Beach Major series had released a video a little over two weeks ago interviewing beach pairs and asking intriguing questions about what it takes for a beach pairing to be successful in terms of teamwork and team chemistry.
The ever continuing message throughout the video really came down to three components:
- A magnitude of trust and understanding on a brother/sister type of level.
- Having passion and energy flow freely on the court and feeding off of it.
- Pushing each other and being understandably demanding for success.
It takes time for a pair to become incredibly cohesive to the point of understanding their limitations and their successes almost on a subconscious level. A successful beach duo has days and years to cultivate this connection and it comes full circle when they hit the various tours in order to reach the illustrious AVP and FIVB World Grand Prix.
However, these traits also transfer over into chemistry and cohesiveness of teams of indoor volleyball as well. Here are various traits that I have found create chemistry necessary to the success of an indoor volleyball team.
By empowering our athletes to be who they are, exploiting their strengths and forming a system that leverages those strengths in the most productive manner possible, it will create a high level of confidence within our team.
We want our kids to grow and improve and it is certainly worthy to break the mold and introduce them to concepts necessary for them to succeed at the next level; However, forcing an entire unit into a system or scheme that is only made of their weaknesses without a necessary level of confidence will tear a team apart and create distrust between team and coach.
As one of my favorite sayings goes; “You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole”
So, with your team, this year, figure out what they enjoy executing and are most comfortable at and expedite that strength early to create the necessary level of confidence in order to introduce them to things they may fail early at.
It’s a great lesson to introduce your team to fighting adversity and becoming strong in the end, but each person is different in how they deal with this adversity and sometimes comfort and success is the necessary first step in order to create the tools they need for them to overcome such adversity and build chemistry together
The most important aspect of creating team chemistry! For some coaches, myself included, this is something that creates stress and worries where you want your team to genuinely enjoy what they are doing and have success with it. Often we over think team bonding to the point of exhaustion and tend to over complicate things.
However, it is very simple. Just having a team dinner over at one of the player’s parents house, at their discretion, of course, is the perfect dynamic for kids to enjoy the company of each other.
In these moments, kids are comfortable being who they are; kids! Goofing off, laughing uncontrollably and making new friendships even stronger. Your kids want to get to know each other, they want to bond and most importantly, they want to have fun.
Go out there, reach out to a parent, order some pizza and watch the NCAA tournament together sometime to strengthen your team’s chemistry this season.
Accountability with Goals
One of my favorite things is to create a sense of accountability within the team. Accountability is, in my opinion, the single skill taught through sports that carry over tenfold into their immediate and adult lives. This accountability exercise will also push athletes to create chemistry with their teammates.
What I, and many other coaches, do is early in the season have each player on your team formulate three goals;
- Personal Goal
- Personal Goal
- Team Goal
Collect all three goals, document them, and then randomly pass them back out to each individual player so that each person receives someone else’s list of goals.
If you have an assistant coach, you can do the same thing with them. List out your three goals and your assistant lists theirs and you both hold each other accountable for achieving those goals.
Throughout the process, the girls are asked to hold accountability to these goals by ensuring that by season end, you tried your absolute best to assist their teammate in achieving the goals that they set out for themselves!
Now, you as a coach will have knowledge of the players’ goals and can assist them in keeping progress on their achievement of their respective goals. That way you can assist your team in ensuring they are getting exactly what they want out of the club season, all the while the kids learn what it means to have each other’s backs in the pursuit of their dreams.
The motivation lies in a player’s comfort knowing that as they push someone towards the achievement of their goals, someone else is right behind them pushing them towards theirs! And so on and so forth.
Finding Time to Work On Goals Outside of the Team Environment
Whoa whoa, isn’t this whole post about pushing players to work together better as a team? How is a player working on their skills outside of practice with the team going to assist them in the long-run?
Great question loyal reader!
Here’s exactly how training on your player’s individual goals outside of the allotted practice and play times will add to team chemistry.
From a coach’s standpoint, there is very limited time to get the whole team in the gym to work together and build everything necessary for success, whether that be chemistry, systems, knowledge, team skill and individual skill.
On average, clubs have 2-hour practices, twice a week. Individual skill is often increased when going through the trials and tribulations of the club season, however, some players may feel they are in a “rut” and not getting any “better”.
Find ways to train outside of your practice time, and even at home! By following this blog, I will be providing basic exercises for all positions and skill levels to accomplish at home, you won’t even need a gym. They will be easy to follow and come with video explanations of how to accomplish this.
To get the full experience of training at home, we have the best at-home trainer in volleyball with The Edge Pro Volleyball Trainer!
Follow along with our advancements and push yourself to be the best you can be and practice perfection.