How To Teach Volleyball

I recently came across an article (sadly no longer online) written for the US volleyball coach accreditation program.  It is a great general article on developing motor skills in athletes, particularly young athletes.  Like most volleyball literature coming out of the USA, it is very heavily researched based and favours gamelike and specific teaching / methods over others.  It is a constant source of amazement to me how teaching / coaching theory differs in different countries.  German literature, for example, seems in many areas to be fundamentally opposite and talks about developing general coordination before specific skills.  But I digress… The linked article is about a great short review.  I highly recommend it.  Some highlights,

– When presenting technique goals to players, remember the following.

  • Humans have a limited ability to process information. Therefore, performance at all levels of learning can be facilitated by reducing the amount of information to be processed.
  • The group of subjects who received the most complete instruction made strikingly little improvement (Renshaw and Postle).
  • Words have little meaning for the beginner in motor skills (Berlin).
  • Movement information is retained in short-term memory in the form of an image (Marteniuk).
  • Learn what all good teachers must learn: images are better than words; showing is better than telling; and too much instruction is worse than none (Gallwey).
  • Most tasks are learned at a faster rate when repeated demonstrations are shown (MacCoby and Sheffield).

– The game teaches the game.

– Speed First, Accuracy Second – The whole skill (rather than the part method) means that speed is  first and accuracy is second when judging success and learning a new skill. Learning below the normal speed requires re-learning the skill at the correct speed later.

I could go on and on, but I won’t.  Instead I will point you to the IMPACT webpage (which does not work for some people) which has many, many other articles on a wide variety of topics related to volleyball and coaching.  The USA Volleyball Education also has links that can be followed to show different resources.

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