Coach, do you know these 6 basic skills?

03/13/2023 |

Hello Supervisor. Hello Coach!

VolleyballXL can come up with all the exercises and create tools to improve your players or make the training more enjoyable, but isn’t it time for you, as a volleyball coach, to work on your own skills?

What skills could you as a supervisor/coach develop or improve this year? In this blog, we have listed six basic skills. Unfortunately, we don’t have one-minute volleyball drills this time, so print out this blog and put it in your sports bag, or better yet, keep it within reach.

1: Use the First Contact to Build a Connection

When you think back to your own best teacher or coach, you may not remember exactly what that coach did and what drills were carried out, but you certainly remember the feeling that this person evoked in you. Somehow you knew that this coach saw something in you. Trust is the foundation for effective teaching. Whether you trust someone or not is usually decided within the first few seconds of the first encounter. So use this first moment well to build a connection with this player.

The most effective methods are: eye contact, body language, empathy, and humor. Personal contact should be at the forefront. If you want to teach people something, you must first show that you are interested in them.

2: Keep it Short and Visual

The best coaches do not stand in front of a group, but beside the players. They give individual players short instructions during training. You should not get lost in too many words and phrases to show everyone how much you know. You must be able to convey a clear message to the player, which he then immediately tries to implement.

3: Stop the Vague Chatter

Vague and unclear formulations are a big and common mistake. If you tell a player to be “a bit more relaxed,” the player may wonder, “How relaxed? For how long?”

As a coach, try to be concrete, specific, and visual. Here are some examples:

  • “Stand loosely” is vague. “Dribble as if you’re on hot coals” is concrete.
  • “Play faster” is imprecise. “Don’t play the ball over a mountain, but over a hill” is concrete.
  • “Expect the ball with extended arms” is vague. “Expect the ball with your hands extended to the net edge” is concrete. Use short, concrete words or numbers, things you can see and feel, to make clear what is expected from the player.

5: Keep Players Engaged

To learn something, you have to get active. A good player will always fight fanatically to get better. Therefore, as a coach/supervisor, you must create an environment that encourages the player not to sit back, but to stay active. It’s better to have as few drills as possible where players have to stand in a very long queue until it’s their turn. It’s better to let them play several smaller games. Consider, as a coach, how you can turn passive time into active learning time.

6: Aim for Autonomy, Lead Them to Independence

Your long-term goal as a supervisor/coach should be to make yourself “obsolete.” The players should become so good that they no longer need you. So don’t try to put yourself in the spotlight, but create an environment where people can work on their own goals. Use, for example, the personal performance plan for this. Stay as much in the background as possible and make sure they can work independently. With you by their side to support them in becoming the best possible version of themselves.

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