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Simple Competitive Practice Drills

with Genny Volpe,
Rice University Head Coach;
2009 Conference USA champions, 2008 Conference USA Coach of the Year.

Learn up-tempo drills that will create competitive situations in your gym and help your team achieve under pressure!

In this 2011 AVCA Convention presentation, Genny Volpe guides players on the court through a series of nine score-based drills that cover warm-ups, skill-emphasis, and team-building. Throughout the video, Coach Volpe stresses the importance of simulating pressure situations by setting results-oriented goals for drills, and discusses how to motivate players by enforcing accountability. These ideas will keep your athletes engaged in activity even when not on the court, and use incentives and consequences to motivate players.

Beginning with warm-ups, Coach Volpe shares her tweaks on the standard pepper and butterfly drills that will help your team begin practice with focus and intensity. Volpe demonstrates two drills that encourage servers to be aggressive with serve placement under pressure. To emphasize passing and digging, as Volpe introduces "bonus points" for the quality of the passes in a pair of 6v6 mini-game drills. In a similar fashion, Volpe uses alternative scoring methods to influence setter behavior in two setting drills. The video ends with a team-building "pit" drill that gives the entire team a stake in the results of individual players.

Being able to execute under pressure is a trait of championship teams. Incorporating these drills into your practice will help give your team the edge in crunch-time.

49 minutes. 2012.

Tactical Blocking: Systems, Philosophies & Ideas

with Don Shaw,
4x National Champion as Head Coach of Stanford Volleyball;
member of the AVCA Hall of Fame; over 400 career wins

Hall of Fame Coach Don Shaw helps you design a blocking scheme that fits with your team's talent in blocking, digging and defensive systems.

Coach Shaw will show you how to develop your blockers and hitters to play all positions in the front row especially early in the season so you can switch them anytime to get favorable match-ups against your opponent's hitters. This allows you to coach your players to be effective at any height.

See how you can switch your outside blockers or middle to outside as part of their tactical blocking scheme. Coaches may also ask the team to move or shift towards their best hitters and sometimes dare the opponent to set to their not so great hitters. If their primary hitter is running slide most of the time, Shaw demonstrates how to commit the outside hitter to the middle hitter and/or shift the block to the left to have two blockers on the slide. Playing the percentage by shrinking the net or the court is always a very good strategy.

Teams will also learn the importance of one blocker defense and assign the off blocker to take tips while still having four diggers to defend the attacks. Shaw's 5 on 5 drills will help your outside blockers get better at one-on-one blocking.

Shaw features two drills to help develop blocking skills:

  • Figure of 8 drills - Very useful for blockers' footwork in blocking and transitioning to attack the ball. This is a good drill for blockers to read and react against the hitters and can also be used as a warm up drill.
  • 3 hitters vs 3 blockers drill - Will help your team get ready for good passes and make adjustments to bad passes. Tactical serving is also stressed as it will take away some of the opponents' offense.
Tactical Blocking will help your team play to the strength of your defense and can limit the offense that your opponents can run.

54 minutes. 2012.

Exercises and Drills to Drastically Improve Athlete Performance on the Court

with Barry Lovelace,
a fitness coach and personal trainer internationally recognized as the "King of Core"
a member of Team Men's Fitness and is an author of several volleyball specialized fitness videos and programs

Maximize your practice time by using Barry Lovelace's effective circuit training program to train up to 40 athletes on one court! Coach Lovelace, an internationally recognized sports trainer, speaks about and demonstrates the importance of training with movement in the sport of volleyball.

Lovelace demonstrates a sample circuit training session that he describes as a "buffet of sports performance exercises." The circuit contains exercises focusing on core, functional, proprioceptive and flexible resistance, which builds elasticity in muscles with quick results.

For each station in the circuit Lovelace shows several progressions and adaptations for various levels of athletes. He discusses the importance of focusing on different types of movement from station to station, as well as the role of interval training. Each station in the circuit is demonstrated by University of Texas athletes.

After the circuit, Barry guides you through several footwork and reaction drills that enhance muscle and cardiovascular endurance. All exercises demonstrated are volleyball specific. Through this video, you will see the importance of "training from the inside out."

Using Barry Lovelace's training techniques to create workouts will help your athletes gain incredible core strength, generate muscle elasticity and increase reaction time on the court.

Filmed at the 2011 AVCA Convention.

60 minutes. 2012.

Making Optimal Progress in Small Group or Individual Training Sessions

with Ping Cao,
coach/Trainer for Texas Advantage Volleyball;
former member of the Chinese National Team and was the Top Hitter in the world.

