Instructional Video

Serving Priniciples

Members of the Gold Medal Squared Coaching Staff discuss our serving principles and why they are important.  

Role Clarity - Marv Dunphy

Legendary volleyball coach and GMS Advisory Member Marv Dunphy talks with us about role clarity with our teams.  

Setting with Jim McLaughlin

This is a clip of Washington Head Coach Jim McLaughlin at our 2013 GMS Volleyball Clinic at the University of Washington.  Register today to view the complete series.  

Managing the Game and It's Impact

Arizona State Head Coach Jason Watson talks about this concept of "managing the game," and the impact it had during the 2012 season (NCAA Tournament Birth).

Passing Principles

BYU Volleyball Head Coach Chris McGown talks about passing principles.  We believe that our coaching methods should be based on sound principles.  

Rob Browning - GMS and Coaching

GMS Advisory Staff Member Rob Browning talks about coaching, and what Gold Medal Squared is all about. We are lucky to have guys like Rob on our advisory staff, and thank him for his thoughts and contributions.

Ron Larsen - Scouting

Olympic Gold Medal Coach Ron Larsen talks with us about scouting. While many high school and club coaches find it difficult to scout during club tournaments (due to a lack of time and resources), there's still value in finding ways to gather, and share information with your athletes. Keep in mind there's a tremendous amount of information that can be gathered during a match as well.

Growth Mindset

LMU Head Coach Tom Black talks to us about "Growth Mindset" and why it's important to learn how to learn.

Growth Mindset - Common Pitfalls

Tom Black continues our discussion on Growth Mindset, and points out some of the common pitfalls for players and coaches.

Neville's Pepper

Neville's Pepper is one of our all time favorite drills, and is great early on in practice.

Teams of three are created. One team is on the defensive side for a fixed period of time or a certain number of balls, the other side has teams that are waving through after each rally.

A coach tosses free balls or hits down balls to teams that are waving in on the offensive side (keep them coming fast!). They pass, set, and try to kill the ball.

Teams score plusses and minuses during their time on the court (3 minutes is a good starting point). Plus for a dig or rally win, minuses for hitting errors or over-digs. Lose all points for no pursuit. When playing 6v6, a stuff is worth 2 plusses, a block-but-they-covered is worth 1 plus. Each team gets a turn on the Nev's side. Re-mix teams each time you play the drill.

Game can be played off the net, on the net, with or without a block. When playing 6 v 6, you can have one side waving, or simply static.

Player Draft

BYU Head Coach Chris McGown talks about the player draft. For a lot of years, we have discussed the player draft in our coaching clinics. Recently, we have decided that we need two different drafts as we learn more about the importance of the libero position in the women's game (based on the BYU women's volleyball study). Below is an outline of how we would draft players by position.

Men's Volleyball Draft

Outside Hitter 1
Outside Hitter 2
Middle Blocker 1
Middle Blocker 2

Women's Volleyball Draft

Outside Hitter 1
Outside Hitter 2
Middle Blocker 1
Middle Blocker 2

There could be a great discussion on picks 4,5 and 6 in the women's draft. However, if we were to select a high school team, the draft above would be a nice option.

Transition Tutoring

We like this drill a lot as an early practice activity. Here's how it works... Coach goes back and forth with the setter (similar to BSBH). The set and the hit take place, then the hitter transitions off the net to hit a second ball that is bounced by the coach. Alternate between left and right side hitters. As you can see, we have three blockers on the defensive side of the net.

Two Handed Jump Float Serve

This clip has voiceover. Turn your volume up to listen.

Armwork and Tossing feedback for the Two Handed Jump Float Serve

Hold ball in two hands, elbows bent (this athlete could bend her arms more).

Step, Step, Toss, Step, Step: The toss happens after the second step. This is where you will need to spend most of your time teaching. The timing of the toss relative to the footwork.

Low Toss: The toss is a low, controlled toss out in front of the hitting arm. Ensure that the toss keeps the momentum moving forward.

Arms Stay Up: After the toss, the arms go directly up, in to the bow and arrow.

Jump Serving - Armwork

This clip has voiceover. Turn your volume up to listen.

The athlete starts with the ball in her right hand with her right foot forward (notice her tossing arms is down).

She steps with her right, then tosses with her right

Arms go straight back (similar to spiking armwork), then back up

Bow and Arrow

Pipe - Block or Don't Block?

So far this season(2012) we have stayed down on nearly every pipe. We are working on a statistical analysis to ensure it's the right play for our team, but we have won a large majority of these plays. We think it's easier to handle the pipe with our back row players, and eliminates "cheap kills" by our opponents (tooling the block). If you are going to stay down, you need to be able to convert points at a high level. Just because you can dig the pipe doesn't guarantee you the point. Work remains. If you have a really good blocking team (we don't), then you may want to consider blocking the pipe.

