Aside from everything that is going on currently, I think the most challenging part to every level of coaching is the ability to communicate what you are looking to develop with the athlete's game.
Every group and individual is different. The challenge is to figure out how the group works and functions, how the athlete is able to learn and adapt.
The challenge with beginners versus experienced players I feel differs not just with ball control, but also eye work and balance.
Being able to maintain balance with your body and mind during a practice and match play show the differences in levels of ability. I think that the solution to this challenge is communication in all honesty and being able to talk respectfully and freely.
It has to be established right away, so coaches and athletes can work together towards the same goal.
It's ok to hear athletes out and vise versa. Both sides can see things the other can't. It is a matter of respect and trust.
At this time, we are having three team meetings on zoom a week.
Monday, we break down footage from prior tournaments.
Wednesday, the athletes do a live workout with a trainer that we have on staff for the volleyball club.
Friday is an inspirational day. Athletes are given a topic at the beginning of the week to talk about and then have to share in the zoom conference call.
Topics range from history and trends, to recruiting development, in hopes for the athletes to continue playing volleyball at the collegiate level. The athletes also have a chance to create for the social media engines we provide @brooklynelitevolleyball.
In addition to the activities and resources I previously mentioned, our wonderful fitness trainer Jillian Wojcik-Clarke is working with our athletes collectively once a week.
Jillian is also monitoring their workouts one on one to help keep the athletes focused on their goals and also specializing in the positions they play. The club and coaches have done a great job of coming together to support our athletes and their goals regardless of the conditions they will be accomplished under.
In these times and any other it is important to be patient. Your expectation will change from each team you work with and it is key not to compare teams from prior years.
You can use the past to pull inspiration from, but the current team you work with has its own identity. You have to be able to embrace and enjoy figuring out what that is as you build individual relationships and provide an atmosphere that is encouraging and challenging.