When it comes to coaching, time spent working on specific skills is already at a premium. Those precious practice hours are needed for the development of on-court chemistry, helping players find their roles and putting everyone in the best spot to succeed when the season rolls around.

But what do you do when you can't practice...at all? Welcome to HOMESCHOOL - where Kyle Mashima (SoloStats Live) walks you through the in's and out's of shelter-in-place training. In a time when social distancing matters more than ever, there are still ways to eke out those precious volleyball hours.

Our HOMESCHOOL curriculum will walk you through ways to help players improve eye work, setting, attacking, blocking, defense and ball-handling - and we start you off right here with a couple ways to work on serving.

When it comes to skill development, the clock is already ticking - getting those practice reps is crucial. As seen below, the learning ability climbs dramatically as players maximize their workout efficiency. Practice isn't just about quantity - it's about quality, too.


Using some of the tips and tricks that you'll find in this collection, you'll be able to help your team make the most of their available space and resources to lay the groundwork for in-gym improvement.

To enhance accountability, one of the things that Kyle recommends is to have players record short videos of the workouts and movements that players are doing on their own and send them to the coach to ensure that the correct skills are being reinforced. Staying in-touch, even when your team can't be together, can be an encouraging feedback mechanism to spur improvement and focus. Group texts and emails can do the trick, but building a way to specifically talk volleyball is even better.

A simple Google spreadsheet can work as a link between you and your players.

This Google doc, for example, allows you as the coach to help your players track their own improvement - reinforcing that their effort is time well-spent and giving you an idea of how players are progressing in different areas. Click HERE to visit the template and use it customize one of your own.

Another useful tool that your players might already have is a selfie stick or small tripod. This will help capture video of the players in-action and can help you provide immediate instruction and feedback.

There are plenty of free video apps in the marketplace; one that Kyle finds particularly useful is called Video Delay - it will help you create a replay loop to provide feedback.

Chapter 1 - SERVING

Serving is an absolutely critical skill - but it's tough to devote half of your practice time to one part of the game. Thankfully, this is one element that is very easy to practice at home.

For Kyle's team, he wants to reach benchmarks of serving at 37 mph into the last three feet of the court, and to be able to do that at a 90% success rate with consistency. In the gym, they'll put up a band over the net to ensure the ball is low. Working at home, the goal is for each player to get 1,000 extra reps per month.

Of course, you're going to want to limit potential damage to walls and garage doors - and there are a few tools that can help you do that. The Ace Assistant is essentially a ball on a tether - meaning you won't be chasing it all over the street, amd makes for a more efficient reps/minute ratio. You might also try a mini-volleyball as a way to get increased reps/minute without causing damage.

Players with a bit more space and a willingness to invest might consider a hitting net, such as this one by PowerNet.

Working out with the ball on a tether, mark a spot on the wall roughly 8 feet off the ground (the spot will probably be just above your garage door). Find the distance, usually 10-15 feet away, where a hard-hit ball just barely makes it to the target. Set a goal of serving 20 times at the target, and if you're tracking in the google doc, record the # of attempts it takes to make a direct hit.

You can get these reps from both a standing and a jumping position.

Alternatively, this can be done with a mini-volleyball as well. The advantage of a smaller ball is that the size difference forces you to be more accurate with your hand while the smaller size/weight doesn't hurt the wall. The toss and hand contact are the points of focus for these reps.

When weather or temperature is an issue, these drills can work perfectly well in the garage (and with a mini-volleyball).

Other targeted serving drills can work, as well - depending on what's available, a basketball hoop works as a nice target; practice serving at it from roughly 30 feet away. Having a chance to do many reps of targeted serving, with particular attention to hand contact and toss, will pay dividends when you re-convene in the gym.

Stick around as we dive into the next phase of development: eye work. We'll also be rounding out the curriculum with suggestions to improve setting, attacking, blocking, defense and ball-handling.