Blocking Movements and Tactics
with Keegan Cook,
University of Washington Head Coach;
2x Pac-12 Champions (2015 & 2016);
2x NCAA Elite Eight appearances (2015 & 2016);
2018 U.S. Junior Women's National Team Head Coach;
2016 U.S. Collegiate Women's National Team Head Coach
University of Washington head coach and two-time Pac-12 champion Keegan Cook presents an information-filled video on blocking, including the fundamentals on movement, communication, and visuals. He provides details on how to position your feet, hands and body to prepare to defend at a high level.
In all, you'll see Coach Cook cover how to improve blocking skills by positioning the hands, feet and body of individual players, and then with players in bunch and spread base positions. Plus, you'll learn different footwork steps, ranging from 0-step to 5-step blocking techniques, as well as the finer points of swing blocking.
Cook begins by breaking down various blocking moves and single, double and triple blocking. You'll learn where to position your hands, including when to keep them up and when to keep them down based on where the position of the ball takes the setter. Additionally, Coach Cook covers reading the attacker and a number of footwork essentials, including how to progress from:
- No step blocks
- One step blocks
- Quick three blocks
- Crossover three swing blocks
- and five step blocks
You will also see how to position players in spread defense and bunch blocking.
Coach Cook dives into body positioning for swing blocks, including placement of feet, arms, and hands. You'll also learn:
- How to take a jab step, then cross over to make slow, then long, and fast steps.
- How to adjust when a blocker gets fooled.
- How to adjust the body to face the hitter and pole while making the move and how to throw your arms down, back, and up.
Coach Cook does a great job of giving useful coaching cues that you can adopt for your own players. He gives numerous insights to help athletes find out how to block, and also adjusts and fine tunes the players' skills. This video is sure to help you and your team learn how to block more effectively!
57 minutes. 2019.
Buy at Championship Productions
Taking Your Outside Hitters to the Next Level
with Ryan Theis,
Marquette University Head Coach;
2017 Big East Coach of the Year;
led Marquette to the school's first Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2018;
former Ohio University Head Coach;
2x MAC Coach of the Year
Possessing a team full of quality outside hitters will cover up a lot of weaknesses you have elsewhere. Ryan Theis, the 2017 Big East Coach of the Year at Marquette University, provides you with plenty of coaching tips and drills to help you produce better pin players. You'll discover methods to train every area of your outside hitters' game.
Coach Theis guides you effortlessly through techniques and practical examples of how to get more from your outside hitters. The attack segment will help you understand how to utilize the three methods for arm swings. There are simple cues to help your hitters become more successful. Additional footwork training will help your hitters understand the tempo needed to put the ball down more consistently.
Your pin hitters will learn the three techniques of hitting explosive line shots, cross body trickery and wrist away for better success. Theis also shows how to consistently hit line shots by letting the ball get to the left side of the body and rotating shoulder-to-shoulder. He explains two-step and four-step approaches, including training with a "slow to fast" technique with a final push for power.
For your team to be successful, it's important to create exercises in practice that your players will see in games. The First Step Efficiency drill will drive home the importance of that first move toward making a good pass. Changing the server angle and spin will get your passer reading the ball better and create better passing angles. Too often posture is too low, and that makes it too difficult to handle high balls. Coach Theis' Partner Defense drills cover shoulder digs, sideline digs and line digs in a fun and competitive spirit.
Coach Theis explains how he uses the swing move and shuffle move with his outside hitters to cover more net space in the front row. The swing move teaches your blocker to "shoot your guns" and extend over the net to get more blocks. With the shuffle move, your blocker will be able to cover a greater area much quicker so that your outside hitter can help cover middle attacks.
Theis covers how to incorporate vision training into your outside hitter blocking schemes. Outside sets require a bigger step, while inside sets require the step to be smaller. When the middle hitter is added, it creates complexity and forces the blocker to utilize better vision.
You'll hear Coach Theis explain the jump spin and jump float serves so that your team will prosper at the service line. He again utilizes the concept of "slow to fast" and the details of the four-step approach. With the graded serving segment, Theis explains the importance of velocity, flat serves, and accuracy.
Coach Theis is an excellent teacher of the game and has figured out how to create situations in practice that mimic real game situations. Your outside hitters will learn everything they need to know with this video.
85 minutes. 2019.
Buy at Championship Productions
How to Develop Match Simulation Opportunities in Practice to Increase Practice Intensity
with Amber Warners,
Calvin College Head Coach;
3x Division III National Champions (2010, 2013, 2016);
4x AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014);
highest win % among active Division III women's volleyball coaches (.874)
Far too often, practice can turn into more of a social event and becomes less about playing with aggressiveness and intensity. In this video from three-time Division III National Champion coach Amber Warners, you'll get a variety of ideas for your practices that will ramp up the competitiveness and ensure your players are improving the maximum amount on a daily basis.
Coach Warners goes into great detail to find proven methods for creating more accountability in your serving program. Each player should understand what their ideal MPH is and they should be held accountable for meeting that standard with precision. A small investment in a digital radar can help provide a great visual cue to your servers so they quickly understand whether they are meeting established goals. Servers should strive to achieve a 5:1 serving ratio where they can create one "ace" or a one-passer option for every five serves.
You'll hear Warners discuss her preferred aiming zone for aggressive serving. Additionally, she explains why using the jump-float with no spin is a proven serve that can yield impressive results.
For your team to be successful, it's important to create things in practice that simulate a game. Coach Warners offers up the idea of having your players run to the net and end line back and forth three times to create the illusion of a difficult rally ending, prior to putting down a big serve. Coaches and players alike can have fun with "punishments" at practice. Little by little, your culture will become more competitive and focused.
