By Tiegan Kirkwold
No practice? No problem. Here’s how players can improve on their own.
All coaches aim to bring out the best in their athletes. But it can be tough to ensure players are making strides in their development from behind a computer screen. So we compiled some of our favorite resources for making progress from a distance.
The only way to improve your serve, swing, set (insert any volleyball skill here) is through commitment, hard work and patience. The same goes for the brain. The most successful players choose a positive attitude, maintain a high level of self-motivation, set high, realistic goals, use positive self-talk, and deal effectively with people. But these skills don’t happen overnight and they don’t always come naturally.
Encourage your players to put in the mental work now, so they can shine technically and physically when they’re on the court again.
- 5 Keys to Mental Toughness in Volleyball
- The Mental Game of Volleyball
- Mental Training from JVA
- How Olympians Train Their Brains
Staying active during this time will make the first practice back a little easier, but it’s also crucial for injury prevention. The good news is there are a ton of at-home strength and conditioning workouts on YouTube—send your favorites to players to keep them moving.
You can also find ideas on Twitter and Instagram, from core work and weight training to prehab circuits designed specifically for volleyball players who are hard on their shoulders. Or create your own workouts, record and upload them to Hudl, and have players message you when they’ve completed them.
Playing volleyball is kind of like riding a bike — it’s hard to forget once you know it. But that doesn’t mean you want players to go months without touching a ball. So we rounded up some of our favorite drills they can do at home. The best part? For most of these, all they need is a wall and a ball.
- 10 Solo Volleyball Drills to Try at Home
- At-Home Volleyball Drills (Setting, Hitting, Passing, Blocking)
- Volleyball Drills to Do at Home Without a Net or Court
- Art of Coaching At-Home Drills
You know how it goes. The first tournament is around the corner and you’re scrambling to train your players on how to keep score, track the libero and be the down referee. Use this downtime to get your team trained up so it’s smooth sailing once matches start.
Not sure how to get started? Here are some ideas:
- Set up a time for your team to watch a training video.
- Contact a local official and see if they’ll run a virtual training session with your athletes and coaches.
- When you can, host an intra-club scrimmage so your players can practice in a low-pressure environment.
Now’s also the perfect time for athletes to own their recruiting process. Encourage them to do research on colleges, narrow down their list of schools, reach out to coaches they’re interested in, and compile their best moments into a highlight reel.
We recently sat down with a few collegiate coaches to pick their brains about recruiting, highlights and getting noticed. They all had great insights for both coaches and athletes, so be sure to share these with your team.
- Jaylen Reyes from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln
- Natalie Morgan from Loyola-Marymount University
- Dani Busboom Kelly from the University of Louisville
If you’ve already nailed the at-home workouts and drills, switch your focus to video review on Hudl and have your players study their craft. Ask them to watch video of previous matches and create a playlist of their top five and bottom five plays. They can add comments and drawings explaining why it was a high or low moment. You can discuss these in a one-on-one call and develop a plan to address their bottom five as preparation for next season.
There are so many ways players can keep improving off the court — whether they focus on prehab, learning a new skill or planning their future. For more player development ideas and resources, check out our Remote Coaching Guide.