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About fmfjohn

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  1. Orange and Holland, Thanks for the input. It seems that this subject has gotten more scientific thought and research than I would have thought. In the last month I have reviewed about 2 dozen research articles on the subject and have found the information very interesting. I used only two search questions (at first) to see what I could find on the subject: "to brace or not to brace?", and "ankle taping vs ankle bracing". I'm sure that there are many other ways of asking the question, but these two provided a seemingly adequate starting point. I will agree that the second one sounds like it is bias in favor of doing one or the other, and excludes doing neither, but the articles themselves I think that care of removing that. If this discussion is of real interest to you, I'd like to ask that you do a search of your own then come back with your conclusions. Like the discussion on stretching before warming up, I think those of us who are passing the game on to others need to be familiar with the current literature on our sport. For my part, I have also gotten a pair of Active Ankle T2's and have worn them at practice and in games over the past month just so I could evaluate them in the most objective way I can. (so time ago I bought some compression pants, but that's as close to Spandex as I'll ever get! At 67 that's a little more foolish than even I'm willing to look:) Anyway, thanks again for the replies and any future thoughts on the subject. John
  2. I attended the USAV sponsored Strength and Conditioning 101 Webinar last night, and it was well worth the time and money. At the end of the presentation, there as a brief Q&A session, and the question was raised about whether players (no age or gender specified, but the talk had been mostly about National team women) should wear ankle braces if they had not been previously injured. Jill Wosmet, MA, ATC, and trainer for the USA Women's National Volleyball team, answered the question with a definite No! She felt that wearing the braces without previous injury, as simple a preventative measure was not a good idea as it weakened the ankle... and might cause more harm in the form of a fracture above the brace. As a middle school and club coach, over the last few years I've gotten more and more convinced that they were a good idea if taken only from the view of injury prevention. I believe in them strongly enough to see that even my 11 year old grand daughter is wearing them in games and practices, and she's 700 miles away! So, what do you think? Do you wait until your player has rolled an ankle and is out for weeks before you consider an Active Ankle or similar device? Or, do you work on strengthing the ankle joint and work on movement mechanics to prevent injury? Or maybe combine the two somehow? I do intend to get back with Jill and see if she will expand on her explanation. If so, I'll let you know. Hope to hear from you. john
  3. Volleyball For Boys

    Bert, I would have sworn that I sent a reply a week or more ago???? But who knows which key I hit? Based on my experience over the last ten years, I'd guess that the failure of boy's volleyball to reach even girl's volleyball levels is probably because most areas (and boys) consider volleyball to be a girl's sport. While the USAV Junior Olympics program in the Carolina Region has been increasing the number of boy's teams some every year,I believe they still quite often have to play girl's teams a year or two older than themselves to be able to compete. In addition, club soccer - probably much more than US football - and basketball (since its also a indoor winter sport) have well established programs that many more adults have understanding of, and are more likely to support. I have had an almost annually request at my middle school by 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys to form a boy's team. While that might "unbalance" the number of girls and boys sports, the real reason that we do not have a boys team is that there would be no one for them to play. Over the last 5 years or so I have had a Saturday Volleyball Club at the school, open to both boys and girls and every now and then a few boys come, but I suspect that they come more to be around the girls than to be serious about volleyball. Glad to see you're still in volleyball. Take care... and let's hope you get more replies. John
  4. Volleyball Stats Tracking

    Coach Bennett, Moved from the Vertical Jump question to see what else was here as I haven't been to the site for some time. As you may have guessed, I am something of a volleyball book nut (among other things) so I have one that I think you might find very useful: Comprehensive Volleyball Statistics, A Guide for Coaches, Media and Fans, Stephanie Schleuder, Volleyball International Products, ISBN 0-9665440-0-5 Good luck John
  5. Increasing Vetical Leap

