“Coaching Journal” 3.23.23

A Journal Focusing on Education and Coaching

Quote of the Week- “It isn’t the learning that’s so hard. It’s the unlearning.” ~Charlie Munger, Vice Chair, Berkshire Hathaway

Blog Post This Week– Shortly, there will be professional volleyball opportunities for American athletes without having to leave the country. In this blog post, the question is posed if the onset of professional volleyball will impact the current club and collegiate programs. READ MORE

MasterCoaches Video of the Week – The MasterCoaches interview Michelle Meyer, Founder of the NIL Network. View Video

Essential Movements in Volleyball – If you look at the skills of the game, they all require mastering fundamental motor skills. It always amazes me when you see older players who cannot run with good form or possess proper throwing mechanics. Below is a list of movements that should be an instructional priority at the younger ages.

  • Running and Shuffle Step- forward, backward, and laterally
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Jumping
  • Movement in the Air
  • Landing
  • Floor Moves

Players do not have a genetic disposition to learn motor skills correctly. You will be disappointed when you walk into any gymnasium and observe how younger players run, jump or throw. Without these basic motor skills, the players will have a ceiling on their development. Coaches must teach proper movements and postures. In the video below, you’ll see a progression to developing correct throwing mechanics. Throwing is essential for serving and attacking skills, along with injury prevention.


One of the terms used in the video is “T-Position.” The term refers to the position you want the arms and shoulders in before initiating the swing. One thing that I would emphasize. I do not work on throwing mechanics by throwing to a partner. I always throw with velocity against a wall or for distance. I want their focus on lots of upper body rotation and throwing hard for a short distance or as far as possible. If they throw to a partner, the focus becomes accuracy and throwing a ball their partner can catch. I recommend throwing with a baseball or softball. Tennis balls are too light, and volleyballs are too large.

In my book, A Game Plan for Better Practices, I go through the essential motor skills of the game and some activities to gain proficiency.

Articles That I Find Intriguing

New York Lowers Required Score for Proficiency in Math and English – I guess when students can’t meet proficiency scores, instead of working harder or changing the program, we will lower the score to mask the deficiency. Yikes! READ MORE

Lucrative Financial Opportunities Await Sweet 16 Basketball Players – Quite a few athletes are cashing in on NIL opportunities. The key is visibility. Karen Weaver details how the top players are managing their NIL portfolios. READ MORE

The Key to UVA’s Swimming Success? A Math Professor! – The University of Virginia women’s swimming team has won three consecutive NCAA D-1 national championships. One of the keys to their success is a UVA math professor incorporating mathematics into their training. READ MORE

A Game Plan for Better Practices – My book uses checklists to focus on skill and system development details. For more information.

“This is an outstanding resource for coaches at every level: the combination of text and video enhances understanding and the checklists clearly identify the components needed for mastery of a skill or technique. From U8 to pro’s, this is your guidebook!” – Kathy DeBoer, President, American Volleyball Coaches Association.

That’s all for this week.