As coaches we understand that there are a lot things that we need to do. We need to run drills and practices. We need to effectively communicate. We need to teach techniques and tactics. We need to prepare match plans. We work on the individual components, to be better at doing the individual things we need to do. And so we collect drills and buy books and attend webinars and watch TED Talks to learn about all the things we have to do and get better at. After a while we have a massive collection of things that we know many of which, if we are reasonably diligent, we actually do on the day to day basis.
However, what we do much less of is understanding the context of these things and fitting them into our coaching philosophy and methodology. We know that the game we coach is a game of interactions, that how everything fits together is much more important than the individuals involved and their collection of skills. In exactly the same way, our coaching is a combination of how and when and in what combination we do things.
For example, drills. All drills, well nearly all drills, can be useful. The key is how they fit with your vision of volleyball, when you use them, in combination with which other drills and so on. The same with feedback. It is not how much feedback you give, or even whether the feedback is verbal. The key is the right feedback at the right time for the most impact.
What is important is not the things you do. Whatever you do is only as good as how well it fits into a broader vision of the game, practice methodology and coaching philosophy. So next time you watch someone’s practice, or see a great new drill or article on Facebook, think about how it fits. That is the key.
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