Lately in practice I have been seeing a lot of weird things going on with my players.
We are so close to the end of the season and some of them are really struggling with basic volleyball skills, especially spiking and serving (jump serving in particular).
It occurred to me as I was watching one of our best players, who had been jump serving very well all year, all of a sudden is just struggling to
He literally is hitting the ball under the net on the serve.
This is going for about a week at this point.
I was about to walk over and have a brief discussion with him about what was happening but I was cut-off by another coach.
I was curious to what was going to be said.
So I sat and watched the coach talk in length about hand contact and how you need to snap over the ball blah blah blah.
After watching for about 10 more minutes, I had him come over to me, and I said “Let’s go back to the basics.
Forget about what everyone is telling you and just do what you have been doing all year.” He kindly agreed and began serving fantastic again.
I truly believe that athletes can be “over-coached” and this can cause them to digress.
Let’s look now at what players should be doing and how to go basic.
I always tell my players that the more variables that you add to your service routine, the more complicated and difficult it will be to make a serve.
For example, a jump serve should really be a toss with a four step approach, jump and hit.
How many of your players like to do a fancy twist with a weird toss and crazy approach when they serve?
For the least amount of complication a player should toss with a step and hit the ball over the net.
With more variables such as jumping or crazt tossing, the serve gets way more complicated.
Go back volleyball hitting rules and learn the basics if you are struggling.
I had a player yesterday who just could not figure out what was going on.
This player is a 6’3 lefty on the right side who was just hitting the ball out of bounds.
After hours of working on this and changing that, at some point we decided to go back to the basics.
Take a smooth aggressive approach and a smooth aggressive swing, and all of a sudden, it’s back.
If you just can not get your player to get his serve in or spike a ball, remember the essentials of these skills and go back to them.
Forget everything else that has been said and start over.
I think that you will find this method very important when you are coaching.