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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