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Volleyball Coach Guide:
Welcome Volleyball Coach, and thanks for giving to our sport by coaching, whether you have played the game or not. Volleyball is the ultimate team sport and with all the uniqueness therein (Click HERE to see those…) both coaching and playing volleyball 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 volleyball coaches, as we share these core ideas on being the best teacher you can be.
Volleyball Coaching Articles:
With hundreds of helpful volleyball articles, 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 off on the right foot. Remember however, that kids don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care….
  1. 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 volleyball with your coaching that focuses on giving them a love of volleyball, so each of your players continue in sport after they leave your coaching.
  2. Guide to Volleyball Basics (PDF Download – 24 Pages)  A short booklet that gives you the basics of the volleyball game on many levels.
  3. Youth Volleyball Book and Information – A free volleyball coaching manual with creative equipment, warm up/cool down, drills/games, scoring and teaching ideas for players of all ages.
  4. 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 volleyball court for a USAV Coaching Accreditation Program (“CAP”) course.
  5. The Ten New Commandments of Coaching – Nuff said….  
  6. From Positive to Perfection Teaching volleyball 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.
  7. My Favorite Coach – A list of the key things volleyball players want from the best coach they can have.
  8. 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 
  9. Motor Learning Theory – Carl McGown’s gift to all coaches from youth to Olympic level – a chance to learn from the best teacher of the science of motor learning in volleyball. Make sure to visit for more of his thoughts and to find out how to attend great learning experiences as a volleyball coach or player. 
  10. Contacts Per Hour – We learn best by doing, not watching, and this blog shares ideas on how to get more touches of the volleyball in the same amount of time compared to traditional volleyball training.
  11. The Player who Knows WHY Beats the Player who Knows How – The same goes for the volleyball 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…
  12. The Most Important Skill in Volleyball– It is “Reading,” in part as you have seen in this section for a new volleyball coach, for it takes reading to absorb all this. However, this key skill is about seeing the volleyball 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.

 Volleyball Coaching Philosophy:

As a new volleyball coach, you need to spend some time reflecting on what you will tell your players (perhaps their parents if you are coaching juniors) and others as to what YOUR coaching philosophy is. This should be simple, principle driven and guide your actions and decisions made in teaching your players this sport for a lifetime. What follows are some readings which can help guide you in the development your philosophy.


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

Kessel’s Handy Guide to Ruining a Player – A humorous but powerful look at ways volleyball coaches teach on and off the court which might not be as effective as once thought….

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

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

What Does a Teacher Make? – Remembering that you are a teacher really, this four minute performance of a poem by Taylor Mali

More Words to Chew on….

As it is your feedback/feedforward that is the number one way you impact the skill development – in both volleyball techniques and the many life lessons.

Suggested Book Readings for Youth Volleyball CoachesFourteen top books worth reading if you are coaching volleyball players under the age of 18.

USA Volleyball Rule Book – Known worldwide as a “Domestic Competition Regulations (USAV is one of 220 National Federations in the FIVB – the International Volleyball Federation – ) 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.

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.

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

The Talent Code – A must read great book worth reading, and a great blog worth following. Dan Coyle’s insights will help fast track any new volleyball coach to be a better teacher of the game. 

Words for Volleyball Players – A reminder that we have a large collection of articles to help you guide your volleyball players –  

USA Volleyball GRO CDs

Get much of the above and much, much more by emailing your mailing address and desired MVP version to and asking for a copy of one of the Million Volleyball Participant (MVP) GRO (GrassRoots Outreach) CDs. Like most of USA Volleyball’s material and work in growing the game, these are FREE, and can be copied and shared with other volleyball coaches and teachers. They are being used by thousands of programs to help grow the game – and versions exist for Boys, Girls, Youth, Beach, Players and Disabled development. They contain animated drills, posters, videos, and dozens of volleyball articles.

Regions have copied the CD and given them to every club, or every school in their state. Clubs have used them to bridge the gap that sometimes exists between their program and the scholastic and other member organizations. They are given out at short coaching and player 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 a MVP CD, a great example of empowering the kids rather than adults doing all the work. Regions mail them to anyone interested in starting new programs, as the recipients get decades worth of experience and ideas at virtually no charge. These kinds of outreaching all are part of servicing the programs and growing the game.

Good Luck all you new and experienced volleyball coaches!  Keep growing the game we love!

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