Teaching Young Players How to Pass a Volleyball

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Passing. The very first thing we all have to learn in order to advance to any other skill. As much as every young player wants to spend entire practice sessions running through hitting lines, it is important to instill a love of passing in your team.

Teaching Young Players How to Pass a Volleyball

We’ve all heard the saying, “it starts with a pass,” and we’ve probably heard ourselves repeating this little nugget of wisdom once we get into the role of coaching. But think back to when you were a player. Did that quote inspire you? Motivate you? Even matter to you? Probably not.

Telling players that passing is important is not the way to inspire them to work harder at the skill. The way that I have found to encourage players to work harder on their passing is to spend individual time with each of them correcting their skill, and showing them that they can succeed. Little victories are the key to development. Continue reading

3 Reasons to Encourage Failure

Thanks for checking out my blog! Although I’m excited that you found me here, I’ve actually moved to www.getthepancake.com and have even more content for you there! 

As a volleyball coach, accepting that failure is a part of the learning process can be hard. In an ideal practice, we would see a mistake, explain how to correct it, and the problem would disappear. Or during a tournament, when we try running a new play for the first time, we get a kill.

This doesn’t happen very often.

3 Reasons to Encourage Failure | www.getthepancake.com | #getthepancake

 

If you’re a seasoned coach, you’ve probably tried to correct a player’s form, only to see them go back to their old ways five minutes later. Or you pump up your team that now is the time to try that new play, and they get blocked and lose their momentum and maybe even a little faith in your coaching.

These are failures. But we need them. Continue reading

My First Coaching Experience

Thanks for checking out my blog! Although I’m excited that you found me here, I’ve actually moved to www.getthepancake.com and have even more content for you there! 

While I “coached” at most of my high school’s volleyball youth camps over the summers as a player, my first real coaching experience didn’t happen until I was 21. I was given the opportunity to coach a 14 and under team in my hometown for a club that had only just started two years before. Prior to this club, there were a few sporadic club teams which would pop-up over the years, but players would typically have to drive 45 minutes to an hour away for the closest club team (my 12 year old self included).

My First Coaching Experience - Coaching Volleyball

During my first year, I was going to coach with someone I played with in high school, who had a couple of seasons under her belt already. She had coached at the high school level, and also for the new club. We were friends in high school and got along, so I was very excited to get the season started! Continue reading

Competitive and Fun Setting Drill for 8th Graders: Popcorn

Thanks for checking out my blog! Although I’m excited that you found me here, I’ve actually moved to www.getthepancake.com and have even more content for you there! 

Setting can be a difficult task to teach to your entire team. I know when I played, if we were all going to learn to set, we just all found a spot on the wall and did wall sets for 15 minutes, or until we complained too much about our arms hurting. Wall sets are not fun. I’m sure you know this as well as I do.

Competitive and fun drill for 8th graders: Popcorn

Keeping drills fun, especially when you are coaching younger teams, is very important. But the drills also need to be game-like and incorporate skills they will actually use in a match. Sometimes combining these two elements can be a challenge, especially with a skill that very few people are naturally gifted at.

I am going to call this drill “Popcorn” because when I see it in my mind, I also envision a popcorn machine heating up the kernels and popcorn flying around through the air.

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Bookmark www.getthepancake.com!

Good morning, coaches! I am excited to share with you all that Get The Pancake will soon be a full website, with dedicated sections on drills, our pre-made practice plans, coaching philosophy, and more!

Have specific information you’re looking for? Let me know in the comments and it may be integrated into the website! I’ll continue posting here throughout July so you don’t miss out on content, but by August everything will be on http://www.getthepancake.com. So bookmark now! Follow Get The Pancake social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) or subscribe to the email list and you’ll be the first to know when I make the switch!

Thank you for your loyal reading, I can’t wait to reveal the new website I’ve designed with you all in mind!

Volleyball Tryout Checklist: 5 Overlooked Qualities

Thanks for checking out my blog! Although I’m excited that you found me here, I’ve actually moved to www.getthepancake.com and have even more content for you there! 

While a few of you are just now wrapping up your season (hello, Nationals!), many of us are enjoying our summer break from coaching, either by simply relaxing, watching the AVP tour, or playing in summer volleyball leagues for some much-needed “me time.”

But as we all know, this break ends sooner than we expect, and open gyms and tryouts will soon be upon us! Even though I know you are probably enjoying your break from the gym, the excitement of a new season is sure to hit you soon. So while you’re daydreaming about a fresh start, here are a few tips to save for August.

Volleyball Coaches: Have a few players who you are on the fence about after tryouts? Go through this checklist to help you determine who makes the cut!

Most of these qualities go against what we have been conditioned to look for in a player, or are easy to overlook if not focused on picking up on these subtleties. Before you finalize your roster, check for these five qualities in the players who were on the fence. Continue reading

Pre-Made Practice Plan: Jousting and Tip Coverage

Thanks for checking out my blog! Although I’m excited that you found me here, I’ve actually moved to www.getthepancake.com and have even more content for you there! 

Often times, the motivation for a practice plan will come from major weaknesses witnessed during a match or even over the course of a tournament. This practice plan, practicing jousting and tip coverage, came after a particularly frustrating match during which my team lost to a team who lacked the power to send us fast-paced hits, yet bested our defenses via wimpy tips. The entire match.

Pre-Made Practice Plans for Busy Volleyball Coaches! Teach your team jousting and tip coverage in one practice. #volleyball #coach #practice #getthepancake

Now, if you read more of my articles and practice plans, you’ll see that I am actually a fan of a well-placed and well-timed tip. And if that has to be your main offense to defeat a team, then so be it. However, when you know the opponent is not doing this on purpose, it can be infuriating to watch ball after ball drop in the middle of the court.

After this match? You can bet jousting and tip coverage were my main focus at our very next practice. My advice? Use this practice plan BEFORE you realize you need it!

Time: 2-hour practice

Age levels: Advanced 8th grade, 9th – 12th grade

Skills targeted: Jousting and tip coverage Continue reading

10 Uncommon Quotes About Volleyball to Share with Your Team

Thanks for checking out my blog! Although I’m excited that you found me here, I’ve actually moved to www.getthepancake.com and have even more content for you there! 

One of my favorite ways to find motivation FAST is to read quotes. They fill me with a desire to go out and work harder, be better, and overcome the challenges in my way. This is especially true when it comes to volleyball.

10 Uncommon Quotes About Volleyball to Share with Your Team

But a lot of times when I am searching for new motivation, I reread the same quotes over and over again. While the quote “T.E.A.M. stands for Together Everyone Achieves More,” is great the first time you read it, I have a hard time drawing motivation from it now, having seen it AT LEAST a zillion times on Pinterest (granted, I may or may not have pinned this to my Volleyball Quotes board…). Continue reading

Pre-Made Practice Plan: Introducing Plays

Thanks for checking out my blog! Although I’m excited that you found me here, I’ve actually moved to www.getthepancake.com and have even more content for you there! 

Hey everyone, I decided I’m going to feature regular practice plans for you all, so if you ever need to get to the gym ASAP but didn’t have time to sit down and plan out your practice, I’ve got your back! I’ll be adding more regularly, so make sure to check out Get The Pancake often!

Run out of time before volleyball practice to plan drills? Check out some of our pre-made practice plan! New plans added regularly.

This practice plan will focus on introducing quick sets to your team, and defending against quick attacks.

Time: 2-hour practice

Age levels: Advanced 7th and 8th grade teams, advanced freshman teams, junior varsity and varsity teams.

Skills targeted: Running offensive plays, defense.

Continue reading