Coaching Volleyball Skills Game Day
Pre-Tournament Strategies

It's important to have a strategy for coaching volleyball skills for the day of competition.

Match and Tournament Preparation

Coaching volleyball skills and preparation for matches and tournaments should begin well before game day.

The practice or two before, the coach should cover several things...

  • Skill-based execution.

  • A specific game plan.

  • Pre-tournament particulars such as what to eat, what to wear, the time to leave/arrive, and the team warm up.

Skill-Based Execution

The last practice before a tournament should involve skill-based execution. This means to have plenty of good repetitions performing the most important skills in volleyball.

For example, if your team often gets stuck in serve receive because of bad passing, then the focus should be on the fundamentals of executing good passes.

If blocking is a big issue, practice blocking the day before a tournament. Remember you want successful repetitions. Each player should have successful block attempts...meaning the actually blocks the ball.

Successful repetitions the day before often translates into game day success.

Coaching Volleyball Skills

Coaching Volleyball Skills and Team Tactics

The practices leading up to a big match or tournament should also focus on team tactics.

The focus should be...

  • consistent execution

  • attacking the ball on offense

  • playing good team defense

Players need to know their role.

Teamwork should be emphasized along with every player fulfilling their role on offense and defense.

Every player needs to know their job on the team.

The coach should be learning the team's tendencies and abilities.

The more the coach becomes familiar with the teams tendencies, the more the coach can help players focus on specific tactics.

Game day coaching involves creating a specific game plan.

The week leading up to a big match or tournament, the coach should inform players of the tactics the team will plan on using.

Plan the offensive sets and decide on what defense will be used.

Make sure your players understand the strategy and tactics.

Focus on error free repetitions. Focus on executing near perfect repetitions and this will instill confidence in your players.

Players are often more motivated if they are more involved in the game plan.

Be sure to let your players provide feedback.

When you allow player input, this helps them learn the game. The more interactive they are, the more they'll get a feeling of ownership.

Tips for Game Day Coaching Success

The follow are tips for coaching volleyball skills...

  • Be a cheerleader. No matter what your players do or what they aren't able to do, show encouragement. During a match players tend to feel a lot of pressure and need support.

  • Have a game plan. Focus on giving players solutions. This is the time to tell players what to do, not what they're doing wrong.

  • Have fun. Players should know that volleyball is supposed to be fun.

  • Your team needs to arrive at the game stress free. Be on time. You don't want to show up late having players rush to get ready to play.

  • Have cool uniforms. The jerseys should be comfortable and durable. How players look will affect their attitude.

  • Make several copies of the team line up and roster. This will make it easier to write in the line up for each match.

  • During your meeting with the officials, have a pleasant tone. Be social. You want them on your side. Understand the choices you have for the coin toss. What you choose (serve/receive or side) could be advantageous.

  • Make your court conditions the best you can for your team.

  • Make sure your team is comfortable with the line up.

  • Practice with the same type of ball used in competition.

  • Don't let your team be distracted by the crowd. Keep players focused on the game.

  • Make sure your team has enough water and food for tournaments.

  • Where you sit on the bench should be the most beneficial to your team. Consider standing. An active coach standing and moving around sometimes gives teams feeling of support.

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