Monday, April 20, 2009


"You have to ask yourself, 'Who am I being if my players' eyes are not shining?'" - John Kessel, USA Volleyball

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Short and Long-Term Progression:

I'm all for kaizen but don't mind seeing technical adjustments and good training processes feed the organism's machinery. For example...

Today had one of my very serious collegiate athletes (as serious as one can be with the schedule they have this month) begin with a series of seated vertical jumps and med ball vertical tosses (2s x 3r per movement in combination). We moved past that into elasticity jumps (a hop onto the contact mat into an explosive vertical jump) paired with elasticity throws (a hop into a vertical toss). Same set/rep combination. After that we loaded the movement with the vertimax for 4 s x 2r and kicked things into high gear. Once we made the technical and positional adjustments the focus shifted to maximize the elastic response and finishing the jump. So the progression led to about a 3" increase in jump performance through the session. That 3" represented the performance this athlete is capable of if the right adjustments are made in combination with the right speed/power development methodology.

So in total, the jumps performed today were in this range:

A1. Seated Vertical Jumps - 2s x 3r (21.5 avg)
A2. Med Ball Vertical Tosses - 2s x3r (3k med ball)
B1. Elasticity (Single-Response) Jumps - 2s x 3r (21.5-22-22 avg)
B2. Elasticity Tosses - 2s x 3r (3k med ball)
C1. Vertimax Elasticity Jumps - 4s x 2r
D1. Elasticity (Single-Response) Jumps (Test) - (24.5, 24.7)

Not exactly a high volume of ground contacts (36 g.c.'s if you count the med ball throws; as an aside, I have noticed that the transition from a med ball throw into landing parallels the simple adjustment process off of a maximum vertical jump) but certainly high quality. We did all of this after an extensive warm-up (around 25 minutes today). Training finished with bb f split squats and trunk/abdominal work. Bonus to high quality programming: athlete has no more complaints of knee pain or stiffness in the outer quad/hip area.

I'd put money on us with a 27-28" average at the end of summer. If my stats on our training numbers are consistent so far, this should positively correlate with approach jump performance.

Friday, April 3, 2009


An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.

So one of my athletes was involved in a discussion with a club coach about a year or so back. In discussion she mentioned that she had the opportunity to attend Karch Kiraly's Volleyball Academy that prior summer. She mentioned some of the positive things she had taken from Karch, of which I'm sure there were many, and this coach just had to let her know that, "Well I have beaten Karch before."

To keep this short, let me go ahead and go over what this coach has not done:

1-He has not won 3 Olympic gold medals.
2-He has not been twice named best volleyball player in the world by the Federation of International V0lleyball (FIVB)
3-He has not helped redefine the sport and the competitive spirit of the United States, especially relative to international competition.

Besides the fact that I have a huge amount of respect for Karch Kiraly, both as a player and as an ambassador for the sport, I have a very hard time respecting others who can only make themselves feel better by building themselves up and tearing others down.

I have told my athletes that in all seriousness if my training program ever becomes more about me and my ego, less about them, and I start to refer to myself as "The Diesel" or some other nonsense then I want one of them to punch me in the face.