My Evolution to Constraint-Led Teaching

Without much effort, I can reflect on my coaching career and create a lengthy list of on-court and off-court mistakes. One of these blunders would manifest daily in how I taught volleyball skills. I was the guy on a box hitting balls at players so they could work on digging skills. Or I was tossing…

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A Painstaking, But Worthwhile Evaluation Tool

Hall of Fame coach Mike Hebert told me that one of his most valuable tools to develop as a coach was recording video and audio of himself during multiple practices. My first reaction was my fear of what I would see or hear if I tried this self-improvement tactic. I did summon the courage, and…

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There is Value in Both Internal and External Cues When Teaching

A group of people playing volleyball Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Of the many things that, in retrospect, I wish I had done better in my career is giving more thought to how I provided feedback to players. I knew what behavior I wanted from a player or team, but I was uncertain about transmitting the information in the most impactful fashion. I’m better now because…

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A Dozen Pillars for a Productive Practice

As the club season starts, coaches spend significant time in practice sessions. The time spent in practice is the most precious aspect of a season. Every coach should operate their training sessions in a fashion that mirrors their teaching and coaching philosophy, knowledge of the game, how players best learn, the personality of the coach,…

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Assisting the Inexperienced Club Coach

The phrase “heavy is the head that wears the crown” was used by Shakespeare in the play King Henry IV. The gist of the phrase was the King acknowledging the hardships of implementing his never-ending responsibilities. The inexperienced club coach feels a similar weight of being responsible for teaching, planning, and organizing all the activities…

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Volleyball Contemplations

After watching a lot of collegiate volleyball during the fall, both with the team I’m helping (University of Denver), or whatever I’m watching on television, I find myself evaluating various aspects of the collegiate game. I’m not 100% sure of my opinions and do not have extensive data to back up my thoughts. These are…

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Rethinking Timeouts

I loved the timeout format for international matches. You have thirty seconds for the players to get a drink, for the coach to make a quick comment, then the troops return to the competitive fray. In this country, the length of timeouts will vary, but certainly more than 30 seconds. In some televised matches, the…

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Availability Bias, Avoid The Trap

If coaches had their salary tied to the number of decisions made daily, everyone could retire early. Some decisions are easy (or easier), and others are painfully difficult. The sheer number of decisions is, at times, staggering to the point that we tend to make decisions quickly so we can press on to the next…

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Can Volleyball Coaches Learn from the NBA?

I don’t consider myself a fan of the NBA, but I enjoyed watching the recently completed playoffs. The NBA is moving in a different and more exciting direction with how the game is played. The offensive systems of basketball are evolving at the highest level and are already impacting the younger players and teams. For…

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Clayton Kershaw, Tunneling and Developing an Effective Serve Strategy

I am developing an affinity for baseball. Other than the normal Little League play growing up, I’ve never followed the game too closely. This newfound interest is the direct result of listening to the baseball announcers analyze the strategies, offer insights, and make predictions about the events on the field. Their expertise allows a novice…

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