Building a Culture of Offensive Aggressiveness
with Dan Fisher,
University of Pittsburgh Head Coach;
2017 ACC Coach of the Year;2017 ACC Champions;
Head Coach for the US Women's National Team/Pan Am Games- in 2015 (Gold Medal) & 2016 (Bronze);
former Concordia -Irvine University Head Coach,
2012 NAIA National Championship (perfect 38-0 record), National Runner-Up finish in 2011; NAIA/AVCA National Coach of the Year (2011)
This in-depth video from 2017 ACC Coach of the Year Dan Fisher is a two-part video providing both the philosophy behind aggressive offensive play and the methodology of instilling this mindset in your program and players.
In the first segment, Fisher provides statistical and video analysis to compare aggressive and non-aggressive play. He examines mindfulness training and the process of overcoming the fear of failure to reach a growth mentality.
The second segment of the video moves into the gym, where Fisher demonstrates drills to train hitters on adjusting their approach, leading to an expanded range of attack. He examines the idea of corresponding approaches based on passes and sets to take an aggressive swing on a higher percentage of balls. The drills progress to 6-on-6 play, rewarding players for hard-hitting attacks.
Coach Fisher shares his philosophical background using many slides and stats during the first hour of the video. He provides a different method of keeping track of errors and free balls, while showing how he twists the coaching terms to help improve his team huddles during timeouts and after games.
During the chalk talk session of Fisher's presentation, you'll see slides, sample videos, and stats that detail:
- What makes Pitt volleyball different from other programs
- How Fisher defines offensive aggressiveness
- How Coach Fisher developed his style
- The science behind winning and losing
- The problems behind only focusing on the positives
On The Court
Coach Fisher demonstrates multiple drills that encourage quick footwork to the ball and exercises that take away the fear of failure when playing aggressively. You'll get:
- An in-depth look at the four step approach with a focus of getting under the ball
- Step close drills to train your players to go in any direction with their approach
- Butterfly drills that touch on a wide range of swings
By drilling your players to focus on getting their feet to the ball, they will develop a wider range in their offensive play. Throughout this video, Fisher reiterates that when players have a wider range, they will be comfortable swinging at any ball in any situation.
Also included are five drills specifically designed to help hitters become more aggressive:
- High Hands
- Line Shots
- Swing for the Daylight
- Tap and Cover
Coach Fisher does an excellent job explaining all of his drills and their benefits. He also breaks down the correlation between a player's mindset and their aggressiveness on the court. This video encompasses all aspects of implementing an aggressive offensive system in your program!
100 minutes. 2018.
Buy at Championship Productions
All Access Volleyball Practice with Joe Sagula
with Joe Sagula,
University of North Carolina Head Coach;
2016 ACC Coach of the Year,
5x ACC Coach of the Year;
7x ACC Champions;
4x AVCA Regional Coach of the Year
Joe Sagula's work at North Carolina over the better part of three decades has been a model of consistency. He's led the Tar Heels to seven regular season ACC championships and also captured three ACC tournament titles.
This All Access video provides you with a look inside three UNC volleyball practices as Coach Sagula and his staff give technique instruction to athletes while running many of their favorite drills. Sagula's high standards are apparent throughout as he challenges his players to reset their focus and up their skills to championship levels.
Using a progression morphed into team serve-receive, Sagula allows his athletes to gain a better understanding of how to handle the toughest serves. The drills presented in this session will help break down the serve-receive, improve tracking of the serve, and alleviate stress that is constantly placed on the passers.
Ever have your team get to 23 points but not 'finish' and win the game? In Sagula's game of Slip and Slide, your players will learn how to focus on finishing when the team gets to 23, while providing consequences when the players don't reach their goal.
Sagula does a great job of monitoring his athletes and delegating to his assistant coaches as his team runs through drills on multiple courts. The athletes are in constant movement, which helps keep them productive. Team drills such as 5v4 are conducted where the ball control techniques are emphasized and evaluated.
