In coaching, the only constant is change. Nearly every coach will eventually hit a point in a season or school year where change is coming or needed. This article gives advice on how coaches can help empower your athletes to be true leaders on the team, and navigate big and small changes.
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USA Volleyball Education is focused on improving developmental and educational opportunities across the sport of volleyball from grassroots to the national team level. Our goal is to provide the opportunity to access, complete and apply high-quality information and methods in the technical, tactical, physical and emotional aspects of the game for athletes and coaches while providing training, support and resources for other key stakeholders including officials, parents and clubs.
USA Volleyball Development Model
For years, the focus of volleyball in many areas and across various levels shifted to a mindset of winning at all costs.
What we now know is that the most successful teams in the world have developed a model of training and a culture that supports a holistic approach to athlete development which not only sets them up for competitive success on the court, but values and emphasizes the important of athlete health, well-being and long-term involvement in the sport.
The USA Volleyball Development Model was created based on the idea that volleyball in the U.S. could be taught differently, resulting in long-lasting positive outcomes across all measures of performance while keeping kids involved and loving the game longer.
Know Better, Do Better
The five pillars of the USA Volleyball Development model provide the basis for a holistic approach to the core elements that are vital to supporting development at every level and across age groups.
- Craft: Mastering the skills and strategies of our game
- Heart: Becoming your best self through connection, gratitude and emotional well-being
- Mind: Training our minds to maximize performance
- Body: Developing the physical capacity to train and compete at the highest level
- Team: Building a culture of excellence that honors ourselves, our team, our game and our country
USA Volleyball Education is committed to providing support for the volleyball community with a role-based approach to education and training. Whether you’re planning practices, cheering from the stands or making the right call, we provide the tools and resources to help you succeed.
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Watching the kids in a small indoor gym training over three nets, I thought of all the lines we put kids into, the way we ignore the net, the way we inflict pain via the forearm pass and the way 6v6 is experienced by beginners. I get angry inside at knowing billions of kids over my lifetime have walked away from our sport for a lifetime because their introduction to the game is BORING. We must do better when we introduce this sport.
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Mental wellness can be difficult for parents, coaches and other guardians to cope with when it comes to young athletes. Is a bad grade on a test just because an athlete didn’t study, or is it a sign of something deeper? Coaches and parents should be on the lookout for signs that an athlete’s mental health is suffering, and while they may not be equipped to help the athlete, guardians can help connect an athlete with the right professionals.
Every year, student-athletes participate in summer camps, combines, tournaments and showcases to sharpen their skills and gain exposure to college coaches. College coaches value the opportunity to evaluate a player multiple times on video as well as in person. Attending these types of events can be a crucial step in your recruiting process, but they can be costly and time consuming, so make them worth your while.
It can be hard to make meals that are healthy and satisfying for athletes with certain food restrictions. But with a bit of prep and pre-planning, you can easily have snacks and meals on hand that are soy, dairy, and gluten-free.
As an athlete, it’s recommended that you eat every three hours throughout the day, so it’s important to find snacks that travel easily, offer the right nutrients, and actually taste good too. When it comes to nutrition, the goal is to find snacks that fill you up and keep you energized through an optimal blend of mostly carbohydrates, plus some protein and fat to help you feel satisfied for longer.
As a coach, your teams almost certainly contain a diverse multitude of athletes with different life experiences, and assumptions about them can be dangerous. Here are tips for acknowledging your current assumptions and create a more equitable team environment.
Creating strong boundaries is an important and often overlooked piece of the coaching dynamic. A lack of boundaries can not only impact a team’s success, but also lead a coach to experience burnout and negative mental health effects.
It is easy for coaches to put aside their wellness during a season, but they shouldn't. In fact, addressing their own mental health and wellness may make them a more successful coach and create a more cohesive team.