Get ready to improve your volleyball IQ! Using live demonstration at the 2011 AVCA Convention, Ping Cao presents the fundamentals of warm up, setting, passing, and both serve-receive and defensive positioning. Coach Cao breaks down each component to the very basics and gives attention to every detail of each skill.

Areas of instruction include:

  • Passing: Ready position, platform and shoulder angles
  • Setting: Footwork, hand position, and follow-through
  • Serve-Receive: Body position and relaxed, focused movement
  • Defense: Easy, controlled movement and patience
As he makes corrections with his demonstrators, numerous coaching points are presented and explained. No detail is overlooked. You will learn the reasons behind why we do things the way we do, and why balance and technique is so important:

Minimize wasted movements in passing and digging to quickly reach every ball. Properly use your whole body (feet, legs, torso and hands) to improve ball handling while making overhead passes which leads to more accurate digs and sets.Watch your players with a critical eye for proper movement that will improve your players' ball handling form and provide greater control of passes and digs.

Beginning coaches will find the assortment of drills presented beneficial in planning practices and instructing their teams.

Ping will inspire you to push your athletes to perfect their technique - and make sure to keep everything in balance.

58 minutes. 2012.

Serve Receive: Increased Platform Control and Awareness

with Josh Steinbach,
Villanova University Head Coach;
2007 Big East Coach of the Year

The first contact is the most important contact in the game of volleyball. Making sure we control this contact and get the ball to go where we want it to go seems like a simple concept, but gaining control and awareness of your platform takes time and attention to detail. By focusing our attention on our platforms, we create a solid foundation for our team serve receive. This volleyball DVD will explore the styles and techniques used to increase platform control and awareness.

Villanova Head Coach Josh Steinbach presents the passing techniques and philosophies that he uses with his players. Coach Steinbach discusses his philosophies on technique vs. results, height of pass to control offense tempo, how to call the ball as a passer, and the much discussed thought on left is right-right is wrong.

Right from the start he explains his thoughts on how a passer should call the ball and use a simple yes or no to give themselves instant feedback on the accuracy of their passes. Steinbach continues the discussion with the question "how much time do we spend on the techniques?" Many coaches are very critical in every little aspect of the passing skill, while others only focus on a couple of things with result as the main goal. Although he feels that technique is not as important, he does stress two components that are a must when becoming a good passer; posture and angles and how they relate to the ability to control the direction of the ball. Once a passer can consistently use good posture, the angle of the platform is the key to passing to target.

There are some great visuals throughout the video when coach Steinbach stops and corrects players who breakdown in posture or passing from the right. He closes with the 3-2-1 drill that shows the importance of being able to get a pass to a spot as opposed to focusing on all of the techniques used to pass to target.

Even a veteran coach can walk away from this video with something to chew on in regards to the most discussed topic in volleyball.

48 minutes. 2012.

Building an All-Around Volleyball Athlete with Brazilian Training Methods

with Cilene Drewnick,
Instinct Volleyball Club, Carrollton (TX);
former member of the Brazilian National Team; played in two Olympic Games (1988 & '92 Olympics)

The Brazilian men's and women's volleyball teams are regarded as some of the very best in the world. In addition, Brazil has produced some of the world's best all-around volleyball players. In this dynamic video from the 2011 AVCA Convention, one of Brazil's Olympians, Cilene Drewnick, allows coaches to examine the drills and skills that are used in the Brazilian strategy for developing volleyball players that excel in a variety of situations.

Coach Drewnick starts by demonstrating warm-up drills that emphasize ball control, while stressing all fundamental skills. The drills quickly move focusing on one skill to another, while making players highly skilled in all the fundamentals of volleyball.

Coaches will get to examine a variety of drills covering passing, setting and hitting that maximize repetitions in a fast paced and competitive environment. Drewnick will demonstrate how to train any player to control the ball in every situation. Her drill areas focus on how to instruct the wrist away spike shot, improve eye training for passing, improve ball control skills and train in a fast paced practice environment. Dewnick shares the "coaching points" in each drill to increase the improvement of players.

Finally, Dewnick shows the "five ball" defensive drill that helps players not only develop defensive skills, but become a more competitive player.

Using her experience with Brazilian training methods, Drewnick will show you how to apply these techniques to your athletes to gain an edge over the competition.

64 minutes. 2012.

Swing Blocking: Attacking the Attacker

with Nabil Mardini,
Pierce College Head Coach;
2010 and 2011 California state champions;
AVCA 2010 National 2-Year College Coach of the Year;
Co-Founder and Club Director of Los Angeles Volleyball Academy (LAVA)

Teach your blockers to attack the offense!

In this 2011 AVCA convention presentation, Nabil Mardini thoroughly breaks down the mechanics and timing of swing blocking from the ground up, using on-court players as models.

