The repetition of volleyball drills is the perfect way to improve your players’ skills in as little time as possible. However, time and time again we see coaches making 2 mistakes that are so obvious that they somehow are given no thought to and completely get missed.
Mistake: Will the Volleyball Drills Help During Games?
It’s all very well and good having your players perform drills a countless number of times, but if the drills aren’t directly improving their game, particularly when it really matters in in-game scenarios, then they aren’t much good.
Therefore, as coaches we need to remember that we don’t make players perform drills to just fill the timeslot until the next practice session comes around. Instead, every drill needs to have a purpose and its purpose is one that directly helps players improve and the team to win more games.
Solution: Game-Like Volleyball Drills
The solution is an obvious one – ensure that the drills performed in practice directly transfer into games. There isn’t really much else to say about this, apart from that you know your team and players the best and attend each and every practice session and game, so only you know whether what you are doing is working or not.
One tip, however, is to simulate in-game situations as much as possible – so it is a good idea to design and/or customize drills that feature 6 players on each side of the net in order to make the drill as game like as possible. This isn’t to say disregard every drill that cannot be performed in this way, but make sure several drills mimic in-game situations closely for best results.
Mistake: Trying to Progress Too Quickly
In a perfect world we would be able to coach complete beginners and turn them into excellent players in no time at all. Sadly this is rarely the case in reality, particularly if you’re teaching kids who don’t seem to have a natural talent for the sport.
The last thing you want to do is discourage the kids so much that they give up the sport because they don’t feel like they are progressing. This doesn’t make a coach feel good either, so it’s a lose-lose situation.
Solution: Take It Slow
Volleyball may seem simple to outsiders at first glance, but it is a sport that consists of several complex skills working in unison to play it well. Such skills include excellent hand-eye coordination and ball handling, to name just a couple.
Therefore, a wise coach takes it slow and ensures that instead of trying to put everything together in one go, they break every aspect of the game down into parts. For example, focus on a simple drill that works on improving payers’ footwork, and then another that works on passing the ball correctly or how to toss the ball, and so on.
Over time everything comes together and players as well as you start to notice progress. Not only does this improve the players’ abilities, but it also ensures that both you and they are happy and more motivated to play and coach the game better.