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Creative Drill Design for Effective Practices

Creative Drill Design for Effective Practices

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Learn how to design drills to target specific areas of play that need improvement.

with John Dunning,
Stanford University Head Women's Volleyball Coach;
Distinguished member of the AVCA Hall of Fame (2011);
2001 AVCA National Coach of the Year; 2004 & 2001 NCAA Champs; 4x Pac-12 Coach of the Year; over 800 career wins
former University of Pacific Head Coach (1985 & 1986 NCAA Champions)

  • Learn how to use the same drill with different scoring systems to emphasize different skills
  • Gain insights into running effective practices and enhancing player development from four-time national champion John Dunning
  • Discover a training strategy that tracks player performance and helps target individual improvement areas

The ability to improve your team's performance in specific areas is critical to your success.

Using on-court demonstrations, AVCA Hall of Fame coach John Dunning takes you through a series of drills and explains how they address the details that are important to coaches. Coach Dunning discusses how you can make the purpose of each practice clear to your players so they know exactly what is expected.

Drill Variation
Warming up, serving, passing, transition, attacking, setting and team play are all topics covered by Coach Dunning. He explains how you can vary each drill to focus on different aspects of the game. You'll get tips on what to look for during the drills, as well as what players should focus on while they're on the court. Included are controlled drills that will allow you to explain the expectations to your team, control the tempo of the drill and give your players valuable repetitions.

Offensive Consistency
Striking quickly on offense is an effective strategy in today's game. Coach Dunning shares a set of Columbus drills that address the need to develop a consistent tempo (regardless of who sets the ball), hitter rhythm and offensive efficiency. The goal of the drill is a predetermined number of consecutive swings that considers everything from setting tempo, to approach and arm swing. The concepts in this drill can be applied to any skill requiring improvement.

Coach Dunning mentions the "20-6" concept many times during the video. The goal is to execute a skill correctly 20 times before making six errors. This concept can be used to train any skill that your players need to improve and can be used in practice with consequences and/or incentives. It's also a great way to track progress during games.

Holding Players Accountable
One of the most unique parts of the video is Coach Dunning's use of two scoreboards. He uses one scoreboard to score the drill and uses the other to track player or team performance. The second scoreboard can help you and your players focus on a certain aspect of the game during the drill. This encourages players to focus on the process instead of the result. This is a great way to hold players accountable for their performance in practice drills and can be used during matches as well.

The drills offered in this video can help you improve your players' skills by focusing on areas that need improvement. Coach Dunning's tips will help you run a more effective practice and get the most out of your players. This video is a great resource for any aspiring volleyball coach.

Produced at the 2015 AVCA Spring Clinic.

53 minutes. 2015.