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Cover: training relentless defenders
Training Relentless Defenders

with Christy Johnson-Lynch,
Iowa State University Head Coach;
2018 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) Champions;
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 11 years 'Big XII Libero of the Year' award winners

Defense is a skill that every coach and team can take pride in. A great defensive team can counter a height differential if one exists with your opponent. With this video from Iowa State University head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch, you will understand how she incorporates team drills into every practice to raise the level of play of her team and create a culture of hard work, discipline, communication and speed.

Getting Started + Mantra

Coach Johnson-Lynch begins with a partner throw and dig drill that's a great way to ease into practice. Players should learn to move to and through the ball as opposed to reaching for it and falling forward.

One concept that Johnson-Lynch discusses in detail is the mantra "NO GO / YOU GO." What this means is that players who aren't being aggressive enough defensively will be replaced in the drill with another player. Defenders should be inherently aggressive and this is one way to hold your athletes to a high standard. It also creates a culture of accountability on your team.

Team Drills

You'll get a slew of practice drills that work on training defenders to be their very best. Coach Johnson-Lynch includes pursuit drills to train players to never give up on any ball, no matter how difficult it may seem to track down. She also includes:

  • The Wong's Walk Drill - An upbeat, intense passing drill
  • The Coach on 3 Drill - Perfect for producing more gritty defenders
  • 6 on 6 Pepper - A great way to get athletes moving actively on the court
  • Neville's Pepper - Forces defenders to try to keep the ball alive to score points
  • 5 on 5 concepts
  • Ways to add defensive read and communication skills into drills

Johnson-Lynch understands how to get the most out of her players on defense. The concepts used in this video are a great way to instill the right culture in your team so your players train to become relentless defenders.

50 minutes. 2019.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: designing your transition offense
Designing Your Transition Offense

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

This video featuring University of Washington head coach Keegan Cook stresses the three basic components to transition: "How we move well, how we see well, and how we communicate well." Coach Cook demonstrates a variety of footwork patterns to transition from defense to a strong attack. After watching this video, you'll be able to implement the demonstrations directly into your own practice plans.

Key Transition Elements

Cook discusses three key elements to successful transition offense: movement, communication, and sight. He demonstrates footwork for each front row player, including specifics for hitters in 6-2 and 5-1 systems. Coach Cook emphasizes ways to improve communication to ensure improved offensive execution. Finally, he discusses ways to help your hitters see the action and adjust to be more successful hitters when transitioning against strong attacks.

Out of System Strategy

Next, Cook discusses various options for handling your transition offense when your setter makes the first touch or the first pass. He then has players demonstrate how these strategies can be used and shows how they can put pressure on your opponent. Coach Cook helps you evaluate the talent you have available to design your own transition offense.

Transition Insights

You will learn strategies and techniques to improve your team's transition game. Cook reinforces that about half of the game is played in transition from defense back to offense. He discusses elements such as defining your digging target, ways to attack out of tip coverage, and concepts on play calls. Additionally, Cook explains the strategies he uses and discusses the value of other options available to coaches at various levels.

Throughout the video, Coach Cook provides strategies and drills to enhance your understanding of the transition game to improve your offense's success during rally play. This video will give you an opportunity to learn transition options that you can immediately use within your own program.

56 minutes. 2019.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: blocking movements and tactics
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.

Blocking Breakdown

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.

Swing 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

Cover: taking your outside hitters to the next level
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.

Attack Work

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.

Passing Routines

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.

Blocking Skills

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

Cover: how to develop match simulation opportunities in practice to increase practice intensity
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.

Serving Tactics

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.

Pre-Serve Routine

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.

Practice Segments

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

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