Volleyball Skills Testing
Importance of Testing Volleyball Skills
Though no one appreciates it, volleyball skills testing is a successful way of determining an athlete’s progress and motivating them to continue improving. Coaches should use this opportunity to measure the success of the practices and make adjustments for the rest of the year.
So how do coaches fit volleyball skills testing into their already packed schedules? They should make it a priority a few times a season, but no more. Athletes do not need tested daily or even weekly, so coaches do not have to worry about testing taking up too much of their time.
When to Test Skills
A good time to test athletes is at the beginning of the season to determine their skill level and perhaps which team they fit best on, if there are multiple teams in the program. Athletes should be made to feel comfortable during the test, but they should understand that this will be used as their base score for the year, which they will attempt to improve on for the next test.
Another good time for testing is about halfway through the season. This reminds athletes of the importance of always striving for better, while allowing them ample time to improve before testing them again. If the coach is unable to test mid-season, they should ensure a seasons-end testing session for all athletes.
How to Test Volleyball Skills
An important part of coaching volleyball is testing athletes in the following areas: passing, setting, serving, and hitting. These core skills make up the basis of volleyball and can be easily tested. Athletes should get several chances to perform the skills well.
Coaches should enlist volunteers from more advanced teams or assistant coaches to help with the testing. These assistants should set the athlete up for the skill being tested. For example, the coach will need a volunteer setter when the athlete is being tested on hitting.
Athletes should get points depending on how well they perform each try of the skill. If athletes have 10 chances for each skill, they should receive points for each of those 10 attempts, depending on how well they perform. This allows athletes several attempts to show their ability and also tests their consistency. Volleyball jump training is a good thing to incorporate into your routine testing.
Protecting Athletes’ Privacy
Testing can be a tricky experience for coaches understanding the importance of protecting their athletes’ privacy. It is generally acceptable for athletes to watch their teammates during testing, because it builds camaraderie and encourages athletes to support one another.
However, some athletes will feel uncomfortable testing in front of others. These concerns must be respected and the coach should make other arrangements for testing, such as after practice that day when other athletes are packing up.
Before athletes test, coaches should make clear some ground rules. Athletes should never be allowed to intimidate or cut down their teammates. All communication should be positive and encouraging, and athletes cannot be allowed to disrupt the testing environment. Unruly athletes must be asked to leave. This way, the volleyball skills testing is fair for everyone.
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