    Coach Bennett, It is very hard to reply without knowing what age boys or girls you are coaching. I hesitate to just offer a group of exercises or drills because used with players who are not physically ready - primarily knees not fully developed - can cause injuries that they may never be able to recover from. As much as I hate to say it, have them check with their Doctor before they start any serious jumping program. That said, here are three books that will give you a pretty good idea of what jump training -plyometrics - can do for players ready for it, and lots of exercises and drills: - Peak Conditioning Training for Volleyball, Thomas Emma, Coaches Choice, ISBN 1-58518-862-X - Complete Conditioning for Volleyball, Al Scates/Mike Linn, Human Kinetics, ISBN 0-7360-0136-0 - The Ultimate Guide to Weight TRaining for Volleyball Second Edition, Rbt. G. Price, ISBN 1-932549-36-6 If you are coaching players who are not well enough developed physically for the stress for plyometrics, you can make good improvement in jumping ability by having them learn the proper footwork for movements along the net to block, block jumping, and of course, proper footwork for spiking. (even if they can't spike yet!) Oh, almost forgot one of the best exercises for jumpers...jumping rope. Hope this is of some benefit. John
  6. Help- 1st Game

    Ladybug, When you send your players onto the court before the start of a game, most protocals have them line up in serving order with your first server somewhere in position 1 and your sixth server towards position 5. (if that doesn't make sense... Standing on your serving end line and facing the net, your first server is on the Right and your sixth server is last in line on the Left) When the Referee signals the team to come to the net and "shake hands" or whatever they do, your first server leads the team down the Right sideline then left across the net, shaking hands, "Good Luck, Luck, Luck...." then they either return to the end line and await the Referee's signal to take their positions on the court, or, they may just go directly from the "Luck, Luck" to their positions. (that's what we do) If I understand the last part of your question "where is that and is there a particular order" correctly, there are two possible answers: If your league or association requires it, they may have to go to the positions on the court that match the order you placed them on the line up card. So, if your card says 2 4 6 10 12 18 then #2 stays in the Right back, #4 goes to the Right front, #6 is Center front, #10 is Left front, #12 is Left back, and #18 is Center back. (actually, they go into your serve or serve-receive formation keeping those general locations in mind and not overlapping) Some leagues allow you to use a line up card that shows your first server as the first name or number on the card even if you are receiving, which means that your first server would start the game as a receiver in court position 2, and would rotate in to court position 1 when your team got it's first serve. This type of line up card is much easier to use as it saves you the need of making two line up cards - one if you serve and another if you receive - to have ready after the coin toss. I hope these answers match your questions, and make sense. If not, let us know, as I'm sure others can make it clearer. Good luck....luck.....luck Let us know how it goes. john
  7. MP, I don't know why it didn't cross my mind to tell you before, but USAVolleyball Education has produced a pretty fair CD entitled "Standing Serves" that could be really helpful to you. It has detailed analysis of underhand, sidearm, roundhouse, overhead floater, and overhead topspin serves which includes not only front and side video strips, but also stage by stage still shots. It sure beats me trying to descirbe them. Again, I think you might be surprised with the success your players can have with the sidearm serve. I believe you can find, and order it from www.usavolleyball.org. Hope this helps. john
  8. Teaching Overhand Serves