Wash Table

One of our favorite six on six drills. 6 v 6 format. Team A serves to Team B five times, with five bounced "last-contact" balls after every serve, then Team B serves to Team A five times with five bounces. So, each team will receive 10 total balls per rotation (5 serves and 5 bounces).

Only the receiving side is scored.

Team A plays in rotations 3, 6, 4, 1, 5, 2. Team B plays 2, 5, 1, 4, 6, 3 - these rotations allow the middles to flip front-row to back-row every time, and provide a nice mixing of players.

If the receiving team wins both the serve and the toss, they get a point in the "O" column (for offense).

If the receiving/Serving team split the rallies, the receiving team gets a point in the "W" column (for wash).

If the serving team wins both rallies, the receiving team gets a point in the "D" column (because the defense won both).

O = 20% W = 10% D = 0%

For example, if the receiving team had 2 offensive points, 2 wash points, and 1 defensive point in rotation 1, their sideout percentage is 60%.

Individual Defense Examples

Here's a rally with several good defensive moves.

Line defenders: Have them get stopped and balanced 2-3 feet inside the line. Most balls hit line are not "true line."

Left Back: Defender starts in 2 by 2, then moves to the corner. This could change depending on the attacker, but this is a common (and good) move against good attackers.

You will see a second left back digger who stays in 2 by 2 and makes a nice dig as well. Again, this depends on the hitter.

Off Blocker: We call it 10 by 10. There's a variety of ways to handle the off blocker. You can have her cover tips behind the block, or stay at 10 by 10 covering tips in the middle of the court.

Middle Middle: It's amazing how many balls find this area of the court. Be simple. Also, your middle back players need to be great at the overhead dig.

Team Building

Team Building Carl McGown gives us a quick overview of team building.

Outside Hitter Tutoring - Max Block

This is what we are calling a "small group tutoring activity." We like this drill a lot. Teaching your hitters to "manage the game" is extremely important. In order to learn how to manage the game, we need to put them in different scenarios, teach them different shots, and give them good information about where to send free balls etc. In this particular activity we are tutoring our outside hitters. You will notice that we have placed three big blockers in front of them. The blockers know where the set is going. The outsides have to learn how to get kills against big block. High hands, tips, roll shots etc. After the initial serve and swing by the outside, we are rolling a second ball in so that the outside can make a transition move and hit again. Each outside gets two swings, then they rotate to the blocking side. There's several variations of this drill, so feel free to modify as you see fit.

Outside Hitter Tutoring - Libero Setting

In this tutoring activity the setter is digging the first ball. Once this happens, the libero steps in and sets a high, safe set for our outside hitters. These types of swings are common for our outside hitters, and we need to ensure they learn how to get kills on tough swings. When non setters are setting underhand, we like to say "Play it underhand, play it safe." It needs to be high and off the net.

One Handed Jump Float - Armwork

This clip has voiceover. Turn your volume up to listen.

Some of your kids will pick this up right away, others will like the two handed jump float better. Let all of your kids try both techniques.

Keys for the One Handed Jump Float Serve

  1. Ball in Left Hand
  2. Start with left foot forward, but first step is with right foot
  3. Four steps, toss the ball during the second step
  4. Bow and Arrow

Cover and Transition

Working hard in transition is extremely important. #10 takes two consecutive swings, killing the second. On her first transition move, she takes an extra step at the very end of her transition move (not perfect). However, on her second attempt you will see a very well executed four off, four back footwork pattern.

Left is Right, Right is Wrong

Tom Melton presents the theory behind "Left is right, right is wrong." The results of the study are listed below..

3-Point Scale

Passing on left side = 2.3 average Passing on midline = 2.4 average Passing on right side = 1.9 average

You will want to set up your serve receive responsibilities so that your passers take seem balls to their left. The difference between a 1.9 and 2.3 is pretty large statistically.

Bunch Read

When playing in a bunch read blocking system, blockers need to have disciplined eye work, and be patient. Often times athletes feel rushed when they have to worry about a middle hitter in their zone, and pin attackers. In most situations, blockers have plenty of time to do both. Here's an example of a wing blocker leaving early, making life easier for the offensive middle attacker.

Jump Serve - Armwork

This clip has voiceover. Turn your volume up to listen.

Spike Serve Keys

  1. Right hand, right foot
  2. High toss (really important)
  3. Four steps: Step, toss, and take the rest of the four-step approach
  4. Bow and Arrow

Rotation 1 Serve Receive Example

There's a variety of ways to set up your teams in serve receive. In rotation 1 the OPP, MB2 and OH1 are front row. Where you place them depends on who can pass. We strongly encourage you to place your front row players so they DO NOT have to run all over the court to hit. Place them in efficient and simple locations that allows them to shuffle in to their approach. In this video the OPP, MB, and OH1 are lined up in positions that make life easy for them when hitting.