how to coach volleyball

How to Coach Volleyball? Essential Tips to Avoid Common Pitfalls and Build a Successful Coaching Career

How to coach volleyball? Volleyball is a fun and exciting sport to play. As a new volleyball coach, you have the chance to help players learn skills, work as a team, and enjoy the game. Coaching volleyball takes dedication and preparation, but it is a very rewarding experience. This beginner’s guide covers the basics you need to know to successfully coach a volleyball team.

Volleyball Coaching Quick Reference

Learn the Rules
-Court size, team sizes
-Scoring/rotation system
– Positions and responsibilities
– Violations and fouls
Set Goals
– Fun and skills for rec leagues
– Competitive achievements for travel teams
– Tailor goals to players’ ages and skill levels
Plan Practices
– Warm up then skill drills
– Scrimmages to develop teamwork
– Have structure but be flexible
– Engage and challenge players
Teach Skills
– Serving, passing, hitting, blocking, digging
– Explain then demonstrate
– Give feedback during drills
Motivate Players
– Set achievable goals 
– Recognize hard work/improvement
– Inspire with pep talks
– Celebrate wins as a team
Demonstrate Tough Love
– Chat with players about poor attitudes/effort 
– Bench players who disregard team rules
– Be fair and direct about expectations
Run Efficient Practices
– Warm up, skill drills, scrimmages
– Use whistles, signals, time limits
– Players leave energized
Prepare for Games
– Set positions and rotations
– Discuss opponent strengths/weaknesses
– Arrive early to set up
Learn from Mentors
– Observe other coaches
– Get guidance from veterans
– Attend clinics and conferences
Study the Game
– Watch matches live and on video
– Read books by great coaches
– Attend coaching clinics
Communicate Expectations
– Practice/game commitment 
– Player conduct and sportsmanship
– Parental support
Get to Know Players
– Chat to understand personalities, goals
– Note how they interact at practice
– Use knowledge to motivate
Be Flexible
– Adjust drills based on progress 
– Meet players at their ability level
– Have backup plans
Take It One Season at a Time– Reflect and set new goals after each season
– Focus on growth and enjoyment
– Coaching is continuous learning

How to Coach Volleyball?

This beginner’s guide covers the basics you need to know to successfully coach a volleyball team.

Learn the Rules- As A Volleyball Coach

Before you start coaching, make sure you understand the basic rules of volleyball. Here are some key things to know:

  • The team sizes – 6 players on each side for indoor volleyball; 4 players on each side for beach volleyball
  • How to score points – rally scoring so every serve results in a point
  • Rotation order and positions
  • Violations like net touches, double hits, carries, and more
  • Differences between indoor and beach volleyball rules

Review the official rulebook and watch games to see the rules in action. Knowing the basics will help you teach your players properly.

Set Goals for Your Team

Think about what you want your team to accomplish. Are you coaching a recreational league focused on skills and fun? Or a competitive travel team aiming for championships? Set goals that fit your players’ ages, skill levels, and interests.

Share your vision with players and explain what you expect at practices and games. Make goals specific – like improving serving accuracy or communication. This gives players targets to work towards.

Plan Effective Practices

Practices are where Volleyball players learn skills, bond as a team, and prepare for games. Structure practices to maximize your limited time. Warm ups and drills build skills. Scrimmages teach teamwork.

Have a plan but be flexible. Adjust activities based on player progress each day. Mix challenging drills with fun games to keep players engaged. End on a positive note like a team cheer.

Teach Volleyball Skills

how to coach volleyball

Breaking down and teaching basic skills is a big part of coaching. Be prepared to instruct proper technique on:

  • Serving – underhand and overhand
  • Passing – bumping, setting, overhead passes
  • Hitting – spikes, tips, rolls, dinks
  • Blocking – 1-person, 2-person, 3-person blocks
  • Digging – reading hits, good form, moving to the ball
  • Footwork – ready position, shuffling, transitions

Explain then demonstrate each skill. Let players practice with feedback and encouragement. Be patient as beginners learn new techniques.

Motivate And Help Your Players

how to coach volleyball

A motivated team brings energy and effort. Encourage players during drills and cheers. Stress working together.

Set small attainable goals they can achieve each practice. Recognize hard work and improvement. Building confidence and passion for volleyball is key.

On game days, inspire your team with a pre-game pep talk. Remind them of strengths and hard work preparing. Keep it positive if they make mistakes. Celebrate wins as a team.

Know When to Demonstrate Tough Love

While staying positive is important, also be willing to discipline players when needed. If someone has a bad attitude or skips practice, take them aside for a chat.

