Using your athletes best – School Volleyball
By Prateek Yadav
Russ Rose has been in the volleyball loop for quite some time, which has made his experiences and philosophies crucial to help the new generation of coaches to succeed. Rose is the head coach of Penn State’s women’s team with whom he has won countless championships and individual distinctions. He is also fairly active online, as he takes what he learns and transmits the information through articles for coaches and athletes to learn from.
“Don’t try tactically what you can’t do technically”, wise words to live by as a volleyball coach. Often, inexperienced coaches (at the lower level of the sport, high school or elementary) tend to look at a higher level of play (college/university or even national team programs) for game play and strategies which and try to implement for their own teams. This may not be the best idea as athletes are of different skill level. Athletes playing at a higher level have the depth and talent to do a lot more. Both levels of volleyball need to be catered towards thier own specific requirement.
Rose included a few tips for bettering your practice environment at the school level:
- Serving is one of the most important weapons to score points as well as putting other teams in trouble. Allowing your strong servers to start the game rather than hidden in deep in your serving rotation will allow for a better start and possibly more points.
- Blocking is a very underrated skill that coaches don’t often spend enough time on. Also good blockers aren’t used well enough in strategic situation. It is a great idea to line up your good blockers to your opponents best attacker. Even if this means you may have to move the blocker to a different position mid play. This will ensure that points don’t come as easy for the opponent.
- Attacking is all about putting the ball way and scoring points. This is often confused as sharing the sets and attacks amongst everybody. This shouldn’t be the case, especially if you are trying to establish a winning mentality amongst your athletes. During a game, your stronger attackers should get the sets more often in order to display success. This will ensure your team is scoring more points and will also keep team moral high. Success on defence is undermined when the attacker doesn’t score.
To learn more about Rose’s thoughts on this topic, read his article in full here:
Use your best players wisely especially if you only have a few