My name is Megan Carr and I played volleyball for 13+ years and have been coaching for 4 years. Currently I coach at the collegiate level at University of Indianapolis, so 18-22 year old girls.
Volleyball has become the most played women’s sport in the last few years and is on the rise for the men’s game. I believe that is large in part from how competitive the game has become, the training that has grown exponentially, and the platform that has been created for young men and women to succeed. Kids are starting to play volleyball at a much younger age now more than ever due to the growth and access to the sport. They are also learning the technical skills of volleyball at a much younger age; which is why we are seeing middle blockers that stand at 6’6 able to pass the ball.
The #stayathome movement has impacted sports heavily. As all collegiate sports have come to a halt, we are finding new ways to keep our players motivated and in shape while we cannot physically be with them.
Challenge accepted from @vollielove!Once you are nominated, you have 24 hours to respond or you donate $20 to a local Charity. You nominate 4 coaches. You have to post a picture of you coaching! I nominate @HNimrick @BarrickSteve @TheCoachJohn @DanBergren pic.twitter.com/tVusk9VDo6— Megan Carr (@megancarr71) April 4, 2020
We find it extremely important to keep the players accountable for getting in exercise while also staying on top of their schoolwork. The players on our roster have a workout plan made specifically for our team to keep them moving while they are away. We are making it a priority to stay in shape, get daily volleyball touches, and keep in contact with the players so that we are ready to compete once allowed.
One of the biggest challenges while teaching volleyball is the waiting game and understanding that it will take time to perfect what you want your players to do. It is extremely rewarding, however, to see results. There are, of course, plenty of challenges that come with being a beginner, but also many with experienced players. Beginners tend to be eager to learn but the results may be slow. It is the exact opposite for most experienced players. Learning how to teach the game to a beginner versus an experienced player will vary in the way learning is broken down, the pace of the game, and intensity.
I don’t know that there will ever be a solution to beginners learning quicker other than starting them earlier and seeing how their interests unfold. As for the more experienced player becoming more eager to learn, I think as volleyball continues to grow and professional opportunities grow along with it, the game will only continue to grow more competitive and intense.
I want people to understand that every kid is different. Something that works for one person may or may not work for another. It is imperative to have a wide range of ways to explain and teach to every individual. This will not only challenge your coaching abilities and allow you to grow as a coach, but it will show your players that you care enough about them to adapt to their needs.