Jim Stone, head coach of the U.S. girls’ youth national team, talks here about 5 teaching points that coaches should emphasize to help their athletes play the game at a higher level and get there more quickly.
- Make sure all of your players have frequent opportunities to repeat skills in practice. In scrimmages or wash games, it’s common for a few players to get most of the touches, so it’s a good idea to keep track of how many hits, passes, etc. each player gets so you can balance out everyone’s reps.
- Emphasize how important it is in volleyball to move slow to fast on skills like the attack approach or going to the outside as a middle blocker.
- Teach your team to play assertively and aggressively and always be on the attack. For instance, when playing a third touch on the 10-foot line, players should jump and take an 80 percent swing rather than just bumping the ball over.
- Make it clear to your serve-receivers that overhand passes should be used sparingly when facing strong servers who bring heat. Better options are moving back and playing the ball at your midline or taking a drop step and contacting the ball to the side with a good platform angle. Against great servers, overhand serve receive can cause serious problems.
- Have a serving strategy for both taller players and shorter players to help them achieve a trajectory that will put maximum pressure on the receiving team.