    Gena, Funny you should ask. I just spent a fair portion of today's practice working with 7th graders new to volleyball trying to help them with overhand serves. Here's what worked "today": when told that "I can't hit it hard unless I use a fist" I had them hold the ball in front of themselves at about waist height and "pound it !" into the floor - like many players do as a tension release prior to serving. After they have fisted it a few times (if they use a fist) I then ask them to first, shape their hitting hand to the ball and think of it as a Claw - firm but not stiff -, then, as they raise their hitting hand, ask them to cock their wrist back and try to hit the ball with the heel of their hand first, then snap their "claw hand" back into the ball. I explain to them that as they get better, not only will they gain more power in their hitting, but that it will also transfer to ball control when spiking. Let them "pound" the ball awhile - it's fun to really slug it - then ask them to try that hit over the net, starting at one attack line and hitting it hard over the net. Don't let them worry right now about where the ball goes, only that it is hit hard. After you start getting that "thunk" sound of a solid hit, then start adjusting their toss or armswing plane to get better direction and depth control. The other, and maybe more powerfull remedy is to have them watch older players - the Olympics was a Great training film - serve. Ask them how many of those players served using their fist??? Hope you get more suggestions. Let us know how it goes (or doesn't go:) john
  9. MP, On the plus side, when you are practicing serving, you can also practice serve receive. Since these two skills are about 80% of middle school scoring, at least you can get a lot out of your practice time. For underhand serving, you might try getting your girls to think of pulling or dropping their hand out from under the ball, instead of tossing it. However, most of them will still use a very slight "toss" to put the ball in play. Hitting it out of the hand might give them the idea of not tossing, but it can also set them up for a serving fault - USAV 17.5.4 - ball not clearly tossed or released. To give your girls more attempts to serve correctly, have them stand 10-15 feet from a wall and serve into it. Don't forget to give them a spot or line on the wall as a target so they can quickly see for themselves whether they are getting better or not. As an alternative, you might try having them serve side-arm. Sometimes you find that it is easier, and they may get a more powerful (top spin) serve. One other suggestion regarding your practice time. For almost any skill, you can make a shortsided game played over the net, which will give all your players many more touches of the ball. Personally, I think 3 v 3 is the ideal number for any drill, plus short-sided games. Hope you get more suggestions. Let us know how it (does or doesn't) works. john
  10. Dana, Chances are "Queen of the Mountain" is also called "Queen of the Court". If so, the drill - as I use it - is run with teams of 3's, one team on the court and designated as the current "Queens", and the rest of the teams - one behind the other - on the opposite serving line. Serving team serves, runs into the court and the ball is played to conclusion. If the team on the court wins, they remain on the court and the serving team goes to the end of the serving line. Since I like to have a "score" to determine an eventual winner, (play to 10, or whatever works for you) not only does the court team get to stay, but they also get a point. (I like to to have only the team on the court be able to receive points, but the servers could get points too if you wanted to add emphasis to serving) If the serving team wins, they move to the other end of the court and become Queens. I have occasionally had the serving team move to the other end of the court is they do not score on their serve, and go to the end of the line if they do - but that approach seems wrong to me somehow Oh, have the team on the Queen's end run off the court by the sides, not down the center. It makes the drill run faster and avoids collisions. Hope this is what you're looking for. john
  11. skdvr, Check with your league or association, as it is generally a local issue. Here in NC many of our middle school leagues do not allow the libero to serve, while the high schools do. USAV Junior Olympic teams also do not, so it seems to depend on where you play/live. good luck john
  12. Ziggy, Unfortunately, almost every volleyball clinic available is geared towards high school aged players so it is really tough to find age and skill appropriate drills and games for grade-schoolers or beginners. Depending on what "a few practices" means, I would concentrate on teaching your players how to underhand serve, forearm and overhead (setting) passing. In very short sessions, demonstrate each skill as a whole, let the players try the skill in pairs or threes, make corrections one part at a time, let them try again, then, if they even slightly can complete the skill, put it into a game and let them play with the skill for awhile. Something as simple as serving over a lowered net in pairs, while they compete against their teammates can work at first. Forearm passing and overhead passing can be done the same way. Give the players a few Key thoughts or technique points (eg: for forearm passing: to set their passing platform correctly, you might use "hands and arms together - wrists down" as a Key. Again, after they can even slightly do the skill correctly, make a competitive game out of the skill - keep score. I would be very patient with overhead passing as many young girls and boys are not comfortable using their hands, with fingers spread, to pass the ball. Take is slow, and again, use a good demonstration, with very few words, then have them work through the skill using Key words to help with individual parts of the skill that they might be having difficulty with. You will find that it is especially helpfull if you can have players close to their own age who can do the skill demonstrate it. (they know YOU can do it, but not so sure that someone their own age can) After you have spent a short time on each of these basic skills, put your players into shortsided games - 3v3, 4v4 - and let them play. Encourage the good technique and almost ignore the bad (for awhile). You can also help them learn ball trajectory simply by having them play catch as part of their "warmup". Oh, and use the Volley-Lite (or similiar) ball as it is the ball for under 12's and much easier to serve, etc for younger players. While there are book-loads of drills available, at this age you may do just as well making up drills of your own based on what your players can and cannot do. But I'm sure you will get plenty of suggestions here. If i can help with any specifics, just let me/us know. Good luck! john
  13. Help..first Time Coach

