Growing Pains: Three Ways Volleyball Coaches Can Address Common Frustrations

From lack of resources to lack of time, coach­es face com­mon chal­lenges. Here are some tools and tips you can use to address them. 

Growing Pains: Three Ways Volleyball Coaches Can Address Common Frustrations

From lack of resources to lack of time, coach­es face com­mon chal­lenges. Here are some tools and tips you can use to address them. 

There’s a lot that goes into coach­ing. From prepar­ing for match­es to orga­niz­ing prac­tice sched­ules, it’s all about opti­miz­ing your team’s per­for­mance week after week. Add in your duties out­side the realm of coach­ing, and it can all seem over­whelm­ing.

There are com­mon pain points that we’ve heard through inter­views with coach­es. Everyone is look­ing for tools that they can imple­ment to light­en their work­load. Here are some ways you can address those frus­tra­tions, so you can get back to doing what you do best — coach­ing your team on the court.

Problem: There’s not enough time in the day to focus on teaching and preparing for matches.

Coaches are teach­ers. There are a lot of dif­fer­ent things that are asked of you as a coach, so how do you prioritize? 

Both my assis­tant and I are full-time high school teach­ers so any­thing that can cut down time for us as teach­ers and coach­es, we’re def­i­nite­ly look­ing into how to bal­ance every­thing,” said Matt Marrujo of Servite High School in California. 

Through tools like Hudl Assist, his staff was able to cut down the time they spent break­ing down video sig­nif­i­cant­ly. We’re able to do what used to take two-three hours in 20 – 30 min­utes and still have the same lev­el of infor­ma­tion as we did before,” said Marrujo. I tell all the peo­ple I work with [to] pay for the ser­vice. It will save you time and let you do a good job with your team.”

Reinvesting that time saved in front of your com­put­er can free you up to ana­lyze your strongest and weak­est rota­tions, scout oppo­nents, etc., and it could pay div­i­dends when you step on the court.

Problem: I don’t know the best way to communicate with players on and off the court.

Whether it’s in-game or on the prac­tice court, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is every­thing. It’s not just between play­ers in spe­cif­ic rota­tions, it’s also between your coach­ing staff and the play­ers on the court or on the bench. 

Having evi­dence to show to your play­ers can make all the dif­fer­ence in per­for­mance. Stats don’t lie,” said Sid Davison, the head coach at St. John Bosco in California. I call it a lie detec­tor. When things are going down we throw it out there. Say, Look guys, what I’ve been telling you dur­ing a match is def­i­nite­ly evi­dent right here, and this is you on film, and this is your hit­ting percentage.’”

Everything is linked back to video for Davison and his staff, pro­vid­ing an evi­dence-based adjust­ment that they can use to improve. Furthermore, through Hudl’s inter­nal mes­sag­ing plat­form, shar­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing key moments to play­ers can be done wher­ev­er review is tak­ing place.

We have two set­ters and they use it the most,” said Marrujo. It’s been cool to have dia­logue through Hudl with them on some tech­nique stuff because they’re young. Those two have improved a lot tech­ni­cal­ly, going from watch­ing their own film, giv­ing us feed­back on what they’re doing what they want to work on going forward.

Problem: Game planning and optimizing rotations can be a guessing game.

Coaches are expect­ed to be pre­pared for any even­tu­al­i­ty a match might throw their way. There’s a lot that goes into the prep work coach­es do, so stream­lin­ing the process can help you effec­tive­ly gath­er and ana­lyze the infor­ma­tion at hand. 

Through tools like Hudl, com­bin­ing stats and video will allow you to fil­ter through your data to find opti­mal rota­tions to max­i­mize play­er effi­cien­cy. Wouldn’t you want your out­side hit­ter play­ing in a rota­tion that pro­vides the best offen­sive matchup giv­en the play­ers out on the court? 

If you take a set­ter and imag­ine their line of vision, it’s going to push them, when they’re watch­ing this video back to actu­al­ly see how the defense on the oth­er side is posi­tion­ing them­selves,” said Erin Freeman, a for­mer stand­out for the University of California-Berkeley. 

Working through those key talk­ing points with your play­ers using video as the main medi­um of com­mu­ni­cat­ing strat­e­gy can make all the difference. 

Coaching nev­er stops. The key to suc­cess is effec­tive­ly using tools that can enhance your abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate with your staff and players.

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