A few years ago, I offered to train second and third grade volleyball teams through my local and recreational department. I have never trained before and went into the experience a little blind. Do not confuse me, I've been a very serious volleyball player for 10 years, but I've never trained before, and certainly not such a young group!
I watched the books from the library, looked up online and tried to prepare the best things I could, but in the end I just had to move. I found that the second and third categories were much smaller than I remembered, so many of the exercises I had thought were just physically impossible. In addition, there were emotional factors to have all of these starters together. They became sad when their crew had won and they did not. Sometimes it looked like my job was a mix of training and childcare.
When I was used to guide these girls, I became better and better. I realized that I had to listen to them more and adapt to their abilities and I could not implement all that was planned. They had quite a few of my favorite exercises, so I finished them completely and made my favorite boy to teach them almost all the skills. (If you need a good drill, love them "dead fish" – originally designed to serve drill, but it can teach precision before passing, setting and hitting).
The period passed and I began to notice. In the first game, all points were scored from serving, there were no rallies. They could always deliver the ball to the other team. Finally got a real visit. I literally jumped up and down andave out so many high-fives at the moment! They were looking like a real team and I was so proud.
By the end of the season, they had clearly improved and seemed to really enjoy playing the game. I can only hope I could put a passion for the game in my team and hope they will continue to play in the future.
I learned a few key lessons that were not in some training books that I extracted from the library. Hopefully they will help you out if you are going to train teams this fall.
Attitude – A good attitude can be very underestimated. Volleyball is a team sport, so teammates feed each other. If one player pollutes the waters, you can be sure that others will follow. The same applies to coaches. Positive strengthening, the ability to laugh at your own mistakes and the ability to entertain yourself will create a good team atmosphere. Yelling, getting angry and overreacting will fuel a negative environment and may cause your team to lose respect.
Be a song – this tip is twofold. First, all sports teams need to interact, so make sure the players are talking on and outside the court. Second, ask for input. Find out what exercises are your players, what exercises they do not like and be willing to adapt. They will learn better if they do the things they want.
Plans – It's always a good idea to have a plan in place for a workout or game. Once you have read the next team, I will see that I do not have a strict schedule of minutes per minute, but you should have an idea of the skills you want to work on. For example, intend to spend X amount of heating, X amount on serving, X amount on departure and X amount of your choice. Then you can be flexible with each activity, but you do not have to waste time trying to decide what to do next.
Customize – Your players will come to you with different talents, expectations and commitments. This can make it difficult to organize initially but be prepared to complete workouts and practice schedules so that they are effective.
Make Mistakes – This applies to players and coaches, you get better by learning from your mistakes. Beginner players make mistakes all the time, so constructively help them see how to correct them. Trainers make mistakes sometimes too, maybe the drill you had planned was totally ineffective. This goes back to adjusting, learning something and continuing.
Have fun – Do not win the players so much that they do not enjoy themselves. I found that the younger kids just like playing around, but in a competitive lever, players like challenging workout and training. Make sure you are practicing the exercises and activities that are consistent with their stage. Find the balance between working hard and having fun.
I also think of the best coach I had and they were the ones who really used the game and made it fun. Most memorable are the coaches we could laugh with, joke with, but still totally respectful and learned.
And finally, remember it's just a game. After 10 years of play, the games I remember are not the loss or the mistake, but are challenging, hard work and my physical life.
How to play "Dead Fish":
- Divide your players into two, have one team on each side of the net.
- Each team sends one member to the other side of the network, as they lie on the floor.
- The writer serves and tries to hit the "dead fish" on the other side of the net.
- If a player serves the ball or does not make it over the internet, they also become "dead fish".
- When "dead fish" catches the ball, they return to life and unite their team.
- The "Dead Fish" must be completely on the ground – not to jump up to hit the ball.
- The remaining team wins!