The art of good time outs must be taught.

“Talk it up”

Nearly every coach in nearly every time out has either said this, or has wanted to say this.
At the recent Mikasa Gold Ball tournament a beginning coach asked me for some strategies to get his team to talk.

He suggested his team was losing up to 7 points a set because of the lack of communication in his team.

Beginning teams need to communicate because their game consists of “confusion opportunities” everywhere.

Calling a timeout after your team has just lost 4 points, due to confusion and a lack of talking, usually is an opportunity to tell your team that they “need to talk it up”. This is a perfect example of what we call a “no shit statement”. This is when the coach says something so obvious that the team in chorus, says “no shit”.

It is great that Aussie kids are too polite to pay out their coaches so appropriately with their many “no shit” statements.

The nature of volleyball mandates that effective teams have good communication.

This may be team rules which clarify situations and mandated responses from designated players on the court.

The nature of our game dictates that a great deal of the time everybody is looking up at the roof making it difficult for our limited peripheral vision to be able to see our teammates.

So talking is good. Targeted talking helps make winning teams.

Here are my 10 words for beginners: (print it off as a word file)


10 words for beginners

In my team it is just as wrong for the libero in the team to call “Free Ball” as it is for the setter in the team NOT to call “Free Ball”.

Players have roles and for us to be successful they have to do their jobs. It is our job as coaches to get new players through the confusion zone as quickly and as positively as possible.

This is just hard work and good coaches do it and weaker coaches hope that the kids eventually get it.

The answer to the coach at the Gold Ball tournament was essentially to positively encourage his players to talk in the last few games.