Being Balanced More Important Than Being Stopped When Passing

I spent much of my early coaching days preaching to my athletes to be stopped when passing or defending. As with many of my earlier coaching cues, I’ve reshaped what I value in both serve-receive and defense. In recent years, the increased velocity of the serve and attack places a lot of pressure on the…

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Keep the Tips Off the Floor!

It is a challenge for players or teams to excel at all aspects of the game. In many cases, teams that win are good at one or two aspects of the game that might offset a skill or system weakness. Coaches determine how time is spent in practice and the areas of the game they…

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Visual Cues, If/Then, and Skill Development

If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” ~Albert Einstein When using an Excel spreadsheet, the concept of “if/then” is a condition-specific set of instructions that will initiate a response, simply put, “if condition A is met, then B is…

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Some Skills Are More Important Than Others!

In my earlier coaching days, I would spend hours on a box in practice, hitting balls at players to work on their defensive skills. In retrospect, I was spending time in the wrong area of the game. Investing time in defense is not without value. A good defensive team demands the desired qualities of heart,…

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Better Teaching Skills=Better Coaching

In recent blogs, the focus has been on time management in practice. In this piece, the focus is on the ingredients of effective teaching. Although my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in Education, most of what I learned as a teacher came from being in the educational cauldron with students. To run beneficial training sessions,…

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Logistics Will Dictate a Quality Practice

“Novices argue tactics, and experts argue logistics” ~Erwin Rommel, WWII German General Former Los Angeles Laker head coach Pat Riley once said that he would spend three hours planning a three-hour practice. I have no doubt that a significant portion of this planning time was spent detailing practice activities. I am equally confident that substantial…

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Get Rid of “Time Sucks” in Practice

“Never mistake activity with achievement”. ~John Wooden The most valuable commodity for volleyball coaches at all levels is time. For collegiate coaches, practice is worked into a day that includes recruiting duties, administrative paperwork, public relations, marketing, budgeting, etc. Club teams must juggle the facility schedule, player and parent schedules, and the academic obligations of…

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The Playbook of an Olympic Champion

“It seems that all true things must change and only that which changes remain true.” -Carl Ljung   A recent Wall Street Journal article focused on the Gold Medal speed skating performances of Nils van der Poel. You’ve probably have never heard of Nils van der Poel. I hadn’t until a few days ago. Doing a…

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Joe Rogan, Spotify and Coaching Volleyball?

I guess that Joe Rogan offering opinions or listening to others offer their opinions does not sit well with some contributors to Spotify. Rogan hosts an opinion-based and a pretty popular podcast on Spotify (12 million listeners to each show). Rogan’s opinions, or those of his guests, did not sit well with singer Neil Young.…

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Change is Good….You Go First!

I was driving past a local business, and the sign out front said, “Change is good….you go first.” I wonder if numbers, data, and studies restrict our approach to the game at the expense of creativity and the ability to change from the script of accepted methods? There are a lot of game or practice…

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