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Cover: hugh mccutcheon: passing & serve receive
Hugh McCutcheon: Passing & Serve Receive

with Hugh McCutcheon,
University of Minnesota Head Coach;
2015 AVCA National Coach of the Year;
2015 Big Ten Coach of the Year;
2013 AVCA North Region Coach of the Year;
2008 USOC National Coach of the Year;
2x NCAA Final Four (2015, 2016), 2012 NCA A Elite Eight and 2x NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2013, 2017);
former Men's and Women's U. S. National Team Head Coach (2012 Women's Olympic team silver medal; 2008 Men's Team gold medal)

When teaching passing skills, coaches should remind players that the "less is more" philosophy holds true. Hugh McCutcheon explains that players should work to have a consistent contact surface by establishing a consistent platform. In this video, he demonstrates multiple passing and serve receive drills that can be incorporated into any practice for players of varying skill levels.

Basic Forearm Passing Keys

Coach McCutcheon emphasizes that players need to be aware of their platform on contact in order to have consistent, high quality passes. He encourages athletes to remember that passing is a hand and arm activity - not a body activity.

Thinking about angles ahead of time in a non-linear manner will allow players to get their weight on their lead leg and drop their shoulder to create the desired angle. McCutcheon shows that by keeping movements simple, athletes will be able to increase their pass execution and quality.

The Passing Angle drill is used to demonstrate how passing backward simply requires a different angle of the platform. The Triangle Passing drill helps players learn to face where the ball is coming from and create the platform angle to where the ball is going to. When teams play the ball forward at the point of contact, good things will happen!

Performance Keys For Serve Receive

Time is a valuable commodity in volleyball because the game moves so quickly. It's essential to get on the line of the ball quickly and be balanced so that passing becomes a hands and arms activity.

McCutcheon explains that players should focus on making sure their body is in alignment of the trajectory of the serve in order to achieve optimum results on serve receive. Additionally, you'll learn about the "big opportunities" for reading the opposing team's server when on serve receive.

Overhead Passing Skills and Drills

Ultimately, the platform is where 'the rubber hits the road.' The better that defenders get at moving to the line, the better the defense becomes. The Butterfly drill can be used to create game-like situations for overhead passing.

McCutcheon believes that teams should consider passing off the net to avoid the overpass. Statistically speaking, the overpass is likely to reward the opposing team with a point. You'll learn why setters have more options to run the offense when passes aren't "on the net."

Coach McCutcheon does an excellent job covering execution of simple, quality passing skills. By breaking down the skills into small segments, viewers will see how each segment builds on the previous one. The drills in this video provide a strong foundation for you to build on your team's passing and serve receive potential.

Produced at the 2018 Iowa Volleyball Coaches Clinic.

61 minutes. 2018.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: hugh mccutcheon: establishing effective blocking systems
Hugh McCutcheon: Establishing Effective Blocking Systems

with Hugh McCutcheon,
University of Minnesota Head Coach;
2015 AVCA National Coach of the Year;
2015 Big Ten Coach of the Year;
2013 AVCA North Region Coach of the Year;
2008 USOC National Coach of the Year;
2x NCAA Final Four (2015, 2016), 2012 NCA A Elite Eight and 2x NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2013, 2017);
former Men's and Women's U. S. National Team Head Coach (2012 Women's Olympic team silver medal; 2008 Men's Team gold medal)

Hugh McCutcheon provides multiple considerations in establishing an effective blocking system. He explains multiple defensive court scenarios and how to place your players in the best position for your team to be successful.

The true goal for blocking balls is to stuff the hitter for points. Hitting efficiency is reduced as more blockers are introduced. Coach McCutcheon demonstrates multiple drills that can be used by players at every level to increase their body position awareness and foot speed in relation to effective blocking skills.

The Five Blocking Movements

McCutcheon explains that defensive footwork should depend on the speed of the offense as well as the speed of the blocker. He stresses the importance of how the body - from the feet to the head - should respond when blocking.

The five blocking movements that McCutcheon covers include:

  • Three-Step Crossover - The most widely-used blocking technique, where the first step is a short one and the second step is long. The first step is just a simple push and go, while the last step is a jam step used to push back toward the court.
  • Two-Step Block - A simple hop move that is used to cover a small space in a short amount of time.
  • Five-Step Blocking Movement - Utilizes the combination of the two-step block and the three-step crossover.
  • Quick 3 - This blocking move is run as fast as possible. Blocker drift is acceptable for this action.
  • X2 - This move is similar to a layup in basketball. The takeoff is done with one foot and is even faster than the Quick 3 blocking movement.