On the topic of pre-serve routine, Warners wants her players to understand the zone they're trying to serve to and repeat that zone to themselves before striking the ball. Additionally, establishing a positive "catch phrase" to ignite a strong serve - such as "let it rip" - has been effective for her team.
Coach Warners strives to make certain each drill has multiple outcomes and serves dual purposes. With a limited amount of practice time available, you will see how to maximum reps, communication and keep your players focused from drill to drill.
The 2-on-2 half court drill is a warm-up that requires players to be cooperative to keep the rally alive. It all starts with a set over the net, then progresses to more challenging requirements. Additionally, run-through drills are great when you need to add some accountability. By forcing players to make solid passes at a fast pace, they will be able to perform the same task in the heat of a match. Warners challenges all coaches to think about what can be done to make your players more accountable at practice, which will force them to be more focused during drill work.
This video will help any coach who is interested in running intense, game-like practices. Coach Warners excels at teaching others how they can take their practice drills and tweak them to keep players more focused and self-accountable.
50 minutes. 2019.
Buy at Championship Productions
Strategies and Progressions for Teaching an Up-Tempo Offense
with Bond Shymansky,
former University of Iowa Head Coach;
former Marquette University Head Coach; 2013 Big East Champs;
former Georgia Tech Head Volleyball Coach; 2004 ACC Coach of the Year
Most coaches don't have a team full of 6'5" hitters that can just hit over an opponent's block, so implementing a faster, up-tempo offense can be a highly effective strategy to rack up more victories.
In this video, Bond Shymansky starts off by reviewing the potential benefits as well as the risks for getting your team to run an up-tempo offense, which involves the entire team (passers, setters and hitters) to flow together for a fast, seamless attack on serve receive or after digging a ball. He also reviews what coaches need to do in evaluating their personnel, serve receive configuration and risk tolerance to install an up-tempo offensive strategy.
Coach Shymansky next walks through the principles and techniques for passers to consistently deliver a lower "tempo 1" pass. He then discusses the strategy of how to exploit the opponent's block by setting and hitting the gaps along different net zones. This translates into training the mindset and approach that setters need to take in setting a "tempo 1" ball in different net zones and teaching hitters how to adjust their transitions off the net and approaches to be able to attack those sets.
Throughout the video, Shymansky provides team drills and tips to train each of your players how to be successful in their role of an up-tempo offense.
- Techniques for a tempo 1 pass
- Adjusting the approach arc for hitters
- "Knee drive-Elbow drive" to attack a tempo 1 set in any net zone
- Transitioning hitters to stay in up-tempo rhythm
Coach Shymansky provides key insights into how you can train your team to run an up-tempo offense that will lead to more wins at any level. This video describes the components needed for coaches to configure this strategy successfully to their team, along with individual drills and tips that will help players learn to recognize where to attack their opponent's block and how to do so faster and more effectively.
56 minutes. 2019.
Buy at Championship Productions
How to Create Drills for Out-of-System Training
with Kevin Hambly,
Stanford University Head Coach;
2018 NCAA National Champions; 2017 Final Four;
2018 Pac-12 Volleyball Coach of the Year, 2018 AVCA Pacific North Region Coach of the Year;
former University of Illinois Head Coach;
2011 NCAA Runners-up; 5x Sweet Sixteen appearances;
2011 Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year
Most teams find themselves out-of-system more than 60% of the time during a typical match. Rather than have your practice time filled with drills that are controlled, Stanford's Kevin Hambly suggests that you spend 60% of your practice with out-of-system drills, which is comparable to the amount of time you'll spend out-of-system in a match. It's philosophies like these that helped Hambly lead his teams at Illinois and Stanford to 5 Sweet Sixteens, a Final Four and 2 National Championship contests including the 2018 NCAA National Championship title.
In this video, you will learn how to help your team score even when they're playing out-of-system. Coach Hambly also covers ways you can gain an advantage during a rally by keeping your hitters in rhythm even though they're in an out-of-system situation. You'll get methods to ensure your hitters can still score in a variety of uncomfortable situations.
Staying In Rhythm
Coach Hambly first explains the importance of spending enough time practicing how to respond to out-of-system balls, the difference between being "in rhythm" vs. "out of rhythm" for attacking, and how to produce sets that keep hitters "in rhythm" despite an out-of-system pass or dig. This includes evaluating your setter's capabilities and range to generate an "in rhythm" set, alternative setting approaches, and where to target the set location for an out-of-system ball to promote a successful attack.
Gaining an Advantage
Next, Hambly shares insights on how a team can gain advantages in rallies that involve out-of-system balls. This includes teaching hitters what parts of the court to attack when hitting an "out of rhythm" set and the specific court location not to hit to, tips for how to attack the blockers' hands and use the seam to your advantage as a hitter, and, approaches to recycle the ball off the blocker to generate a better attack.
Finally, you'll get six team drills that will prepare your team to score more points off out-of-system balls by replicating game-like scenarios. For example, in Coach Hambly's "5+5" drill, he shows how you can efficiently train your players on different out-of-system situations through a progression of:
Serve receive - serve receiveServe receive - free ball Serve receive - setter digServe receive - covering a tipServe receive - bounced ball
In all of the drills, your whole team will stay involved on both sides of the net while getting additional benefits through time spent serving and serve receive, digging, and transitioning from defense to offense.
Coach Hambly states that his 2018 NCAA Championship team was out-of-system 65% of the time! Because of this, he believes it's important that you spend the equivalent amount of time during practice running out-of-system drills. This video provides a plethora of ideas for out-of-system play that have been valuable for Hambly and will be of equal importance to your own program!
51 minutes. 2019.
Buy at Championship Productions