Tag Archives: Coaching

Coaching Tip Of The Week #16

“Listen to pepper”

Most teams start practice with pepper*.  It normally takes the form of some kind of throwing and spiking in pairs to prepare the shoulder for spiking.  It then progresses to some easy underarm and overarm passing before the players begin to spike at each other in earnest.  The intensity has a natural progression over the six to ten minutes the drill lasts for, and importantly, you should be able to hear that progression.  As the players go through each stage, the time between ball contacts becomes shorter so noise increases in the gym.  As the players start to spike and ‘defend’ they talk more as they push their teammates to chase down errant balls or joke with them for missing easy plays.  And bodies hitting the floor adds to the overall cacophony.

At all points along the way the coach should be listening for the expected sounds.  A crisp, strong contact of hand on ball when spiking, can indicate a high level of concentration and readiness for practice, just as poor contact can indicate disinterest and fatigue.  Similarly, players who aren’t talking may also be showing their lack of engagement in the practice.

As with Tip #15, this is not a hard and fast rule.  It is a little sign that experienced coaches can pick up on and if addressed early, either by additional verbal encouragement or tweaking the practice plan on the fly, can ensure that the quality of practice always reaches the appropriate level.

*We can have a discussion about the value of pepper and whether it is game like and whether it teaches anything.   But for now, we won’t.

The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.

For more great coaching tips, check out the Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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Suggerimento della settimana #4

“Allenare non è un esercizio teorico

Molti manuali per allenatori, molti libri e biografie, sembrano insinuare, o dichiarano apertamente, che se l’allenatore si comporta inun determinato modo, allora alcuni risultati sono presumibili. Sfortunatamente non è questo il caso. Non ci sono ricette per allenare e certamente non ci sono risultati prevedibili. Ciò che ha funzionato con una squadra, in una situazione, potrebbe non non funzionare  con un’altra.

Allenare è pratica. L’allenatore deve raccogliere tutte le informazioni possibili e prendere le decisioni al meglio delle sue capacità. Bisogna passare attraverso tentativi ed errori, senza mai fissarsi su una cattiva decisione perchè l’allenatore può prendere più decisioni positive che negatice. Ma ricorda, anche gli allenatori più esperti e di successo commettono ancora degli errori che mai ti aspetteresti da loro.

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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Suggerimento della settimana #3

Hugh McCutcheon dice: “come allenatori siamo perennemente insoddisfatti”. Questo è assolutamente corretto. Gli allenatori devono sempre essere alla ricerca di miglioramenti e questo non lo si può fare se si è soddisfatti di ciò che si ha.

D’altro canto è vero che il gioco ci crea tanti motivi di insoddisfazione e perciò abbiamo bisogno di godere per le grandi vittorie, le grandi performance, gli allenamenti eccellenti, gli scambi fantastici, per il bene dei giocatori. Quando la nostra squadra fa qualcosa di particolarmente bello, sottolinealo, apprezzalo. E assicurati che lo facciano anche i tuoi giocatori. La pallavolo è uno sport che va giocato, vissuto. Ricordati sempre il piacere di giocare. La delusione successiva arriverà abbastanza velocemente per rimantenerci insoddisfatti.


Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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Coaching Tip Of The Week #15


“Check the hair”

It is a fairly common characteristic of people to pay attention to their appearance in public, even more commonly among young people.  Maybe they do not spend a lot of time preparing their appearance for every single activity outside the house but for the most part there is a minimum standard that each individual will aim for a given activity.  The most obvious area that people spend time on their appearance is their hair.  Conversely, people tend to spend less time on their appearance when they are tired or rushed or running late or stressed or don’t care or sometimes even making a protest.

I suspect you already know where I am going with this.  As you get to know the players in your team, you will get to know how each of them likes to present themselves in public.  When those standards drop, that can be your first clue that something could be wrong with an individual or within the team.  As we know from Tip #11, we don’t need to jump to any conclusions but when your players arrive for practice, always,  always check the hair.

The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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Coaching Tip Of The Week #14

“The difference is a tenth of a second”

When the setter is a little bit unsure, he lets the ball drop a tiny bit lower and keeps it in the hand for a little bit longer.  Maybe a tenth of a second.

When the receiver is a little bit unsure, he steps back half a step to give himself more time.  Maybe a tenth of a second extra.

When the spiker is a little bit unsure, he lets the ball drop fly a bit further to give himself more time to see the block.  Maybe a tenth of a second.

When the blocker is a bit unsure, he waits a little longer to see the set leave the setter’s hands to make the correct decision.  Maybe a tenth of a second.

Players who are confident in themselves and trust their eyes, their decisions and their movements and don’t have to wait that extra tenth of a second.

The difference between a confident player playing well and a good player lacking confidence is roughly a tenth of a second.

The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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Coaching Tip Of The Week #13

 “Players don’t like being shouted at”

Nobody likes being shouted at.  Indeed, the normal reaction of people is to avoid actions that will lead to being shouted at.  Players are no different from anyone else in this regard.  Players don’t want to be shouted at by their coach, so will actively avoid actions that will lead the coach to shout at them.

This is important information for the coach.  If a player or team is continually doing what the coach does not want, leading to angry words, this is important feedback for the coach.  It means that the players do not understand the instructions sufficiently, or are not able to perform as required.  Therefore the correct response of the coach is not to raise their voice but to review their instructions and their practice.

If you are shouting a lot at practice, review your practice plans and your feedback.  The problem probably lies there.

The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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Coaching Tip Of The Week #12

 “Shout at the one you are angry at”

For some reason in the sporting environment it is considered appropriate, acceptable, and in some cases desirable, for the coach to shout at their players.  In the sporting environment, there can be some moments in which raising one’s voice is actually the best response.  For example, if the coach feels that the emotional state of the team needs to be heightened, shouting can sometimes have that effect.  In addition, there are other moments in an emotional and stressful environment when emotions boil over and the coach expresses their anger verbally.

Whatever the underlying reason, the coach must ensure that the anger is expressed in the right direction.  Too often coaches will have a ‘whipping boy’, a player who is always shouted at regardless of the situation.  Mostly this is a young player, and, not coincidentally, the player least able to defend themselves.  Coaches will shout at the ‘whipping boy’ when they are actually angry at the best player but are too respectful (or scared) to shout at them.

There are many reasons why it is okay not to shout at your best player, even if they ‘deserve’ it.  But is never okay to use another player as a surrogate for the sole purpose of making you feel better.

The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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