Getting your middle’s involved is critical to producing a versatile and effective attack.
But how can you emphasize this so that it occurs more often in match play?
In the video below Bobbi Petersen, University of Northern Iowa Head Coach; 2018 AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year; 2006 AVCA National Coach of the Year; demonstrates a drill that she calls Hit the Deck.
This drill is designed to help her team focus on setting a zero tempo ball to the middle for a quick attack.
The drill is conducted 5 v 5 with no left front.
The Hit the Deck drills begins with the coach entering the ball. The point is played out normally. However, if any strategy is used other than a zero tempo ball to the middle, every play must “hit the deck”. This means they are required to get to the floor on their belly and then get back to defend.
In other words, you can set the middle a higher ball, you can set the back row, use can pass the ball over, or use a setter dump but every player will have to ‘hit the deck” before they play the next ball.
They only restriction is that they cannot tip inside the 10-foot line.
This forces the middle to up and ready to be an option. It also forces the other players to concentrate and utilize the middle attack.
This is just one of many drills that Coach Peterson uses to score practice drills to hold players accountable for executing specific skills within the drill.
To learn more about the Hit Drill and other “Accountability Drills” check out Coach Peterson’s instructional DVD entitled Creative Drills for Training Accountability.
The YouTube video below has audio, so please make sure that your speakers are turned on and the volume is up. Note that some schools may block access to YouTube.