For the afternoon session, Coach Sagula begins with team cross-court pepper progressions. This drill can stress out players mentally, which actually teaches them to use better/faster coping skills.
You'll see the Tar Heels work through their process of over-the-net ball warm-ups with emphasis on ball control. Sagula doesn't accept sloppiness and constantly corrects players to raise the bar on the quality of each practice.
In the 1st Team to 5 game, players compete 4v4 and everyone rotates in the up-tempo mini games. Your athletes will get reps in front and back row offense and defense. Since players move to the individual skills court when not competing, the teams get smaller as they work to get to 5 points. When a team gets to 5, then the other players working on individual skills come back to the court to participate.
The rest of the session involves team play with rotations, which is helpful because you can see how personnel works well in particular rotations.
In the final session, the focus is putting individual skills and team play together to refine offensive and defensive systems. After a quick talk, the team jumps straight into a 2v2 over-the-net warm-up before progressing to competitive games. Some of Sagula's games include:
- 3x3 Pass + Run
- 4x4 Back Row Attack
- 5x5 Setter, Front Row, and Middle Blocker
You'll also see other half court drills that are useful to create defensive situations for teaching players how to read/react based on how blocks are set-up or how attacks ricochet off the blocker's hands or arms.
As the team drills evolve to 6v6 scrimmages, Sagula takes time out to remind players to keep focus, stay sharp, and finish stronger. He provides information on how to read the opponent and how to score with a purpose.
This video gives you a unique perspective on how Coach Sagula interacts, instructs, and corrects his players at daily practices. It's also a terrific look into how he reinforces a healthy dose of competitiveness into the fabric of his team culture every season. Sagula isn't afraid to stop a drill and get players to refocus when he feels that the team is losing the purpose of the drill. If you want to see how one of the longest-tenured coaches in Division I runs his program, this is the video for you!
Buy at Championship Productions
Donan Cruz: Practicing with a Purpose
with Donan Cruz,
Grand View University Head Men's Coach;
2018 NAIA Men's Volleyball National Invitational Champions;3x AVCA NAIA Men's Volleyball National Coach of the Year ('14, '15, '17)
In this video, Donan Cruz demonstrates how to create a practice plan that builds to focus on a specific skill. He will help you understand how to streamline your practice to focus on one or two skills and how to provide feedback to your players to encourage growth in that area.
Many times, the warm-up period of practice is spent doing non-volleyball specific activities. Cruz suggests creating a theme or goal for the practice and shows ways to warm-up with the intention of improving a specific skill. From there, you will want to build layers or progressions that build up toward meeting your goal for the practice.
For example, if the goal of a practice is to improve out of system attacking, then practice could begin with partner setting. From there, players could progress to setting over the right shoulder, setting over the left shoulder, and self-passing with a set to the right or left hitting position
Adding Layers to a Practice Plan
Coach Cruz has his team demonstrate by extending the concepts of a single drill until the team has progressed to scrimmaging while focusing on a specific skill. He explains how each element of the practice creates a new layer toward incorporating the skill throughout the team. Next, Cruz extends the original warm-up drill with new elements to provide an example of improving out of system attacking.
Live Drills and Feedback
Finally, Cruz demonstrates ways to provide feedback to your team collectively so that the focus of the practice remains at the forefront of the team's attention. Additionally, he shows how to provide feedback to individual players that helps them focus on improving that skill.
Among the many points that Cruz makes throughout this section, you should especially consider:
- Players should feel safe to make mistakes in practice. Coaches should allow athletes to practice being aggressively smart with their attacks.
- Each practice should be organized and well thought out, but you may need to deviate from the original practice plan if an injury happens or key player cannot attend.
- Individual skill development will occur more or less depending on where the team is at in the season. Most skill development takes place before the season, but there may be stretches during the season where there are fewer games, which allows for additional in-season development.
This video demonstrates how to practice with a purpose. Coach Cruz spends a great deal of time explaining how teams can add layers or progressions to their practice plans in order to achieve their goals for the day. Cruz-coached teams have an excellent track record for improving year after year, and this approach can be implemented with any team.
