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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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Cover: planning practice & drills to achieve success
Planning Practice & Drills to Achieve Success

with Cliff Hastings,
Parkland College Head Coach;
Back-to-Back NJCAA DII National Champions (2015-16) - finished a perfect 57-0 in 2015;
8x Mid-West Athletic Conference Champions (2009-16);
Director of the Prime Time Volleyball Club (IL)

In this video, Coach Hastings shares drills and coaching techniques as he explains the drills, corrects his players, and provides many different variations to the drills.

Hastings does a good job of showing a clear cut, step-ladder way of building a practice session with high expectations. He separates practice into three areas of focus:

  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Position Training - Where he breaks down the learning process to build consistency across the board.
  • Team Training - Where he allows players to gain a better understanding of his expectations through game-like situations.

Strength & Conditioning Workouts

Coach Hastings shares his teams' exercises and how they are designed to prepare players for the upcoming season. You'll learn:

  • The one arm bench press to allow your players to work on both arms equally.
  • How the medicine ball toss can be a great way to work on abs and body rotation.
  • How Bosu ball squats will help your players develop balance and strength in their squat.
  • Rowing exercises that can be used to simulate body mechanics during a swing.

Position-Specific Training

Learn to use a variety of drills that simulate game-like situations. Coach Hastings divides players into different stations to help with individual skills to allocate practice time for individual player development. Position-specific training is incorporated into the team drills.

You'll see how Hastings creates consistency in the gym so that all players are on the same page. Peer to peer leadership and feedback is encouraged and seen and reinforces a legacy of learned experience and wisdom passed on from the upper classmen to the newer players. Additional skills taught include:

  • Achieve correct footwork by isolating players in a series of drills to imitate moves that will happen during a match
  • Isolation footwork
  • Using team statistics
  • Blocking as a unit
  • Setting accuracy and aggression

It's critical for teams to have an understanding that during a match, not everything will run perfectly as practiced, so, in anticipation of that, Hastings spends specific practice time working on things that could go different - such as playing a bad pass, your setter taking the first ball, and other unplanned/likely to occur scenarios that lead to out of system play in a match.

Team Training

Coach Hastings takes everything learned in the position-specific training and incorporates it into the team drill segment. In this session, he uses game-like settings to work on areas that present themselves during a match. The control drill allows your team to work on various skills in a controlled environment. Hastings also shares his insights on why he uses the different drills based on statistics gathered from the season's matches.

Finally, one of the gems of this video is to see, firsthand, some of the on-court 'verbal coaching cues' Hastings uses - giving you terrific insight into his coaching while at the same time seeing how attuned he is in keeping players engaged and focused on getting better.

Need some structure and ideas for your practice time? This video from Coach Hastings is the answer!

54 minutes. 2018.

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Cover: best of club volleyball: team-oriented ball control drills
Best of Club Volleyball: Team-Oriented Ball Control Drills

with Tanya Jarvis,
Orlando/Tampa Volleyball Academy Coach;
Bishop Moore Catholic (FL) Head Coach;
2015 Florida 5A High School State Champions and Florida 5A High School Coach of the Year;
2012 MaxPreps National Coach of the Year

Volleyball success is based on the foundation of quality ball control in all phases of the game. Through a progression of individual, partner, 3-person and team drills, Tanya Jarvis demonstrates how to guide your team to improve its ball control by implementing strategies for encouraging proper form and court position for passing and setting. Your team will also improve conditioning, team communication, and learn to react to different game-like scenarios.

Throughout this video, Coach Jarvis provides tips for teaching players to quickly acquire better ball control skills, for keeping players engaged, and for using these drills to get the most out of your limited practice time. The video includes 27 drills (including variations) that can be adjusted to player skill level.

Individual Movement Series - Three Phases of Ball Control

When developing ball control, Jarvis takes her players through three phases of training. These phases feature drills involving getting to balls more quickly and learning to track balls that go over the head. In each phase, players practice passing a controlled pass to themselves while emphasizing proper ready position, body balance, and acceleration to the ball.

Partner Series

This series of four drills teaches players how to work together in tossing, passing, setting and digging balls in a controlled fashion through progressively more difficult actions. Jarvis shows how to use this series to reinforce the right form and continuous communication between teammates, along with improving the ability to transition between different skills.

3-Person Passing Series

The third part of this video shows how to develop a player's ability to shuffle short and long distances at a fast pace and then pass balls using good form throughout the drills. Coach Jarvis uses the last part in this series to incorporate dives or rolls with proper passing and ball control techniques through a fun, competitive drill.

Net Series

In this series, Jarvis uses three- to four-person drills to help players get "comfortable with the uncomfortable" by practicing how to play balls successfully out of the net, along with developing more precision in their different platform angles by controlled passing over and under the net.

Shuffle Series

Next, Jarvis moves to three drills that incorporate training in shuffle movement, body positioning to pass in the center line, and adjustment to pass short balls. In the first drill, a coach tosses a ball over the net to have players shuffle to the left or right to pass it to a setter target; in the second, players move to have the tossed ball bounce between their legs; and in the third, players perform knee drives to slide into position to properly pass short balls.

Butterfly Series

This series incorporates a progression of drills to train players to hone their skills in passing, setting and hitting under control using a butterfly configuration and emphasizing continuous ball movement during each drill. This approach engages players to transition smoothly between skills as the drills progress to reflect game play.

Out-of-System Series

Coach Jarvis uses this series to teach players how to adjust to set out-of-systems balls using their hands or platform and also hitting to specific zones during out-of-system plays. Throughout this series, Jarvis gives specific tips on passing and setting location for out-of-system balls as well as pointers for hitters.

Cross-Court Pepper

The video ends with a cross-court pepper drill that focuses on controlling digs from a cross-court spike and transitioning to counter-attack. This drill helps all players become more adept at each core ball control skil

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