Note: this was written by Kaitlyn Taggart and Clarence Hughes, marketing coordinators at USA Volleyball. Both recently finished their first season coaching volleyball, Kaitlyn at the high school level, Clarence middle school. The following are lessons they learned that can be shared with future first-time coaches.
Being a first-year coach comes with many emotions: excitement, nervousness, eagerness, and, quite frankly, sheer panic over taking charge of a dozen young athletes that may or may not have played before. As a first-year coach, there are many factors of the game and your team that you should consider.
Rotation locators are your best friend
Some of you might be asking, “What are rotation locators?” Rotation locators are an effortless way for you to keep track of your lineup during a match. Write your lineup on the locator and spin the wheel each time a different athlete comes back to serve. This allows you to easily locate where players should be on the court and when substitutions need to be made. This can be a lifesaver for a first-year coach and for coaching first-year players who are just getting the hang of rotations.
Coachability is an underrated trait that should be admired
Would a player who doesn’t listen to your repeated instructions and suggestions be an asset to your team? It’s much easier to coach a player who has zero knowledge of the game but is willing to listen and put in the work than someone who doesn’t want to accept your coaching.