Explain the team commitment you expect. Bench players during games if they disrespect teammates or ignore your coaching. Be fair and direct. This shows you are serious about sportsmanship and team unity.

Run Productive Practices

Keep practices organized to maximize your limited time. Structure a typical practice like this:

  • Warm up drills – Get players loose and ready to play
  • Individual skill drills – Serving, passing, hitting, etc
  • Situational drills – Specific game scenarios like serve receive
  • Full team scrimmage – Let them play and put skills into action
  • Cooldown and review – Rest, hydrate and recap practice

Blow your whistle and use hand signals to start and stop drills. Keep players on task. End on time so they leave wanting more.

Prepare for Games

Matches require different preparation than practices. Talk to players about:

  • Positions and rotations – Who plays where
  • Substitution plans – When to swap players
  • Scouting reports – Review opponent strengths/weaknesses
  • Game importance – Conference play, rival game, etc
  • Goals & focus areas – What to emphasize and improve

Get to games early to set up your bench area and take care of any duties. Have a game plan but also adapt based on how the match unfolds.

Learn From Mentors

Connect with experienced coaches in your area. Ask to meet and discuss their philosophies. See if you can observe their practices and games.

Join the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Attend clinics to gain knowledge. Video record your practices to study.

Assistant and head coaches can learn from each other. Find a mentor willing to share wisdom that only comes from years of coaching volleyball.

Study the Game

Great coaches are lifelong students of the game. Study volleyball year-round to improve your knowledge.

  • Watch matches in person or on television. Take notes on strategies, rotations, substitutions, tempo changes, defensive schemes, play calling and more.
  • Read books from top coaches like John Dunning, Hugh McCutcheon and Kathy DeBoer. Learn their coaching philosophies.
  • Check out online instructional resources. Volleyball 1on1 has great videos breaking down skills.
  • Attend coaching clinics and conferences. These offer sessions on practice plans, drills, nutrition, recruiting and many valuable topics.

Immerse yourself in the world of volleyball. Being a student of the game will make you a better teacher as a coach.

Communicate Expectations

At your first team meeting, outline what you expect from players and parents. Key points to cover:

  • Practice and game commitment
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Player effort and sportsmanship
  • Open communication with you
  • Parent support and sideline conduct

Have players and parents sign a code of conduct or team policies form. Establishing expectations upfront prevents issues down the road.

Get to Know Your Players

Take time early in the season to learn about each athlete. This builds trust and helps you connect.

Chat with youth volleyball players before and after practices. Ask about school, hobbies, goals, and volleyball experience. Make conversations casual, not intimidating.

Note personality traits – who are the shy versus outgoing players? Watch how they interact during drills. Knowing your players helps motivate them best.

Be Flexible

Coaching requires quick thinking and adapting. No practice or game goes perfectly. Be ready to adjust.

If a drill is too advanced, switch to an easier one. If players are struggling with a new skill, take a step back. Meet them at their current ability level.

Injuries, illness and scheduling conflicts always come up. Have back-up practice plans and lineups. The ability to adapt makes coaches successful.

Take It One Season at a Time

how to coach volleyball

View each season as its own journey. At the end, reflect on what went well and set goals for off-season improvement.

Don’t dwell on the last game or practice. Celebrate progress and look ahead positively. Develop your skills just like players develop theirs – through commitment over time.

Coaching is a continuous learning process. Enjoy each step with your team. Before you know it, you’ll be a volleyball coaching veteran ready to pass wisdom to the next generation.

In Summary

  • Learn the rules and basics of volleyball
  • Set goals tailored to your players
  • Plan well-structured practices
  • Teach key volleyball skills step-by-step
  • Motivate players with positivity and discipline
  • Study the game and learn from mentor coaches
  • Communicate expectations clearly
  • Get to know your athletes as individuals
  • Adapt flexibly at practices and games
  • Focus on steady growth season-by-season

Volleyball coaching is challenging but rewarding. Follow this guide to give your players a great experience and watch them thrive on the court. Let your passion for the sport shine through as you develop as a coach. You’ve got this!

Start with underhand serves. Focus on consistent contact, smooth toss and body positioning. Then progress to overhand serves.

Two-on-two passing and digging, down ball drills, tip defense, and cross court digging.

1-3 times per week depending on age/level. Keep sessions under 2 hours.

6-2 system is common for beginners. As players advance, consider 5-1 or 4-2 rotations.

Explain the role of each position. Tailor drills to develop needed skills.

Games like keep the ball up, volleyball tennis, serving contests, and king of the court.

Praise effort, encourage teammates, establish goals, build team spirit.

Light warm up, skill work, review game plan, focus on positives.

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