Tips for Coaching Youth Volleyball

Are you interested in tips for coaching youth volleyball? Use the following tips to help your team continue to make progress.

5 Tips for Coaching Youth Volleyball

Coaching youth volleyball can be challenging for new coaches. 

Here are five tips for coaches who are new to coaching youth volleyball.

  1. Establish a Positive Environment: By creating an atmosphere where players feel comfortable and motivated to learn, your players will be more likely to listen to you and follow instructions. The volleyball team needs an environment where they feel comfortable so they will be more willing to take risks out on the court. Players won't get better without expanding their comfort zone, so a comfortable environment will definitely help players develop skills. Players are also more likely to stick to volleyball and not quit if they are motivated and engaged. It's also a good idea to use team building activities to help foster a positive team culture.
  2. Teach Fundamentals: Beginning volleyball players need to focus on the basic skills of volleyball. If you can't do the basics then volleyball will be frustrating and not fun to play. All players must start with the basics. As players develop basic skills they will stay motivated and will be more likely to not quit playing. The more skill they develop, the more confident they'll continue to enjoy playing volleyball.  
  3. Keep Players Engaged and Having Fun: Practices and games need to stay interesting. Have a variety of drills and be sure to include drills that you know your players like. Both cooperative and competitive drills help keep players engaged.
  4. Use Positive and Clear Communicate: Be sure to demo drills to help players understand what you expect them to do. Use video to show correct and incorrect playing techniques. Encourage players to ask questions to help clarify what is expected. Be patient with your team and be understanding toward your players as they continue to learn. Praise players for their successes. 
  5. Focus on Skill Progression: Volleyball practices should be designed with incremental goals in mind. The coach should create goals for individual players, not just team goals.  

Bonus Tip: Each player needs to understand their role on the team. When you define player roles, each player then has a clear expectation and focus. When you define what each players job is, then each player will know what they need to be focusing on. This will help to keep it clear what is expected and both players and coach will see when players are progressing and when they aren't. 

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5 Tips for Coaching Volleyball

5 Tips for Designing Better Volleyball Drills

Skills Training within Drills. Don't make the mistake of not focusing on correct technique when your players are executing drills. Poor technique during drills can lead to bad habits. For example, swinging the arms to pass is a horrible habit and will need to be changed as they advance in their career. Get your players to develop good habits early and this will make it much easier for them to continue to improve. 

Drills with Game-like Scenarios. Along with technique, players need to do drills that are game-like. This means it's best to have drills that involve the entire sequence. For example, don't just pass the ball during the drill. Have a player receive a serve, pass the ball, and then a setter set the ball to an attacker. The more game-like the situation is, the better the skills will transfer to an actual game.

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5 Tips to Designing Better Volleyball Drills

Drills that Involve Anticipation. Anticipation is a skill that all players must develop. If you can't anticipate, then you can't get in position to make the play. Anticipation is a skill that a volleyball player will be developing their entire career. You can always improve your anticipation skills. Don't make the mistake of having a coach toss the ball to a passer. There isn't anticipation when passing a tossed ball. The passer needs to "read" the incoming ball. You can't read a ball that's tossed. This is why the passer should receive a ball that's coming from a server or attacker. The skill of passing starts by the receiver watching and anticipating the incoming ball.

For example, in serve receive, players should be watching the server toss the ball and make contact to serve. By watching the server, the receiver gets clues to where and how the ball is being served. The receivers then use this information to read and react to get in position to pass. The best receivers are the best at anticipating. Getting in position is critical and anticipating the ball is essential to your success.

The same goes for when a setter is practicing setting. When coaching youth volleyball, the coach shouldn't toss the ball to the setter. The setter needs to set a ball that's been passed by a teammate. The setter must learn to anticipate the pass. The setter watches the receiver and reacts to the ball being passed. The setter can't read a "tossed" ball. Tossing the ball to the setter is a waste of time and isn't recommended.

Give Positive Encouragement. Encouraging a growth mindset is important to keep players motivated. You want your players to want to come to practice. They should enjoy learning and want to be there. Point out when a player executes a skill correctly. Emphasize the successes to help build confidence.

Make Practices Fun. If practices are fun then players will enjoy what they are doing and want to be there. Fun practices help players stay motivated and engaged in what they are doing. You don't want your team to just go through the motions. They need to understand volleyball should be fun and not something they don't enjoy doing. If you have a drill you want your team to do, but they aren't finding it to be fun, then try to come up with a fun way of doing the drill. Occasionally let your players come up with their own drills. This will empower them and help keep them motivated to practice.  

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How to Coach Volleyball