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Drills

Youth Serving Drill

‘Horse’ serving game for volleyball

The game of horse is usually associated with basketball, but here’s a good one for volleyball that will give your players a fun way to practice serving.Players compete against a partner. Serves can earn a plus, zero or minus point. Coaches can set the bar anywhere they like for the scoring. For instance, a miss

Blocking

Middle blockers: Stay low and go

During a fall practice, Tod Mattox works with his younger middle blockers on closing more efficiently to the outside blocker. His senior middle, Gretchen Cash, is very good at this, but the younger middles are still bending their knees and going down before their jump. That wastes time and often makes them late. The solution

Youth volleyball drill

Knockout digging drill

This is a fun, competitive knockout drill that focuses on the difference between great digs and not-so-great digs. Obviously, the first priority for defensive players is getting the ball up in the air, but as Oregon State assistant coach Emily Hiza explains here, the key to really helping your team is controlling digs in a

Men's height nets

Practicing the middle of the court shot using men’s height nets

Bishop’s High School coach Tod Mattox had the nets raised to 8 feet for the first part of one practice so players could work on looping balls into the middle of the court. His view is that a lot of teams they play don’t defend the middle of the court very well, so it’s a

Serve receive platform

Practicing a calm platform

Before this drill, Tod Mattox addresses the entire team and says he wants calmer platforms in serve receive. He talks specifically about the technique for passing serves that are up high. The drill requires players to pass balls hit by Mattox off a box from the other side of the net. As you’ll see, he

Youth Serving Drill

‘Horse’ serving game for volleyball

The game of horse is usually associated with basketball, but here’s a good one for volleyball that will give your players a fun way to practice serving.Players compete against a partner. Serves can earn a plus, zero or minus point. Coaches can set the bar anywhere they like for the scoring. For instance, a miss

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Holly McPeak: The setting apex

One word Holly McPeak uses a lot during her beach practices is “apex.” It relates to how she wants the setter to put the ball up and down toward the net, not low and pushed out wide like an ideal indoor set. Here, the players get a couple of nice apexes on transition sets off

Skills

Beginner

Youth Serving Drill

‘Horse’ serving game for volleyball

The game of horse is usually associated with basketball, but here’s a good one for volleyball that will give your players a fun way to practice serving.Players compete against a partner. Serves can earn a plus, zero or minus point. Coaches can set the bar anywhere they like for the scoring. For instance, a miss

10 Things I've Learned

Mark Barnard

10 things Mark Barnard has learned coaching volleyball

One of Mark Barnard’s trademarks as a volleyball coach is his ability to break down the game for players and staff in a way that is clear and easily understandable. And he does it on two continents: here in the U.S. as the associate head coach of the Oregon State women’s team, and in his

Topics

John Dunning Sand Volleyball

Should indoor players play sand volleyball?

When asked if he believes indoor players should also play sand volleyball, Stanford coach John Dunning says yes and explains that playing sand can help a player in a variety of ways, including enjoying the game for a longer time and benefiting from the mental aspect of playing on a two-person team.

Volleyball nutrition

Penn State volleyball: Winning tradition, winning nutrition

Penn State’s women’s volleyball program, which recently set an NCAA D1 record by winning its seventh national championship, makes sure its athletes are properly fueled. And not just before practices or matches. In the Penn State gym, just minutes after the day’s final drill, players are given a post-practice smoothie to aid their recovery. Here,

Coaching Your Own Kid

Coaching your own kid? Be prepared

If you think coaching your own children is the same as coaching everybody else’s children, think again. It’s a different animal. In this video, Regis coach Frank Lavrisha shares a few thoughts on how to make things smoother when the roster includes one of your own. For example, here’s Rule No. 1: In the car

John Dunning Sand Volleyball

Should indoor players play sand volleyball?

When asked if he believes indoor players should also play sand volleyball, Stanford coach John Dunning says yes and explains that playing sand can help a player in a variety of ways, including enjoying the game for a longer time and benefiting from the mental aspect of playing on a two-person team.

Nels

Observational training: Good medicine for sore hitting shoulders

Scientific studies indicate that watching a skill performed can be just as useful as performing the skill. In this video, Nels Rydberg, assistant coach at University of Texas at El Paso, explains why. One of the benefits to observational training that he notes is that it allows players to continue improving even if the coach

Delay of Game Rule

Using a delay-of-game penalty to your advantage

What happens if one of your players has run onto the court when you didn’t want her to and burned your last substitution? Simple. Pull her out and take a delay-of-game penalty. Emily Hiza, assistant volleyball coach at Oregon State, explains here how this works and why it’s better to be called for a delay

Using Data to Drive Decisions

Using technology and data to drive decisions

In the last 100 years technologies have driven evolution in sport. Records were smashed after starting blocks were introduced in track and field and also when athletes ran on artificial tracks, which assisted the transmission of force. In swimming, the introduction of starting blocks, underwater turns, water drainage at the edge of the pool, which

Nels

Observational training: Good medicine for sore hitting shoulders

Scientific studies indicate that watching a skill performed can be just as useful as performing the skill. In this video, Nels Rydberg, assistant coach at University of Texas at El Paso, explains why. One of the benefits to observational training that he notes is that it allows players to continue improving even if the coach

Tryout Tips from Brent Hilliard

Tryout Tips from Brent Hilliard

Now that club volleyball tryouts are here, Art of Coaching decided the time was right to seek out a few tips on what you should be looking for in a player. On a visit to University of San Diego’s women’s volleyball practice, we pulled Torero coach Brent Hilliard aside to get his take on that

Lecture Sessions

Worksheets

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Spice up your practice with Bjerring tournaments

Doubles and triples drills are popular with many coaches because it gives their players a lot of touches and also forces them to develop all-around skills. But choosing teams can be challenging. As Oregon State assistant coach Emily Hiza points out in this video, if the players pick their own teams, cliques tend to be

Coaching Clinics

Strategies

4-2 Volleyball Offense

4-2 volleyball offense: Jim Stone chalk talk

4-2 volleyball offense In this chalk talk, you’ll learn about the 4-2 volleyball offense from Art of Coaching contributor Jim Stone, a former head coach at Ohio State and the current head coach of the USA Youth National Team. Jim notes the advantages and the disadvantages of the 4-2, and he also breaks down the

4-2 Volleyball Offense

4-2 volleyball offense: Jim Stone chalk talk

4-2 volleyball offense In this chalk talk, you’ll learn about the 4-2 volleyball offense from Art of Coaching contributor Jim Stone, a former head coach at Ohio State and the current head coach of the USA Youth National Team. Jim notes the advantages and the disadvantages of the 4-2, and he also breaks down the

Todd Dagenias

Name Your Volleyball Drills

University of Central Florida Coach Todd Dagenais explains here why it’s important to name each drill that you create. It’s not about taking credit for your work. It’s about speeding up your practices so you don’t waste time.  

Volleyball rotation

Volleyball rotation: The basics

If you’re a volleyball coach, you undoubtedly have a solid understanding of how rotations work. But the less experienced players on your team or in your club may not, so here’s a tutorial from Art of Coaching’s Mark Barnard that you may want to share with players who are still fuzzy on the concept. Barnard,

Free ball transition

Making the most of free balls and down balls

Getting good swings off free-ball and down-ball opportunities has a lot to do with preparation in practice. In this video, Art of Coaching’s Mark Barnard shares tips on who should do what when the other team sends a free ball or down ball over the net. He covers the responsibilities of the front-row and back-row

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