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goldmedalcoach

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Dec 28 10 12:39 PM

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What are some drills to get service receive passers to shuffle their feet a least a little bit to get in a better position to the ball?

Some of them have a tendency to wait until the ball is almost on top of them and then take one big step and reach for the ball with limited success.
I've asked them to watch the ball out of the server's hand.  To watch the bottom of the ball to get them to focus on it better. I've asked them to be in a comfortable ready position on the balls of their feet ready to move quickly.  I've had them do run through passing drills.  I've has them do shuffle side to side around cones and even forwards and backwards. I've talked to them about desire and wanting to make a good pass. I've done reward drills that let them hit if they pass well. I've gone over the concept of getting the platform pointed to the target.  We've worked on linear and non linear passing.  Angle passing, etc. I've had them play sand VB, indoor doubles, etc,

I don't really like having them do ladders or even jump rope as I don't think they are VB game like, but I am wits end.
Is it me or what?  Do some players just have it and some players take forever to improve but never really get it?

I'm aging myself here but I even thought about Knute Rockne having his Four Horsemen taking dance lessons.

I probably should put this on a coach's forum but I was just hoping someone out there could tell us all the magical secret to improving a player's service receive ability.

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slappy

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Dec 29 10 2:45 AM

What happens in most early situations is that the kids are mostly frozen in ready position thinking the ball is going to come right to them. Well that doesnt always happen. If youre not a fast twitch person, being caught standing dead still could be a problem. I call it getting your engine started with the little ones. Simply rocking back and forth ready to pounce could help alot! The taking one step to the ball "COULD" be fixed by trying to teach them always move into the pass with forward movement, if they get caught with a high ball, use high hands. Good luck. This is the most frustrating topic a coach has to deal with. Obviously if you cant pass you cant play. IMO, forget all the extra drills. The most important thing they need is all that extra time simply be put to training out of serve receive. No matter how frustrating it can get, its all about reps!

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ytvbc

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Dec 29 10 10:12 AM

You know whats funny about this.   Im not 100% sure . But doesnt gold medal square talk about angles of the platform? THE BALL KNOWS ANGELS.   And now most of these kids are being taught LESS IS MORE when passing. I know I want to just faint when I hear that some times.  I said that only works when your playing teams who jump serve, Not float serve. 

Ladders are use religiously by some college programs.  However not for passing. 

I think this was told to our club at the Convention a few weeks ago.  The passers should know where the ball is going to land before it even gets to the net.  There was some big study on this done by usa vball.  However when your dealing with younger kids this is probably not the case.

Try this. "I Could be old school."

Hang up four sheets across the net maybe five so you cover the whole net.  "Close pin them up"

Have your team serve the ball at your passers. "Your servers and passers should not be able to see each other"

This will work on there reaction time because it will be a very limited time to react.

After you do this, take the sheets down, and review how much eye work and reaction time is used before the ball really does get to the net. NOW serve receive again and see if anything changes.

Im not sure if this will help. Good luck!.

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Woody

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Dec 29 10 10:54 AM

Shuffle Drill...


What are some drills to get service receive passers to shuffle their feet a least a little bit to get in a better position to the ball?



Best drill I have seen for this is the following: 

Tell the passers to hold their arms in front of themselves, but not in platform position.... keep them shoulder width apart). open their arms (ie, no platform avaible, but roughly the same "balance" for squating).

A "good" receive is when a ball travels BETWEEN their legs, with NO body contact (legs or arms), and bounces either between their legs or just behind them.

A "bad" recieve either touches a leg or arm, or bounces in front of their legs.

Score "good" and "bad" recieves in some form of game (ie: get out of drill with 10 goods in a row, resetting on every bad)... (game scoring HIGHLY dependent on age/skill level).

To ensure this is challenging and also inclusive of the rest of the team, you can have a 3 man recieve pattern doing "good" and "bad" and then also have the round robin serving from the rest of the team targetting zones 1-6, with a "hit" and "miss" measure... and then the servers can compete with the receivers.  (ie: first team to get 10 hits or 10 "good" receives wins.... same adjustments needed on game scoring relative to age/skill level).  

Servers will serve HARD, but to a spot... Receivers will need to move feet to score.

Hope that short description conveys the idea. 

P.S. I really like the sheet idea.... and it COULD be used in conjunction with this drill.

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NotHugh

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Dec 29 10 6:55 PM

I've used the drill Woody describes.  It does a good job of getting to the result goldmedalcoach is looking for.  I've also done the same drill where the goal is to make the ball hit the left leg just above the knee.  This modification puts the ball closer to what I believe is optimal in many situations.  The modification is more applicable to high school age + players. 

