Thursday, 23 May 2024

Summer: A Time of Learning and Growth

Summer is the perfect season to enrich yourself as a coach and find new ways to impact your players more effectively. With nearly 500 camps under my belt, I have found these experiences to be invaluable for both guiding athletes towards excellence and testing out innovative teaching methods. When you only have a few days with your athletes before they move on, it becomes crucial to empower them and ensure they have the tools to continue learning even in your absence.

The Power of Play

Aside from traditional camps, there is a significant gift you can give your players – the culture of play. Encourage them to set up a court with friends and engage in unstructured play. This allows them to apply what they have been taught and take their skills to a higher creative level. It is important that both parents and coaches refrain from interfering and instead let the players learn from the game itself.

Challenge and Growth

Parents can also take an active role by encouraging their child to participate in challenging events. Rather than limiting them to junior-level competitions, consider enrolling them in men’s or women’s lower-level grass or beach doubles events, where they can learn and compete alongside adults. Look for local opportunities or seek out events while on vacation as a family.

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Building the Future

Summer is an excellent time to lay the groundwork for future success by supporting your local elementary and middle schools in promoting volleyball. Advocate for the inclusion of STEM volleyball programming in their physical education curriculum and reach out to science, technology, and engineering firms in your area to donate kits to these schools. Starting with smaller games like 2v2 to 4v4 instead of the standard 12v12 introduces children to the sport in a fun and approachable way, ensuring a promising future for volleyball in your community.

Continuing Education

Take advantage of the internet to continuously improve your coaching skills. Podcasts such as “Coach your Brains Out,” “The Talent Equation,” and USAV webinars offer valuable insights from experienced coaches. Additionally, reading the “old” USA Volleyball coaches newsletter can serve as a helpful refresher.

Share your own ideas for summer growth and learning in the comments below. Together, we can foster the growth of the game and help each other become better coaches.


  • Q: How can I encourage my players to embrace unstructured play?

    • A: Provide them with a safe space and time to engage in play without intervention. Encourage them to explore their creativity and apply what they have learned.
  • Q: How can I help support volleyball in local schools?

    • A: Advocate for the inclusion of STEM volleyball programming and seek donations from science, technology, and engineering firms to provide necessary equipment and resources.
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Summer is not just a break for coaches and players, but an opportunity for growth and learning. By empowering your players to become independent learners and embracing the power of play, you can help them reach new heights. Additionally, supporting and promoting volleyball in schools ensures a bright future for the sport. As coaches, it is essential to continuously develop our skills and stay updated with the latest knowledge and insights from experienced professionals. Let’s make the most of this summer and create a positive impact on the game we love. Visit Alpinetgheep for more information and resources.