Beginning with footwork, Coach Mardini explains ideal foot and body positioning during the push and crossover steps, while detailing how to read the path of the attacker. Mardini then covers proper hand and elbow positioning during the base, armswing and press phases of the block. Mardini points out common reasons that blockers "float" or get "tooled," and how to address them.

Bringing passers and setters to the court, Mardini explains how to adjust blocking technique based on the pass, and gives a tempo-based eye sequence that will help your players get to the block balanced and on time. Mardini wraps up the instruction by taking the players through three blocking drills and provides insight into how you can make your drills game-like.

Coach Mardini's thorough explanation of the swing blocking technique will help your blockers to be more aggressive to the ball, get more height and penetration, and increase their number of quality touches at the net!

57 minutes. 2012.

Hitting Technique: Drills and Cues for Developing Consistency

with Ping Cao,
coach/Trainer for Texas Advantage Volleyball;
former member of the Chinese National Team and was the Top Hitter in the world

Learn how to improve hitting by improving technique, rather than starting over with a new method.

This video focuses on teaching proper technique and body position in order for players to become moreeffective hitters. Coach Cao begins with a very effective progressive warm-up that prepares the whole body for the high demands of hitting. The video includes proper hand placement on the ball, moves on to good arm position before contact and takes athletes through all types of footwork patterns.

Throughout the video you will find a series of drills that will help your athletes effectively hit line, cross-court and angle shots from all three hitting positions.

Cao Ping's presentation at the 2011 AVCA Convention is a great guide for coaches to teach proper technique and body position in order for players to become more effective hitters.

Serve receive, defense and middle hitting transition footwork are also introduced.

Cao Ping's clinic is a wonderful tool to teach the basic building blocks for hitting success.

57 minutes. 2012.

Setting Fundamentals for Sand Players

with Anna Collier,
USC Sand Volleyball Head Coach;
women's beach volleyball Olympic Coach;
Played professionally on the beach for seven seasons between 1978 and 1989, posting 10 Top 10 finishes among her 20 tournament appearances

As players transition to the sand, they must learn new fundamentals and techniques for the skills they have already learned. Like other skills, setting poses new challenges once the court has changed to sand and six players becomes two.

In this session, Anna Collier starts from the beginning, by showing you the basic sand setting fundamentals you can use to train either your indoor players who are transitioning outside, or new athletes joining your sand program. By starting with these basics, your athletes can then begin to build on their new skills to excel specifically on the sand.

Indoor volleyball always passes to a target to be set, but sand can be very much affected by different variables. Collier shows you how to train setters to be consistent on tight passes, short digs and when the wind or sun are a factor. Some of the passes will not be perfect, so Collier teaches you how to recover for an accurate set.

Coach Collier demonstrates a variety of drills (Shuttle Setting, Transitional Setting, Cross Court Digging, Triangle Setting and Trouble Setting) to help fine-tune the techniques presented.

Setting Fundamentals for Sand Players will definitely help your team to play more intelligently in different situations and conditions.

36 minutes. 2012.

Using a Sand Court for Strength Training and Conditioning

with Dave Carstenson,
BCAP National Beach Coach; NASM Certified Trainer;
former USA Volleyball Florida Region Outdoor Director

A sand court isn't just for playing sand volleyball. It can also be used for the strength training and conditioning of all volleyball athletes. With little equipment, you can make your training program dynamic by moving it outside and using the resistance of sand to intensify your workouts! In this DVD, Dave Carstenson demonstrates a variety of drills and routines coaches can apply to athletes of all levels.

Conditioning plays a huge role in sand volleyball as the majority of the game is played out of system. Core strength, balance, and mental training will prepare athletes to be ready for anything and ready to play from any location on the court.

Filmed at the 2011 AVCA Convention, Dave Carstenson guides players through a demanding circuit training program designed to increase strength, speed, stamina, and stability, using a sand volleyball court as a training tool.

Created for coaches and athletes, Coach Carstenson begins with a dynamic stretching routine that focuses on balance and core strength. Carstenson then guides players through a circuit training program consisting of 18 volleyball-specific exercises, with emphasis on development of the legs and core. Many of these exercises incorporate resistance bands and/or a volleyball, in conjunction with the natural resistance of the sand court, to challenge the athletes. He demonstrates how versatile resistance bands are, making each exercise tough, but not impossible. Carstenson gives set and repetition guidelines based on age and level of play, and provides progressions in order to increase the difficulty of some of the exercises.

These exercises will make players stronger quickly, adding explosive power to their game. Incorporating these sand-court exercises into your training regimen will prepare you for the physical demands of sand volleyball and help take your indoor game to new levels!

Keep your training interesting - move it to the sand!

39 minutes. 2012.

