How do you encourage a volleyball player? Motivate them NOW

Volleyball is a very intense sport. After a while, players can get tired and you want to encourage them to keep going. What are the best techniques for this? The player has to feel the encouragement so it shouldn’t be too weak.

You don’t want to be overbearing or annoy the player either. Finding the right balance between these two is a challenge. In this post, I will share what I have learned during several years of playing volleyball myself and also being a coach. 

There are two main points during which you have to encourage a player. The first situation is that he or she doesn’t want to attend the training or is not giving it their all during the training. The second situation is that you want to encourage the player during a match. Each has different ways to work.

Encouraging players to attend a training

Don’t push too much if a player doesn’t want to attend a training session as they will get annoyed by this. You have to ask them what is going on. Maybe they hit a plateau in their game and they are annoyed by this. It is also possible that they made a mistake recently and are feeling bad about this.

You can tell them that these things happen and you sometimes have to push through difficult moments in life. By listening to what the problem is, you are already a step closer to the solution. 

Some motivational words can help:

It is also possible that volleyball is not for them. Sometimes they decided that they want to participate in another sport. You can let them attend training of the other sport and see if they still like it. Young players are often unsure about a lot of things and maybe they just want to skip a week of training. This shouldn’t worry you too much as long as it doesn’t happen too often. 

 If the player itself is not telling what is going on, you can always ask his or her friends to see what is up. Maybe the team dynamics are not right and some players are pushing people around. This makes volleyball less fun and sometimes it is even necessary to switch teams to get in a more supportive environment.

People are encouraging their favorite volleyball team.

If other players are being negative the whole time, it is hard to keep yourself motivated. People have to understand that there are different skill levels and everyone is working on improving. Getting criticized the whole time can drain a lot of energy from a player.  

You can also talk to the coach to see what is going on. Maybe the drills are too repetitive or the coach is not really pushing the players to get better. A coach has a big impact on a team and if they are not actively engaged, it can make the players feel less interested in playing volleyball.

It is not easy to discuss this with the coach but you can contact other parents and see what they are saying about the coach and team in general. Newer coaches might find it overwhelming to train a team and they might be struggling to keep up with all the demands that a coach has to deal with. 

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

If you have been playing volleyball for a long time, you might look into switching it up by playing beach volleyball. The new rules and environment can make volleyball exciting again. You are also playing with another team and this changes the dynamics of the match. You will see that there is some overlap with indoor volleyball so you can keep using the same skills but at the same time, beach volleyball is different enough to keep it engaging. 

You can also show the player an Olympic game to indicate how cool and spectacular volleyball is. Seeing professional volleyball players can be very motivating as they are very good at it. This can show the player that they still can learn a lot. You have to remind them that this happens step by step and that there are a lot of challenges along the way but that it will be worth it. 

 You can remind them why they started playing volleyball in the first place so that they realize what motivated them when they got going. 

At the end of the day, there is only so much that you can do. If people are not excited anymore, maybe it is time for something else as you can’t keep pushing someone to do something that they don’t want to do.

How to motivate a losing volleyball team

A match has several sets and it can be quite tiring to keep playing after a while. Especially if the team is losing, they can be demotivated.

You can shout their name and the name of the team but be sure that you don’t distract the team too much. The coach is in charge during the match and he or she can always replace the player or talk to them. They can ask a timeout to recharge the players and have a drink. 

There are several drills that can build up the team spirit:

You can also bring a banner with encouraging words. Players can read these while they are playing the game. Once again, this shouldn’t distract too much. Wearing the colors of the team is also something that supports the team. Don’t be negative against the other team as this is not fair sportsmanship.

During halftime, you can give the player his favorite drink or snack and tell them some encouraging words. You don’t have that much time to do this so you have to be quick. If players are losing a lot of points, they might be discouraged. You can tell stories of other comebacks in sports to encourage them to keep going. 

You should remain positive even if players make stupid mistakes. This can happen during a volleyball match. There are a lot of points to be scored and you can miss one from time to time.

Volleyball players often know each other quite well and they are able to motivate themselves. They will cheer when they score a point and come together when things don’t work out. Let the team do its thing and don’t distract them too much.

To conclude, we can state that we have discussed several ways in which you can encourage a volleyball player during training or a match. There is only so much that you can do and if someone is not excited to play volleyball anymore, maybe it is time for something else. A lot of people stop playing volleyball in their early twenties because they have other things going on in their life.