Blocking Footwork Drills

A great way to check footwork is to create lines on both sides of the net to work on the five blocking movements concurrently. With players lined up across from each other, coaches are able to get a visual of the potential mistakes that can be made while identifying gaps that may exist in athletes' training.

One method that McCutcheon uses is to call out a series of movements to allow players to become comfortable using multiple blocking strategies quickly. This is a game-like action that adds some fun and creativity to blocking systems.

Ultimately, there is much misconception regarding the use of the swing block. The swing terminology is only intended for the jumping portion of the block. There should be no swinging of the arms with the blocking motion itself. McCutcheon has the expertise to break down the entire swing blocking movement and concepts in an easy-to-understand segment.

This video gives you all the tools and knowledge required to improve your team's blocking game. Coach McCutcheon has a unique perspective having been a high school player, professional player, collegiate player, Olympic athlete, and now elite coach of the sport of volleyball. Let him help you take your team's blocking skills to the next level!

Produced at the 2018 Iowa Volleyball Coaches Clinic.

60 minutes. 2018.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: craig skinner coaching volleyball 2-pack
Craig Skinner Coaching Volleyball 2-Pack

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)

Setters have become an integral part of any program regardless of the type of offense that a team might run. A setter's leadership, demeanor, and command of their peers' respect are all key factors in molding a dominant volleyball team.

In this video, University of Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner shares his methods to training a top-tier setter. He covers fundamental hand and body positioning and gives you drills that use props, such as boxes, to emphasize angles to better shape, window, and freeze. Skinner's drills will help your setters get their teammates to trust where the ball will be set while also promoting leadership skills and confidence.

Working the Hands

Hands are the key to setting technique. Coach Skinner shows how to use a physio ball to create some stabilization to isolate hand placement, movement and finish. This will improve the angle and timing of your setters' balls!

Once players have become comfortable with the correct hand technique, Skinner progresses to drills featuring a coach on a box. Receiving balls from a box and pass will allow athletes to continue working their hands while also introducing a footwork/base element.

Improving Footwork

Coach Skinner's footwork movements cover:

  • Starting in loaded position
  • Getting a rhythm to step hop
  • Step hopping forward, backward, diagonal toward the net, and back

To close the video, Skinner has a brief Q & A with high school coaches, adding insight and detail to the drills presented.

This video will help you create an aggressive setter by teaching how to dump, read blocks, set a low-passed ball, and take the ball out of the net. Learn how to take your setters to the next level today!

55 minutes. 2018.


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.

Practice Drills

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 fo

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Cover: all access volleyball practice with kirsten bernthal booth
All Access Volleyball Practice with Kirsten Bernthal Booth

with Kirsten Bernthal Booth,
Creighton University Head Coach;
2016 National Coach of the Year - 3x National Coach of the Year;
Back-to-Back-to-Back Big East Regular Season and Tournament Champions (2014-16);
all-time wins leader at Creighton

This all-access video features the Creighton women's volleyball team, which has built itself into a successful program on the national stage thanks to head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth. The video takes place early in the volleyball season, which means you'll see Creighton work methodically to refine their mechanics and technique in order for players to success master various skills.

During the morning sessions, you'll see the team spend more time on ball control while limiting the amount of jumping that athletes do. Meanwhile, the afternoon sessions have a tendency to ramp up the intensity!

Day 1 Morning Practice

The focus of this practice is passing and serving, which are key ingredients to being able to run a successful offense. Tremendous attention is devoted to using techniques that will save the shoulders and keep athletes healthy during a long volleyball season.

The first part of practice focuses on passing and using different angles from both sides of the body, as well as high and low shots. Meanwhile, the middle hitters work on resistance footwork using bands and a partner to practice blocking footwork.

The coaches emphasize defense by teaching players how to get their hips around the ball, and then by hitting balls off of a pad to imitate a ball hitting the block. After a few minutes of 6v6 play with only tipping or rolling allowed, the coaches shift their attention to serving. The last half of the practice shows more drills with the focus on passing and blocking.

Day 1 Afternoon Practice

The afternoon practice features some split work focusing on individual positions, but the majority of practice focuses on serve receive as Creighton gears up for their season.

In the first half of the practice, Bernthal Booth demonstrates creative ball control drills, with middle hitters working on right side attacks and outside hitters working on back row attacks. From there, the coaches push serving and passing drills to better prepare the team for going through rotations.

