Monday, October 03, 2005

8th Grade Volleyball 10/3

Since my 7th grade team played a double header last thursday, they had the day off today. So just the 8th grade played.

This weekend I was watching some football and working on player evaluations for my eighth grade players. I was looking at some of the common threads on the different player evaluations. What I came up with was that most of them are a little slow on the court. My brain was bouncing back and forth between my volleyball players and the football game. Suddenly I remembered something I heard once about ex-Miami Dolphins head coach, Don Shula. I remembered hearing someone say that one of Don Shula's best coaching strengths is that he wasn't dedicated to a specific system. If he had good running backs he coached a running offense. When Dan Marino came along he coached a pass oriented offense.

So I took another good long look at my player evaluations and decided that I needed to really start examining my coaching methods. I have been trying to make my 8th grade team run a 6-2 offense since the beginning of the season. My reasons for this were that 6-2 is what the local high school runs. Also it gives more offensive hitting options and allows the setters to both set and hit. However the 6-2 has one major drawback. It hides the setter during serve receive and leaves the other two back row players to handle receving the serves. This requires the two back row players to be quick enough to cover the whole back court by themselves. Most of my 8th grade players are not that fast.

So this afternoon I let the 8th grade team try playing a 4-2 offense. After a couple clumsy moments they settled into the rotation and started playing better. Most of their games this season they have been committing between 10 and 15 serve receive errors per game. First game today they had 2, second game - 5, and third game only 1. Their serving was off a little today but overall they played pretty good. We won the first game 25-20 and the second 25-22. We played a third game just for practice, I made them play that one with the 6-2 offense and they won that one 15-12.

My girls made a lot of ball handling errors today but I don't mind those so much. When they are missing spikes, second and third hits at least they are trying spikes, second and third hits. Which is a great improvement from the last couple weeks.

So I'm going to keep working them on the 6-2 in practice and keep trying to get them moving on the court better. But during the games I leaning towards letting them play a 4-2 offense.

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