Before you start training for serious competition, you need to lay down a few basic rules of conduct. These rules keep you honest, and stop you “going through the motions” and wasting your time.
1. Non efforts (or “N.E.’s”) must be punished! Typical scenarios would include; not chasing a line shot, standing and watching the ball hit the ground, or two player letting a ball drop between them. An N.E. is the worste type of error, because by not making an effort you are not only developing an extremely bad habit, but you are also depriving yourself of a valuable opportunity to improve your defence. The best way to eradicate N.E’s from your game is with horrible and painful penalties, and they need to be administered immediately, (not at the end of training when it is easy). 50 push ups on the spot, will leave you with rubber arms in the middle of a drill, and that feeling of fatigue will remind you that if you don’t hit the sand for the next ball, (no matter how far away from touching it you are!) then you’ll have to do another 50 push ups!
If you stick to this rule, you will find that N.E.’s will just stop happening. Once you have forced your mind to override the logical reaction to a ball you don’t think you can dig, (I.e. don’t bother) you will try for every ball, and I guarantee, you will start digging balles you never dreamt of digging.
2. Never serve 2 errors in a row. Again, punishment should apply. Train the way you need to play, and in a game, if you serve a ball out, the next one goes in.
3. Warm up for training should be as per a match. When you start training, don’t waste the first 30 minutes playing at half pace, warm up properly, and rip into it. Make the most of your time, so you can keep quality high. It is better to train fewer hours at a higher standard than to practice playing poor volleyball.
4. Preparation. Never start training without knowing what you are going to focus on. Pick one aspect of your game, discuss it with your partner, and work on it. We will be working on setting as a priority for the first 4 weeks at least. So, although I will be playing game situations, practicing hitting, passing etc. my focus will be on the setting. After training, I will look back and think about how well I set to Andy, and I will give him feedback on how well he set to me. Later we will look at shot play and power hitting.