I suspect the players are probably not recognizing cues the server is giving, so teaching them some things to look for might help.  Teaching them characteristics of serves they will commonly see can help them classify serves earlier.  It sounds like - to these players - each serve is a completely new and different thing.  Therefore they have to gather all the relevant info on each serve.  Learning characteristics of serves will help them learn to gather more info faster, so they can then begin a reaction sooner.

Effectively blinding the receivers as ytvbc describes seems to me to be applicable to more advanced players.  goldmedalcoach's players problem seems to be that they don't have enough time to 1) see the serve, 2) judge it's trajectory, and 3) initiate movement to an expected landing zone.  I don't think further reducing the time allowed for this is the best way to address the problem.  When you hide the server, you are also removing the best cues a receiver uses to make an early determination of where the ball is going.

I use the "blinding" technique with experienced receivers who are already pretty good at recognizing where to move.  I use it to train emergency serve reception techniques - the opposite of what goldmedalcoach wants to do.  By purposefully removing cues, and reducing the time allowed I can put even skilled receivers in difficult situations (against live serves) more often. 

I'm no big fan of GM2, but I do have a pretty deep understanding of the things that Carl believes and teaches.  They certainly are not teaching players to be lazy with their feet.  "The ball knows angles" and the "less is more" concepts are just different ways of saying things that all volleyball players have been taught for years - that the platform should be pretty still when contacting the ball.  Those are two phrases they use to try to cut down on swinging platforms and other un-necessary upper body movement.  The phrases come from GM2, but the concepts they are teaching have been taught for decades.  Carl certainly believes that all things being equal, it is better for a receiver to contact the ball within their base of support.

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Phaedrus

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Dec 29 10 7:31 PM


I do the between the leg drills in progression.

  1. Roll the ball to them away from midline, make them run to the ball and let it roll between the legs.  Make sure they are balanced and the feet are shoulder width apart, as if passing.
  2. Toss the ball so the ball bounces behind the passer but goes betwen their legs.
  3. A Japanese coach I know uses the bounce the ball off the left knee, I'd forgetten about that.
  4. I also tell the players to try to catch the ball with their knees as it gets bopped to them.
  5. I give them small buckets to hold as if the bucket opening is the plaform, keep the elbows locked and have them move to catch the tossed ball in the bucket.

Instructions are to move in quick small steps to shuffle to the ball and also to keep the chin down as well as to keep the ball between the knees when they finally get to passing the ball.  Platform passing instruction comes a little bit later.

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XAsstCoach

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#7 [url]

Dec 30 10 9:31 AM

^Catching the ball between the knees is a great drill for all levels. Does help them read and anticipate the path of the ball.

Can also serve the ball to either side of the player and deep. Force them to move fast and work on angling their platform to the target. Once they're used to it, tie a short medical tube to their ankles...works on the leg muscles.

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Sapere Aude

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Dec 30 10 9:37 AM

The ball between the legs works fairly well. I'd also add a more fun approach. (It's a version of tennis -the 1 contact game- if you've ever used it)

-Split your players into groups (or halves depending upon group size and conditioning).
-Have them play the same game catch and throwing to a certain score
-You can modify this as to a person staying on, or leaving the court after throwing
-You can also modify to having them catch anyhow (more defensive) or catching with 1/2 hands, or catching between their knees
-Allowances can also be made for taking steps before throwing the ball.

While the transference isn't as high as true game play...more effort and attention is given to something they enjoy..and it adds a competitive edge to it.

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goldmedalcoach

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Dec 30 10 12:53 PM

I tried the the catching the ball between the knees drill and it seemed to help.  I also added that the passers start behind the end line and then move on the court as the serve begins. The goal was to get them moving their feet better.

If I pull out the drill with the sheets on the net I think the girls will feel like little kids and not advanced players. I would have to sell this one very well.

I'll try the ball off the left knee trick next but only against a toss, not a serve.

I've looked up information about neurological pathways and came up with trying to get the girls to meditate (for short time) and visualize themselves seeing the serve, moving to the correct position, and making a great pass. I'm sure they'll think I'm nuts but if it works, who cares.
I might also incorporate this in their hitting approach, serving, and setting.
I'm a bad golfer but have found success with this a few times on the course.

Anyone else tried stuff like this?

By the way, thanks for the tips.  Every little bit helps.

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NotHugh

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#10 [url]

Dec 30 10 4:28 PM

Visualization works very well. Almost every Olympic athlete in every sport spends a significant time visualizing.

That being said, it doesn't work as well as practicing. So teach them how to visualize, then do it outside of court time.

If you have them bounce the ball off their left knee, make sure they know when that is the proper thing to do, and when it isn't.

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CoachAnderson

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#11 [url]

Jan 7 11 11:44 AM

A few notes on the drills mentioned before.  I think it is critical that we pay attention VERY closely to what we are teaching in a drill.  

