An inflammatory question perhaps.

I am not talking about how many hours you spend coaching, but what you do in those hours. Can we as a coaching group get better value out of our time on the court?

Many things we have to do when coaching involve modifying player behaviour.  We need to make required actions, movement patterns and skills automatic for our players for our teams to improve.

If we are training a dog to sit, we show the skill to the dog and we have to be relentless in ensuring the dog actually sits on command. If we accept the dog sitting one time out of five commands then we would not consider that to be good enough and certainly we could not suggest that the dog has actually learned the skill of sitting on command.

I think we sometimes coach like this. We set the bar too low. Is coaching volleyball any less demanding than training a dog?

If we are training a team and we are suggesting that a skill or movement pattern would make the team better then, once we have shown the team/player that skill or movement pattern, we have to be relentless in ensuring that this pattern is learned.

The challenge to us as coaches is that we have to do this in a positive, fun and motivational manner. We have to, as John Kessel suggests, “catch them doing it right” and then make an effort to ensure that the players know we saw them doing it right.

Teaching the skill/pattern and then allowing the players to do it right in a wash drill or in a match one time out of five attempts will lead to failure, just as the dog will not learn to sit.

Perhaps sometimes we can work a little harder and, if we do better results will follow.

The Elson Volley website has been upgraded with a new web shop still with the best prices and the best service in Australia

It is a clean, modern look with full support for tablets and smartphones, now also featuring pages of information supporting coaches.