    tmmangia, First of all, Welcome to Coaching!! On the plus side, you are already way ahead of the game due to your teacher's degree. John Wooden, one of the greatest basketball coaches who ever coached - anything - said that being a teacher was the best preparation for coaching. You already know how to help students learn, and that is exactly what a good coach does, helps players learn their game. If you need some help transferring your teaching skills to coaching, get "Science of Coaching Volleyball" by Carl McGown Phd. - Human Kinetics Publishing. Rules: Lots of help here. Check with your AD and see if you are playing in a league or conference that already has accepted a specific set of rules. If not, next check with your area high schools to see what rule set your players will be moving up to when they leave your program, and use that set. If you aren't satisfied with that, call or email your local USAVolleyball regional office and get a copy of "USA Volleyball Domestic Competition Regulations" and go with those. If you have an area referee coodinator that your school uses, contact them to see if you can attend one or more of their training/refresher courses. School athletic philosophy: What is it? How does your school expect you to treat winning and losing? Better check and make sure you and your AD are on the same track. Also, with 24 players, what are the expectations regarding playing time? Speaking of which, since your team and schedule are already set, are there provisions for matches for your "first team" and another set for your "JV"? If not, could they be arranged? Or, might there be matches for the 7th grade and matches for the 8th? When my middle school program started getting 16-18 players a season, getting additional games was the only solution, unless you are willing/able to play completely different teams for each game of a match. (which experience tells me will satisfy no one) Questions: Is your team boys, girls, or coed? Are you coming to a well established program or is it a year to year thing for the school? What is the current skill level of your players? - if you have had a chance to see. What about practice facilities? And, maybe most importantly, how will your "one period" practice session(s) work? For that one period a day, can you get all 24 players together, or are they split through-out the day. (I sure hope not!) Lastly, what are you going to do at practice? Again, Carl McGown can help you with that. Or, if you need some suggestions or copies of practice schedules, I would be happy to send you copies of practice schedules I've used over the last 9-10 years. Although this site has been "resting" for awhile, I feel sure that you will get a lot of additional help because there have been many, many great responces over that last few years. Let us know how we can help, and how your program is going. Good luck! john
  14. Novice Coach & Volleyball Videos

    clcldj40, Not knowing anything about your background in sports, what type of team you are coaching, or what their needs are, I only feel confident in recommending one video: "Surviving Practices: Creating a Winning Practice Environment Through Gender Understanding" by Kathleen DeBoer. I had coached boys and girls volleyball for over 25 years ( and rather successfully ) before I watched her video and read her book, and they changed my whole approach to coaching - for the better. It will make your job easier, and the kids - boys or girls (or both) happier - and better - players for you. I am very interested to see what other selections are suggested. john
  15. So How's You Season Going?

    PaREF, I'll put your last email up next to the first just to make me feel better. It's really great to hear that all your hard work is showing results. There is really nothing like the taste of success - no matter how small - to get players to want to learn more and play smarter and harder. I think lots of coaches fail to keep their players "in the game" by drilling them into the ground, trying to make them do things that they either can't physically do, or worse, don't understand how to do. Giving them more touches is obviously the thing to do, but they must be touches that they at least understand the how and why. Sounds like you must be providing all of that. Since finding people to help with a volleyball program can be awfully hard, especially in an area where volleyball isn't already a "serious" sport, I would be interested in hearing how you went about finding them, and even more interested in how successful you've been in getting them to coach "your way". Who knows, we might even get someone else to comment too. Thanks for the comments. I'm sure that there are other folks out there who are interested. Maybe their just afraid to add their thoughts or experiences. My season, on the other hand........ actually is going well for it being something of a down time. From January to the end of school in June, I have a Saturday Volleyball Club that meets every other Saturday. We usually have 10 to 18 players, 5th through 9th, with the occassional 4th grader. We play and practice for three hours, it's free, and after the parents realized it wasn't Saturday daycare, we've had alot of fun with it . Every now and then I get one of the assistant coaches from one of the three Unversitys in the area to come and give a 3 hour clinic - for about $30 ea. - and when we're lucky, they bring one or more of their players along. The boys who come seem to like it, but the girls LOVE IT! If you are ever looking for something to add a little kick to your program, if you can do it, thats probably my best suggestion. Letting younger girls see "the big kids" play is almost more motivation than the girls (or you) can handle. Of course we have Junior Olympics volleyball going too, and I have U14 and U15 teams playing. Really good volleyball and they will be killer when High School ball starts this fall. I am also putting the final touches on a one week volleyball camp for the summer. I expect to have two sessions of 18 players each, one beginner - 4 to 6 grades, and one advanced, 7 to 9th graders. One of the real pleasures of having coached here for 8 years is being able to have high school players come back and help with camp. And they love getting paid to play volleyball:) So that's it for me for now. Let (US) know how it goes. And I'd really be interested in hearing about how you've organized and managed your coaches. Keep up the good work! john