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Teaching Volleyball

Before you can effectively teach the skills and strategies of volleyball, a coach must understand how the athletes learn. A coach’s role is to ensure that proper techniques are presented and that the athletes enjoy their participation in the sport. This requires motivation on the coach’s part and on the athlete’s part.

Both coach and athlete must have an understanding of why they are involved in the sport volleyball. That means that a coach must know why he/she is teaching the selected skills and also investigate the expectations and goals of the athletes involved in the program.

Three stages of learning are recognized and labeled beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

Beginning Stage
The goal of the beginning stage of learning is to develop an understanding of the concepts, principles, and mechanics involved in volleyball. Coach should explain the reasons why a skill is executed, present as few principles as possible without compromising the message. This phase of the learning process should be the shortest of the three.

Intermediate Stage
During this stage, the focus is on learning to perform the skills. Coaches will spend most of their skill-teaching time in this phase, especially if they work with young or beginning volleyball players.

Advanced Stage
This final stage of learning assumes that skills have been established in game related motor patterns. The player can at this phase focus on tactical applications.

General Principles of Teaching Volleyball Skills
There are many principles of teaching but the following list of principles have universal acceptance and have been found to be successful:

  • keep any presentation simple by using carefully chosen words,
  • use as few words as possible. Be sure to use consistent, memorable, and meaningful cues,
  • demonstrate the skill frequently. Visual instruction often has more impact than verbal instruction,
  • describe the desired end result and encourage the athletes to explore ways of achieving that result as long as the technique is bio-mechanically correct,
  • communicate clearly why a skill is being taught and why it should be performed in a prescribed manner,
  • make all learning activities compatible with the skill level of the players,
  • provide cues, hints, and technical information as needed,
  • keep activities challenging and fun,
  • use drills that duplicate the way a skill will be used in competition.

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