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USA Volleyball

I am a New Coach


Welcome Coach, and thanks for giving to our sport by coaching, whether you have played the game or not. It is the ultimate team sport and with all the uniqueness therein (Click HERE to see those…) both coaching and playing the game will fill the rest of your life with the joy and adventures found in those unique aspects. This section also serves as a review area for more experienced coaches, as we share these core ideas on being the best teacher you can be.

With hundreds of helpful resources, blogs, webinars, videos, posters and more in the grassroots section you have discovered, we thought that making a list of the most important ones can get you started on the right foot. Remember however, that kids don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care….

USAV SportKit DVD

The new USA Volleyball SportKit DVD (2013-2016 version) is now available to help all USAV Clubs, PE teachers and school coaches, and Affiliated Organizations like YMCAs and Park & Recs.

The DVD contains free books, skill and drill videos (both indoor and ParaVolley to show the game-like similarities), posters, handouts, quizzes, court creation ideas and much more. It has sections for elementary, junior high and high school aged athletes and programs.  The DVD is also free to copy to give out to parents, players, teachers or coaches during your own program’s training and clinics. Marty Miller out of the Iowa Region has his young players write a thank you letter to their PE Teacher for helping them, and as a gift, they give the teacher the DVD, a great example of empowering the kids rather than adults doing all the work. USAV Regions mail them to anyone interested in starting new programs, as the recipients get decades worth of experience and ideas to grow the game with USA Volleyball. Email your mailing address to mvp@usav.org to get a copy at no cost. (Mac users please download the VideoLAN, VLC Media Player for ease of use.)

Good luck new coach, and email mvp@usav.org if you have new ideas in growing the game, or questions that perplex you. 

Before you dive deeper into the resources we have for you check out this blog, Top Ten Things I must Have as a Coach by John Kessel, that will help your transition into coaching. This blog is a list of "must haves" for your practices and tournaments. 

Free Collaborative Lesson Plans - This section of our website is designed to help PE teachers and new coaches start out teaching the game the right way! You will find specific 12-day lesson plans that include game-like drills and activities for K-12 students.  

Free Videos:  

Instructional Skill & Drill Videos - Learn how to teach basic fundamental skills as well as fun, game-like drills for all.

Thailand School Championships - Believe it or not, these kids are 11 and UNDER. Click to see how great their ball control is, as well as their teamwork. 

The Impact of Coaches - The text of the words in this video: 

I have come to the frightening conclusion
I am the decisive element on the court 
It is my personal approach that creates the climate 
It is my daily mood that makes the weather 
As a coach, I possess tremendous power 
to make a child's life miserable or joyous 
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration 
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. 
In all situations it is my response that decides 
whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated 
and a child humanized or dehumanized.

Maximum Contact Net System - A very important way to keep every kid involved and getting as many reps as possible in an allotted time. Also this net can be placed at different heights for different sports such as: tennis, sitting volleyball, pickelball, table tennis, and more. This image shows a few of the the specific heights and various uses for this system. For the full graphic and uses, click here

Free Webinars: 

Motor Learning Theory - This 90 min webinar showcases the most essential information of motor learning. 

Youth Programming (YMCA) - The newest ideas and tools to make a volleyball program for 12 and unders a success are shared here with USAV and YMCA leaders. 

Increase Your Contacts Per Hour - Players learn by doing, not watching (how did you learn how to ride a bike? - how fast would you learn to ride a bike if there were 12 people and just one bike?), so learning ways to maximize your training by touching more volleyballs in the same amount of time, in as game-like way as possible, helps you get better faster. 

Free Books: 

Youth Volleyball Book (Minivolley) - A free coaching manual with creative equpiment, warm up/cool down, drills/games, scoring and teaching ideas for players of all ages. 

Growing the Game Together Blog Book Volume II - This downloadable PDF contains all of John Kessel's Growing the Game Blogs from 2013 to May 10, 2014.

John Kessel's Top 25 Books to Learn From - A compilation of the best books for any coach to read. 

Suggested Player Book Readings - A reminder that we have a large collection of articles to hep you guide your players. 

Guide to Volleyball Basics - A short booklet that gives you the basics of the game on many levels. 

