Question #1 from Eldo's New Zealand coaching tour

When coaching a group that has a range of skill levels, how can I use time most effectively to ensure that all players are benefitting from the session?

Excellent question. This is not often addressed by coaches well enough and is a reason why some of the better players are not challenged by some trainings AND also the reason why some players give up on the sport if they are not achieving at the rate of the “high flyers”.

1. There is no reason why kids at training have to work on the same net height or with the same target size.  With spiking for example, you can have the net set up at an angle with the net higher at one end. Some times as coaches we are lucky to have a group of equally motivated, equally skilled, equally sized athletes but NOT VERY OFTEN. Good considerate coaches can still make the training challenging and relevant for all. ‘Factor’ wash drills are great in this situation.

2. Sometimes you can use the better players to work with the beginners to help them BUT DO NOT overdo this as the good players also want to get better. 

3. Use wash drills every play, but “Jake” is only allowed to hit line. If he wins a point crosscourt, it is play on.

4. Want to have the new jump servers jump serve. BUT you get fault 1 and fault 2 or even fault 3 when you serve.