During the second half of the practice, the coaches start off by playing short games through each rotation, focusing on what the players' strengths and weaknesses are. The First Swing Game allows both sides to get points up until the first swing is completed.

The intensity level increases by the end of the practice, where the pace of play is very game-like. The coaching staff does a fine job gradually increasing the load and intensity. Players begin at about 70% effort level and build up to full speed at the end.

Day 2 Morning Practice

Winning the serve and pass game is critical at every level. In this morning practice session, Coach Bernthal Booth presents multiple drills that focus on passing from different types of serves. The drills highlighted for individual passing can easily be adjusted for passing with a partner or multiple partners.

Specific focus is placed on platform readiness, locking in angles, and encouraging players to keep their feet active in order to produce quality passes. When players understand that they must play the ball before it plays them, they will make a more conscious effort to be assertive with their pass contact.

The practice ends with a game called 10 before 0, where passers compete in teams to make more 2 or 3 point passes, then 0 or 1 point passes.

Day 2 Afternoon Practice

The highest level of the game of volleyball is played out-of-system. In this practice session, Bernthal Booth emphasizes the importance of players being able to handle out-of-system play confidently and aggressively. This segment features multiple drills that focus on an out-of-system scenario. Early and assertive communication when making a

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Cover: all access volleyball practice with dan fisher
All Access Volleyball Practice with Dan Fisher

with Dan Fisher,
University of Pittsburgh Head Coach;
2017 ACC Coach of the Year;
2017 ACC Champions;
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);
Head Coach for the US Women's National Team/Pan Am Games- in 2015 (Gold Medal) & 2016 (Bronze)

University of Pittsburgh head coach, Dan Fisher, invites you into his gym for a series of preseason practices. These two-a-day practices feature morning practices consisting of teaching technique with a lot of reps, and afternoon sessions that focus on game play.

Throughout the video, Fisher makes drills as game-like as possible to keep the intensity level high and the effort and energy level similar to that of a game or match point. He engages players by first describing each drill and the goal of the drill. He then allows his team to execute the drill and providing timely feedback.

Day 1 - Morning Practice

Basic fundamentals are the core to a successful program, and that's exactly where Coach Fisher starts this practice. He begins with setting and serving drills to get his players lots of touches. The video continues with some out-of-system hitting, as well as reps for setters and middles.

You'll also see how Fisher uses hitting lines to train his attackers. This allows you to isolate outside, middle, and right side attackers to teach and correct technique both in-system and out-of-system. Ladder serving drills allow for service progressions to escalate with speed and intensity for each successful attempt.

Day 1 - Afternoon Practice

The afternoon practice focuses on blocking and running a faster tempo attack better. Blockers need to be in sync with each other to slow down the opposing offense. Fisher emphasizes the key components for successful blocking. You'll see short wash games that encourage competition and focused intensity.

Coach Fisher divides the court into three areas. In the first court, he's specifically working with setters on setting a faster tempo when out-of-system. On the next two courts, players work on out-of-system setting. During this sequence, the assistant coach teaches the fundamentals of read defense. The third court is also a dig/set court, with the hitters digging with control and the off hitters attempting to fake a back-row attack and jump set from behind the 10-foot line.

Day 2 - Morning Practice

The focus shifts to defense and the science behind what makes a great defender. The majority of practice is done in stations to maximize the amount of reps. Each station had a different drill or a different way of teaching the skills of digging and blocking.

Your players will learn how the hitter's arm movements dictate how they are swinging and where to prepare for the return.

Coach Fisher shows how he trains a step block. You will see the technical side of using hands correctly along with proper footwork. He also shows you how to train the triple block. He teaches players how to work together to form a closed block and creates few hitting options for an opponent. The last segment of the morning session focuses on serving using the Flean Ladder Drill and then finishes with game situation serving while trying to add pressure to the servers.

Day 2 - Afternoon Practice

Fisher and his staff focus on defensive transition, defending the middle of the court, and the science behind great defensive strategies. A middle has 180 degrees of hitting options. Coach Fisher gives great tips on learning how to read the block, read the hitter's arm, and move with purpose. You'll also see how to focus your defense to play line shots and angle shots off the hitter.

The team warms up with the butterfly drill, some floor routine drills and, after spending a little bit of time on hitting lines, they jump right into 6-on-6 game play. One of the games they play is Virus, where the coac

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