-The sheet over the net is an old school drill that was used frequently back in the day.  The obvious problem with it is that you are now teaching your players to move LATER rather than SOONER.  Because they don't se the ball as soon, they react later.  This transfers to game play.  We have to be careful.

-The catching with the knees or passing with them is closer to game play.  In fact I do this one occasionally early in the season.  I don't teach a low squat in serve receive, so I try not to do this too much because they end up squatting to try and catch it.   

I have a silly one I've tried with some success. (Feel free to critique it because I am interested in listening) I have the girls or boys read the contact of the serve and then close their eyes.

They watch the server, watch the ball and then when they hear the slap of the ball they are supposed to close their eyes an move to where they think the ball is going. They then stop and open their eyes and see how close they are. (of course holding their platform in proper position and all that jazz)

To me serve receive is rarely about moving my feet enough or fast enough. So I focus on training them to read the serve as early as possible. Once they read the speed, trajectory, etc. as mentioned above, they will move their feet automatically.

If you know the ball is going to the corner, you don't stand in the middle of the court.

John Kessel wrote a blog topic on the player who knows why will do better than the player that knows how. (or something like that)

Last Edited By: CoachAnderson Jan 7 11 11:53 AM. Edited 1 time.

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Loyal Opposition

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#12 [url]

Jan 7 11 11:59 AM

CoachAnderson wrote:
I have a silly one I've tried with some success. (Feel free to critique it because I am interested in listening) I have the girls or boys read the contact of the serve and then close their eyes.

They watch the server, watch the ball and then when they hear the slap of the ball they are supposed to close their eyes an move to where they think the ball is going. They then stop and open their eyes and see how close they are. (of course holding their platform in proper position and all that jazz)

To me serve receive is rarely about moving my feet enough or fast enough. So I focus on training them to read the serve as early as possible. Once they read the speed, trajectory, etc. as mentioned above, they will move their feet automatically.

If you know the ball is going to the corner, you don't stand in the middle of the court.

John Kessel wrote a blog topic on the player who knows why will do better than the player that knows how. (or something like that)
Hey, I like that idea a lot.  I'm going to try it. 

One question... what happens when they get hit with the ball?

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NateH

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#13 [url]

Jan 10 11 2:21 PM

CoachAnderson wrote:
They watch the server, watch the ball and then when they hear the slap of the ball they are supposed to close their eyes an move to where they think the ball is going. They then stop and open their eyes and see how close they are. (of course holding their platform in proper position and all that jazz)
I like it! I'm going to try this in a few weeks. If I did it now, it would just be too horrible to watch (or they'd surprise me immensely). I have done something similar with basic partner passing--once your partner passes, close your eyes until you pass the ball. The same sort of idea, just slower and closer. 

In my opinion, learning to read is huge. When I first started coaching I noticed we could beat the kids 2 on 6 easily, and it bothered me. While reading about visual training and top tennis players reading serves before contact, I realized it. When they served, we had adjusted our positions and were waiting in the right places before they contacted the serve. When we served, they didn't start moving until after the ball crossed the net. Teaching kids to read opponents and close this gap in reading and reaction has been a focus point for me ever since.

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samdetroit

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#14 [url]

Feb 10 11 9:16 PM

CoachAnderson wrote:

-The sheet over the net is an old school drill that was used frequently back in the day.  The obvious problem with it is that you are now teaching your players to move LATER rather than SOONER.  Because they don't se the ball as soon, they react later.  This transfers to game play.  We have to be careful.

I totally see where you are coming from coach but I disagree. By using the "sheet over the net" drill you force players to react faster. I don't think they'll learn to react later just because is human nature: I see something coming at me, i move. Is like Jaden Smith in the Karate Kid. Jackie Chan beats him up with a sheet between them just to have him react faster and improve his instincts but if he saw a punch coming his way, he would still move asap and not wait until the last second to move.

I believe the transfer will be the same for volleyball. You work the reflexes (with form and ball control) with the sheet and if the girls can manage to get it done, at a shorter reaction time, they will certainly do well, with longer reaction time. We are talking about a split second, not a few seconds.

In my opinion the bigger problem using this drill is having girls not skilled enough to perform it. You will ruin their confidence, mess up their technique, and be more frustrated. But again, the drill itself won't work if you don't have specific, meaningful feedback. 

I love the eyes close drill...great idea and I hope it works when I try it. Happy

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Phaedrus

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#15 [url]

Feb 11 11 6:53 AM

To me the sheet over the net drill is for eye focus.  It is hard for players to track the ball over the net because their eyes are everywhere and not on the ball.  With the sheets, you force them to start looking for the ball at the top of the net, filtering out everything else.  Then you take the sheets off and tell them to focus on the ball.  Its worked well for most of my kids, there are others that it just didn't help at all.  My kids liek the sheet and then ask for it when they feel they aren't focusing well enough.

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