position so that their understanding of the game is pushed beyond the confines of their position (wow, that was deep lol). This drill gives players a good understanding of what it take to be a setter, and will help them see the court from a new perspective. 

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2 Hour Practice Plan Template

Busy coaches often find themselves heading to the gym without a practice plan. Yes, some of us can get by without a plan, but is that all you want? Just to get by? Take 15 minutes on your lunch break or just before you leave and come up with a plan! Heading to practice with a plan will give you confidence in the skills you're teaching your players. Not only will you run an organized practice, the parents will see that you've shown up prepared and they will place more trust in your coaching abilities. 

A planned practice will make sure you are not wasting time between drills thinking of what drill to do next. No, practices do not have to be creative, but some thought into the drill progression definitely helps!

That's why I created a template for coaches to follow! This will give a quick prompt about the types of drills to run, and all you need to do is fill in the blanks.

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End of Season Party Ideas

Wait... it’s over already!? It is amazing how quickly a volleyball season ends! One minute, you’re scratching your head trying to figure out how you could POSSIBLY have 2 more months left (or the 2-3 week range for high school) and the next minute, you’re giving your final “good game” and facing a group of parents wanting details on the end of season party. What do you do?

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Passing Fundamentals: Teach Your Team the Basics

Passing is arguably the most important skill in volleyball. Young players cannot get a rally going unless they receive training, and older teams will struggle to compete against a tough serve or offense without lots of reps and game-like drills. This is why it is so important to teach your team the basics! Give them a good foundation to build from when you teach them how to pass a volleyball. Check out this short video and get started!

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