Coaches spend a lot of time on drills. If you spend a little bit of time on YouTube or on coaching sites you will find lots of coaches sharing lots of ideas about lots of drills. Often it seems like the most popular drills, with coaches AND players, are the most complex or most ‘imaginative drills’. Drills with lots of actions joined together or with lots of extra movements are commonplace. Lots of contacts and lots of movements make players and coaches alike feel good about their practice.
While it is definitely true that we need to consider the number of contacts, physical conditioning and player engagement when we design our practices, complex and ‘imaginative’ drills do not necessarily facilitate learning. When we see our players improve at the performance of a drill, we must not assume that what we are seeing is learning and we cannot forget that learning is the key for any drill or practice. Whether learning has taken place is revealed by performance in competition, not drills.
Being able to master a complex drill is not the same as learning to play volleyball. Drill performance is not learning.
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