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 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.
The first practice sessions should be designed to review individual skills and drills for basic play. Conducting the first practice sessions often proves to be the most difficult task the coach encounters during the year. It is during these early sessions, that the coach begins to look for those experienced players who are already possess a high level of skill and game ability and for those players whom the coach feels have the greatest skill potential and coach ability. However, a prudent coach will develop a sound method to select his/her players while keeping in mind that no two players develop at the same pace physically, mentally, or emotionally.
The first method entails the coach making all the decisions and demanding that players follow instructions without asking questions. This is described as the “authoritarian” style. This style may help the athletes learn to follow orders, but will not necessarily help the young athletes develop thinking skills and personal qualities.
Another style, which may seem easier to adopt if the coach has little experience, is to let the players run the program. This is the easiest style to put into practice. There is little danger of the coach making uneducated or embarrassing mistakes. Unfortunately, the greatest shortcoming with this style is that the coach will not be helping the players learn skills and values.