USA Volleyball Rule Book 2013-2015 - Known worldwide as a "Domestic Competition Regulations (USAV is one of 220 National Federations in the FIVB – the International Volleyball Federation – www.fivb.org ) you can buy order a hard copy, and will get one if you take a USAV officiating course, with hundreds offered each year by the Regions. 

Free Posters:



You can find more posters by clicking here

Free Resources: 

Never be a Child’s Last Coach – This Grow the Game Together blog article shares insights in how to help your players learn to love the game with your coaching that focuses on giving them a love of the game, so each of your players continue in sport after they leave your coaching.

Kessel's Handy Guide to Ruining a Player - A humorous by powerful look at ways coaches teach on and off the court which might not be as effective as once thought…

Sign up for IMPACT Training – offered online, or in person in each of the USAV Regions (know as RVAs – Regional Volleyball Associations, listed HERE) - When you get the time, join us on the court for a USAV Coaching Accreditation Program (“CAP”) course. Click Here for future updates of our CAP courses.

The Ten New Commandments of Coaching – 'Nuff said….

From Positive to Perfection - Teaching players from the start to focus on training each skill in non-traditional ways which get them to make errors that are “good” mistakes vs. the traditional “negative” errors.

My Favorite Coach – A list of the key things players want from the best coach they can have.

The Game Teaches the Game – Remember how you learned to ride a bike? Did your parents put you through bike riding drills or progressions? Did they hire a bike riding coach or send you to a bike riding camp? The value of play and reading woven into the game as it teaches, which is tied into Establishing a Culture of Play blog.

The Most Important Skill in Volleyball– It is “Reading,” in part as you have seen in this section for a new coach, for it takes reading to absorb all this. However, this key skill is about seeing the ball on the other side of the net, giving your players more time to know where and when to be in the right place. It is about teaching the game BETWEEN contacts.

Dear Vocal Coach – Reflections on why so many coaches fail to follow core teaching principles seen in the classroom, when they step onto the court to teach a game.

Volleyball Jargon - This just helps you fast track to sounding like you have been around volleyball for years, even in your first season.

Sports Quotes - As coaching volleyball is in no small part about inspiring and empowering your players, these thousands of best choices of words will help you connect your coaching philosophies to both effort on the court and life off that 9 x 18 meter space.

Important Blogs: 

Establishing a Culture of Play - One of the more important principles to focus on in youth sports, especially volleyball, is to create an environment which encourages play. 

Primum Non Noncore – Using the Hippocratic Oath to guide your coaching.

Never Be a Child's Last Coach - I simply think one of the ways coaches need to evaluate each season is in seeing how many kids play that sport again in the following season. It is a key role of the coach to be a relationship counselor between each player and their love of the game.

Contacts Per Hour - We learn best by doing, not watching, and this blog shares ideas on how to get more touches of the ball in the same amount of time compared to traditional training. 

Volleyball Coaches & Trainers Facebook Group - You see, during that camp we discussed the need of a Facebook group that would allow volleyball coaches from around the world to collaborate and share best practices. Brian went forward and made it so – a closed group titled Volleyball Coaches and Trainers (VCT) with the founding statement you can see on the main page stating: “This is a forum where Volleyball Coaches and Trainers from around the world can discuss our profession openly and honestly, growing the game together.”

STOP Teaching: Passing, Setting, Hitting, Running, FREE Balls, and LIMIT Your Coaching

The Player who Knows WHY Beats the Player who Knows How – The same goes for the coach who knows why beating the coach who knows how. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson “The person who knows how, will always have a job; the person who knows why will always be his boss…

Ten Imprudent and Obtuse Things I Generally Avoided in Coaching Somehow – Some variations and outright new versions of “Stupid Volleyball Trainer Tricks.”

Choosing the Right Words – Thoughts for a new coach on changing some of the traditional words we use.

Coaching the Human Animal – An advance heads up to start this blog, it is going to cost you the price of buying a movie...

Again, thank-you for becoming a teacher of the game. We hope that you found some great resources to help you get started! This last closing resource is an important one, as we all need to remember that we are teachers that are helping to grow the game. Please watch this four minute performance of a poem by Taylor Mali. What Does a Teacher Make?