Creating game-like situations in training

Training in-context is a key to player development. In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching WIzards interview, Paulo Cunha talks about how to create game-like drills when working with only one or a few players.

From 1987 to 2007 Paulo was a coaching education lecturer and course director for the Portuguese Volleyball Association and Portuguese Volleyball Federation. He coached his nation’s Junior National Team from 1986-1992. His club teams in Portugal’s 1st Division won 8 national titles, 7 Portuguese Cups, and 6 Super Cups. Paulo’s coached in 12 European Cups and in 1998 became the first Portuguese coach to reach a European cup final four. Three times he was awarded Coach of the Year by the Portuguese Association of Volleyball Coaches.

Changing training over the season

Stelio DeRocco talks in this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview about how he changes and adapts his team’s training over the different phases of the season.

Stelio was the Australian National Team coach during the 2000 Olympic cycle. He later lead the Canadian National team to a NORCECA championship and coached in a World Cup. As a professional coach, he won 2 Euro Cups with Montichiari (Italy) and 2 leagues and 3 cups with Constanta (Romania).

A view on blocked training

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, legendary American men’s collegiate volleyball coach Al Scates lets you know what he thinks about blocked training.

Al Scates coached the UCLA Men’s Volleyball program for more than 40 years. During that span his teams amassed over 1200 victories and won 19 NCAA championships, with another 6 runners-up finishes. Scates was named Coach of the Year five times: 1984, 1987, 1993, 1996, 1998. He was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame in 2004.

A side vs B Side or mixed team scrimmages

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US college men’s coach Arnie Ball answers the question whether he prefers scrimmaging starters against non-starters or mixing the players up.

Arnie Ball spent more than 30 years coaching the men’s team at IPFW where he won over 500 matches, reached the NCAA Final 4 six times, and was a national runner-up. He also won over 200 matches as the IPFW women’s team coach in the first few years of his tenure there. Arnie was named conference Coach of the Year three times and the 2007 AVCA National Coach of the Year. He has worked in the USA national program in a number of different coach roles and is a member of the AVCA Hall of Fame.

This is a topic John & Mark delve into more deeply in Episode 20 of the Podcast.

Looking at jump counts like pitch counts

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, US high school and juniors coach Ryan Mitchell explores the idea of volleyball coaches evaluating player jump counts in ways similar to how baseball managers use pitch counts.

Ryan Mitchell has been a head coach at a three different high schools in the greater Dallas area, as well as having coached at the Juniors level for three of the area’s clubs. At the high school level, Ryan won five straight Texas titles, earning himself six Coach of the Year selections in the state. He was also selected National High School Coach of the Year by the NFHS. At the club levels his teams have earned national qualification nearly every year.

In Episode 22 of the Podcast this is a subject John & Mark expand upon.

Making technique simple and comfortable

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Swedish coach Anders Kristiansson talks about making player techniques and mechanics simple and comfortable. In particular, he addresses techniques that get taught by coaches which cannot be maintained in the reality of the game.

Anders Kristiansson, who currently coaches in Japan, is a coach who influenced other top coaches. He coached teams to 26 combined men’s and women’s championships in his native Sweden, then went on to win 15 titles in Belgium and 3 more in Greece. His teams played in four CEV Champions League Final 4s and twice reached the final. Anders also coached the Swedish national team during its strongest period of international performance. He lead the team to a silver medal at the 1989 European Championships, the nation’s best ever tournament finish.

This topic is something John & Mark give a bit more time to in Episode 11 of the Podcast.

Judging player character in tryouts

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Jim Stone shares his thoughts on how to go beyond judging player skill and athleticism during the tryout process and to also assess their character, coachability, etc. These are things he uses in his work with the USA Volleyball youth national teams.

Jim Stone spent 26 seasons as the head coach at Ohio State where he amassed over 500 victories. His teams won 3 Big 10 titles and made 15 trips to the NCAA tournament. Jim coached two AVCA Players of the Year and 19 All-Americans. He was selected regional and conference Coach of the Year four times.

The philosophy of training plans

In this excerpt from his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview, Jan De Brandt talks about his approach to planning, structuring, and organizing training. Among the views he expresses is that coaches should look for ways to make training shorter and that fewer good repetitions is better than many bad ones.

Jan De Brandt was most recently the Hungarian Women’s National Team coach, having previously also coached for his native Belgium. At the club level he has coached in Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Azerbaijan, and Germany. He is a Winner of the European Volleyball League, a CEV Champions League Silver Medal, and a CEV Cup Bronze Medal. While coaching in Turkey his teams won 2 league championships, 1 cup, and 1 Super Cup.

This subject is one John & Mark discuss in Episode 9 of the Podcast. Another of the concepts from Jan’s interview – the roles of the coach – is the topic of Episode 30.

Podcast Episode 22: Jump Counts with Ryan Mitchell

In baseball, managers use pitch counts to help them make decisions on when they might need to replace their pitchers. Could we do something similar in volleyball? That’s the subject of this episode of the Volleyball Coaching Wizards Podcast.

Ryan Mitchell has been a head coach at a three different high schools in the greater Dallas area, as well as having coached at the Juniors level for three of the area’s clubs. At the high school level, Ryan won five straight Texas titles, earning himself six Coach of the Year selections in the state. He was also selected National High School Coach of the Year by the NFHS. At the club levels his teams have earned national qualification nearly every year.

Fellow Wizards Ismo Peltoarvo and Redbad Strikwerda were mentioned in this episode. Redbad was featured in Episode 7 of the podcast.

Feedback, questions, comments, etc. are always welcome!

Podcast Episode 21: The psychology of training with Anders Kristiansson

Player psychology is an important consideration for coaches at all levels, and in all sports. How much does it factor into how you put together your practice plans and how your address developmental needs in training with your team? Probably not enough. In this episode of the podcast, Anders Kristiansson starts off the conversation with some observations from his interview on the importance of keeping the psychological aspect in mind when developing training plans and talking with players.

Anders Kristiansson, who currently coaches in Japan, is a coach who influenced other top coaches. He coached teams to 26 combined men’s and women’s championships in his native Sweden, then went on to win 15 titles in Belgium and 3 more in Greece. His teams played in four CEV Champions League Final 4s and twice reached the final. Anders also coached the Swedish national team during its strongest period of international performance. He lead the team to a silver medal at the 1989 European Championships, the nation’s best ever tournament finish.

This is the second time Anders has been featured in the podcast. You can hear his thoughts on keeping things simple from Episode 11.

Feedback, questions, comments, etc. are always welcome!