Creating the Best Practice Strategy for Your Team

with Matt McShane,
US Air Force Academy Head Men's Volleyball Coach;
former assistant coach at the University of California-Berkeley - selected as one of Volleyball Magazine's 10 Best Assistant Coaches

In this DVD from the 2011 AVCA Coaching Conference, Matt McShane discusses how to identify the biggest mistakes your players make during game play and give verbal cues during the game to correct them.

Coach McShane's philosophy is to have the players in game-like situations as much as possible. He shows how to help individual players to correct their mistakes at game speed, which will help you make the most of every practice.

The game of volleyball is complex with your players constantly reading other players and reacting to their moves. An error is often an incorrect response to a cue. Teaching your players to identify cues during a game will help to cut down on errors. If a player is struggling, McShane shows how you can break down the drill in order to focus on just one part of a move until he is confident. Once a player understands the move, put him right back into team play.

McShane really brings home the importance of practice and the role of the coach in practice. He explains and shows how the coach should monitor the play of each player on the court and to identify the biggest mistakes. He shows how to correct a player during a 6-on-6 game and then how to take that player out of the game play to give him individual help.

Learn how to provide as many game-like situations in practice, which translates into more rally points in a game.

55 minutes. 2012.

Teaching Volleyball to Young Children--and Their Parents!

with Ruth Nelson, former head women's volleyball coach at University of Houston (where she coached volleyball legends such as Flo Hyman and Rita Crockett), LSU and Iowa; currently working with youth volleyball players

Volleyball coach and youth trainer extraordinaire Ruth Nelson explains how she teaches parents to work with their kids in this video shot on-location at the 2011 AVCA convention in San Antonio. Coach Nelson works with a group of 7 year-old girls and their parents instructing them in a positive and creative way so that all can learn proper habits on the court.

Learning proper habits on the court at such a young age allows players to develop faster and retain more as they continue down the path to becoming a volleyball player. The parent involvement in this process is key. The parents must know and understand the proper habits and techniques as well so that they can teach and give correct cues to encourage their young ones to play the ball correctly.

Nelson shows a variety of drills that teach different volleyball skills. She starts the drills with tennis balls, progresses to a soft bigger ball, then a green soft ball the size of a volleyball and finally a real volleyball. She has created a practice system for the girls but tries to introduce new drills that build on ones they have already done. Nelson keeps the practice fun with agility drills that incorporate many different moves, including jump roping and doing cartwheels. Many of the drills are done on one side of the court to keep the girls close to each other, and the parents are on the court and included in every drill.

The end result is parent and player forming a positive bond and everyone, parent and player alike, becoming a better volleyball player.

Nelson has laid the groundwork to start kids early in the game of volleyball. She shows a system where she is able to teach 5-10 year olds all the skills needed to develop into successful athletes and volleyball players. This video is an excellent look at a wonderful way to develop youth volleyball players, encourage parent involvement with their children and promote the game of volleyball.

55 minutes. 2012.

Indoor-to-Sand Progression: Do's and Don'ts of Sand Volleyball

with Nina Matthies,
Pepperdine University Head Women's Volleyball Coach;
10x West Coast Conference champs; 6x West Coast Conference Coach of the Year

In January 2010, the NCAA added sand volleyball to its list of emerging sports for women for Division I. In 2012, women's teams from all over the country will compete at the collegiate level for the first time under the sanction of the NCAA. During this exciting time for the growth of volleyball the need for expert instruction in the sand game will become more and more desirable.

Enter Nina Matthies and her version of Sand Volleyball 101. In this excellent instructional video filmed on-location at the AVCA convention in San Antonio, Coach Matthies demonstrates the proper way to warm-up and train sand volleyball players. She lists and demonstrate the various differences between the indoor game and the outdoor game.

From technique differences to rule differences this video covers all of the basics you need to know as a sand volleyball coach or player. Coach Matthies also gives very insightful instruction on sand volleyball tactics, drills and practice games.

You will learn:

  • The importance of understanding how to play "small ball" or passing to another player who is in close proximity in order to control the rally.
  • The different types of attacks that are important in the beach game because open hand dinking is not allowed on the sand.
  • The additional types of defensive moves available to use in the sand because the sand is significantly more forgiving than a sport court.
  • The different type of communication necessary on the sand. Even more communication is needed in the two person game than in the indoor game.
This video is a must have for any developing sand volleyball program, coach or player.

46 minutes. 2012.


See all the items in this series!

See more products by: Ping Cao Dave Carstenson Anna Collier Cilene Drewnick Barry Lovelace Nabil Mardini Nina Matthies Matt McShane Ruth Nelson Don Shaw Josh Steinbach Genny Volpe

See related products: AVCA Instructional DVDs


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2011 AVCA Clinic DVD Series
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