46 minutes. 2018.
Buy at Championship Productions
Christy Johnson-Lynch: 'Libero U' - Training Strategies to Develop a Dominant Libero
with Christy Johnson-Lynch,
Iowa State University Head Coach;
2009 Asics/Volleyball Magazine National Coach of the Year;2009 AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year;2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year;
2011 & 2008 Elite Eight appearances; Coached 9 of the past 10 years 'Big XII Libero of the Year' award winners
The coach of 9 of the past 10 Big XII 'Libero of the Year' winners, Iowa State's Christy Johnson-Lynch, shares her thoughts on selecting and utilizing your libero and demonstrates drills with her own players. She gives suggestions on how to allow your best passers, including your libero, to get touches on more balls, and, how to be more active during a game.
This video will help you understand the key skills in your defenders so you can select your libero, in addition to giving you a clear understanding on how to utilize that libero to maximum effectiveness.
Johnson-Lynch discusses strategy and rationale to determine if you should place your libero in the left back or middle back positions, including topics such as the libero setting the second ball when out of system. Additionally, she provides thoughts on how to adjust serve receive to take advantage of a strong passer while also keeping your strong hitters in the best position to attack the ball.
Drills for Improving the Skill Set
Johnson-Lynch has her players demonstrate the development of defensive skills in seven drills as she explains the strategy and focus of each drill. She discusses how to work on individual defensive skills in addition to ways to get more touches from your best defender when the opponent is trying to avoid them. Also covered are out of system drills that train your libero to handle the second ball when your setter has made the initial pass.
Develop Attitude, Grit, and Intensity
You will see how to create more aggressive and responsive defensive players. By stepping away from purely game-like drills, Johnson-Lynch explains how drills that focus on speed and reactive skills can create defenders with more attitude, grit and intensity. These mental traits are vital for enhancing your overall team defense as well as helping you develop and train your libero to dominate on the court.
Throughout this entire video, Johnson-Lynch provides observations, insights and drills to enhance your libero's overall skills, including both physical and mental attributes, to become a stronger defender. She demonstrates these skills in simple-to-execute drills and provides strategies for using your best defender.
The skills you'll learn in this video are critical for developing a dominant libero!
48 minutes. 2018.
Buy at Championship Productions
Implementing a Volleyball-Specific Start to Your Practice: Team Warm-Up Drills
with Craig Skinner,
University of Kentucky Head Coach;
2017 SEC Co-Coach of the Year - 2x SEC Coach of the Year;
2011 AVCA All-South Region Coach of the Year;
2006 USA Junior National Team Head Coach (won Gold Medal in the Under-20 NORCECA Championships);
former Nebraska Assistant Coach (won the 2000 NCAA Championship)
Craig Skinner shares his concept of time management and why the critical first 10 minutes of a practice help set the tone for the rest of the session. He shows how you can warm-up your players with a variety of over-the-net pepper drills that emphasize keeping players engaged.
Skinner believes in having a base of five core drills that can be used over the course of a week to promote improving a chosen skill. By incorporating the drills shown in this video, you'll find a way to break up any monotony that your players are getting sick of in practice.
Warm-up drills should provide your team time to learn fundamentals while maintaining a competitive culture. Some of Coach Skinner's drills include:
- Columbus Drill - A co-op drill that incorporates thinking and control.
- Cover Drill - The defense goes into their coverage and then into transition, promoting offensive coverage.
- Many fundamental transition footwork and passing drills.
Skinner concludes the video with his philosophy of why progressing as a team is more important than trying to be perfect.
Coach Skinner displays many drills in this video that are functional for the beginning of your practices. There are also many ways you can adjust them according to your team's level of play or to make them applicable toward the focal point of a practice. These exercises will promote playing with energy, get your players' minds in the right place for the rest of practice, and incorporate a focus on fundamentals.
55 minutes. 2018.
Buy at Championship Productions