the sessions shorter

Distribution of practice principle (Practices Should Be Short and Frequent)

This principle relates to mass versus distributed practice schedules. A mass practice schedule will have fewer practice sessions than a distributed schedule and will be fewer in number, while a distributed practice schedule will have the same amount of time allotment, but across more sessions making the sessions shorter in length. For the majority of volleyball coaches, decisions regarding the amount of practice time may or may not be within their control, but how long each practice is, and how often the team should practice are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. The motor learning research suggests that practices can be too long and not as productive as shorter practices, so when in doubt, go for a shorter practice session, rather than a longer one. If more practice is needed, add additional practice sessions instead of lengthening the specific practice schedule.

My own comments:

Consider using this PML when practicing your chosen skill. Your practice sessions should be short with some time for resting in between sessions.

Principle #10- If You Want To Get Better at Playing Volleyball, Play the Game of Volleyball

The final motor learning principle for coaches to remember repeats the first tenant presented at the beginning of this series. Since repetition aids learning, this critical principle needs repeating; practice like the game. The best practices increase skill learning that can be transferred to the real game setting. During practice, if coaches increase time on game-related skills and increase opportunities to learn the skills in the context of the game, players will get better at playing the game of volleyball. Remember when volleyball coaches had players passing, setting or spiking against the wall during practices. The question no one asked was “how often during the volleyball game will “passing”, “setting”, or “spiking” against the wall be necessary”? Many of our practice drills do not simulate the game conditions. It has been stated that the best passing drill is a pass/set/hit drill; the best setting drill is a pass/set/hit drill, and the best hitting drill is a pass/set/hit drill. In other words, if you want to get better at playing the game, then play the game. For volleyball coaches, this means designing drills to simulate the same skills needed in the game. If it isn’t game like, don’t do it. Always be analyzing practices, changing drills, and incorporating mini-games, wash drills and controlled scrimmages, so that practice looks like the game of volleyball. If you want your players to get better at playing volleyball, then let them play volleyball.

Effective volleyball coaches work hard to enhance the performance of their players. Information from various disciplines such as motor learning can help assist them with this process. This article looked at 10 principles from motor learning literature along with applications for teaching/coaching volleyball skills. Although certainly not exhaustive of all motor learning concepts, these principles do provide a solid pedagogical foundation for coaches developing successful players and effective teams.

My own comments:

Refer to principle #1

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