The May Coaching Tip of the Month Winner

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Tip by George LeVasseur, Danvers Volleyball Club in Melrose, MA.

Practice Tip: Never let a touch at practice be wasted again! Even when someone is a target for a drill, make them push the ball up as if they were setting. After all, there’s no need to teach our kids to catch!

Coach Speasl’s May Coaching Tip

Always use positive speak when coaching:When processing human speech we see mental pictures of the main topics. Therefore as a coach we need to state our coaching in a positive manner. Example: If I say, “Elephant” you develop a picture in your mind of an elephant. It’s impossible not to do so. The problem is that there is no mental picture of the word don’t. What happens is that the the coach who says, “Don’t miss the next serve” has their statement work against them, because is no mental picture of the word “Don’t.” So what the athlete is left with is “miss the next serve.” They all have missed a serve in their life and they can easily visualize missing a serve.

The fact is, that we all move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts. Serving is only one example of this phenomenon. It’s harder as a coach to state everything in a positive way, however using the word “Don’t” reinforces the action that you are attempting to eliminate. So the coaching point should change to something such as, “Serve this next one in, make the next serve, serve to a particular spot or player, etc.” 

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