IMPACT training provides a long list of scrimmage scoring options. Some coaches mistakenly read this as “all you do is play games” with supposedly no focus on technical skills. The assumption is since it is not a coach-controlled training environment, it must not be technical. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the coach is out of the game/grill/drill, they are free to be a better observer and teacher – able to see the pre/post contact reality the athlete is reading and give accurate feedback/feedforward about the skill performed.There are related reasons why we do small-sided games like Doubletime Speedball or even the classic “Monarch of the Court.”
If you only have one ball in the air above your court, the most game-like training you can do is play the game, 6 vs 6. Not pieces of the game, the whole game, as you are just learning with one ball in use.Coaches like Speedball and Monarch because:
- It starts with a serve, much like every point of a match.
- It teaches the essential “Winners Stay On” mentality of a match, a tournament and in the end of a season.
- The players get to cover more court and read though the net, just like reality.
- These games create “teachable moments” where a player rotates out and the coach can fine-tune a technical point that is unique to one player.
- Everyone else continues to improve while you instruct one person.
- When team sizes are 3- or even 4-a-side, you can keep guiding discovery with one player while his or her team returns to action simply competing with one less
- If playing with teams of only two, let the one player compete alone, passing-setting-attacking to themselves, as you teach the teammate off the court as long as necessary.
- The team size is smaller so they get to learn by doing more, not watching.
- It is over the net, so they know they are learning the reality of the game.
- It is scored, and
- It is FUN.