May 2020 Coaching Tip

Posted by Volley CART on

Tip by George Mon, Allegro Volleyball Club in New Jersey.

Preface: I read all the time about coaches that dread coaching the younger players 12-13's. I will be honest, it does take some research in how to coach 13's at the beginner level. And so this drill is part of a series of new drills in re-thinking a game plan, factoring in positive goals, building success and skills with limited time. I got started with a Carl Mcgown camp 25 years ago and he impressed on me to not waste time.

This is designed as a warm-up drill - super simple - gets the legs warmed up and focuses on the very start of the game, One of the goals was to find success for brand new players at a young age. So we asked the question what volleyball skill would a new player be most successful in a game given the skills they have (zero) and the physical ability they have. Serving is the obvious answer but its not so easy, Everyone starts with passing but to have success in a game in serve rec is what most coaches dread starting out coaching 12-13's. My answer will surprise you. Blocking. Ok Coach are you nuts? There is nothing to block, I am not teaching beginners to block, there is no pass set hit and nothing to block, besides they can get above the net etc...

Well. these are all valid points. Here is the rational. Everyone can jump. Whatever the age the player starts - by the time they get to you they can walk and they can jump. They may not be blocking touching 9 feet but they can jump with both arms above their heads. This is the easiest skill when compared to what we expect from hem for serving/passing/hitting. Remember one of the goals is to achieve success in a game. Ok next rational there is nothing to block. This is true. but the are more over passes in a game then there are good passes etc..
So we emphasize blocking. And your players will get blocks on over passes, even if its a softer block.

Blocking warm-up

Set-up: Partner and a ball, and net.

Player A at the net facing the net, Partner B with a ball at the opposite 10 ft line.
Player B toss underhand over thenet and player A jumps to block and returns the ball to player A. Repeat as many times as you like then switch partners.

This is a great legs warm-up while getting in some ball touches. Add in footwork and details to the level/age of players.

Super simple warm-up drill. Saves time on warm-up, focus on a skill that usually gets taught "last" If it goes as planned your players will be blocking before you even talk or teach blocking.

George Mon
Allegro Volleyball Club


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