Volleyball coaching 101: how to be a good volleyball coach

Being a volleyball player and a volleyball coach are two completely different things. A lot of people are great players but find it hard to translate their experience into a crisp explanation of what needs to happen. A coach is also more than just someone that teaches basic volleyball skills. You also have to communicate with the players and team.

A lot of players have concerns or might feel insecure. You have to be able to talk to them on their level and discuss these. This can take a lot of time and conversations and not everyone has the patience to do this. Let’s take a look at what makes a good volleyball coach.

 How to be a good volleyball coach?

This depends on the level that you are coaching on. 

-For newer players, you mainly have to explain the basic volleyball skills and make sure that they use the right techniques. This can take a lot of patience and repetition. You will have to talk to the players a lot and comfort them.

Newer players might not have a lot of confidence and you will have to provide support for them. Players still have to learn a lot from how they can jump higher to how to improve their reflexes. All of these things need to be learned and as a coach, you have to think about what the most important things are given that you only have so much time.

It is also important that you teach the players the right terms. Let’s look at these below:

-For more advanced players, you will have to focus on strategy and winning matches. This will require more preparation as you have to study how the other team plays and think about how you can react against this. Filming your own team and analyzing how they play can be a great idea at this point. This will allow you to see patterns in offense and defense. Substituting players at the right moment can be essential. You have to know the strengths and weaknesses of each player and use them as best as possible.

 At this time the team aspect is more important and you will have to deal with conflict within the team. You will have to talk to the players individually but also as a group to see what is going on. A lot of teams also have a captain that can provide you with some insights into the situation.

A good volleyball coach also has to communicate with the supporters and other members of the staff. This can be difficult at first as parents might be angry that their child didn’t get selected for the team and so on. You will have to remain calm and explain why you made a certain decision based on facts. You will learn a lot of these things along the way.

A training session has to be fun as well. We discussed the best drills before here. This is also discussed in the video below.

As long as you know the basic volleyball skills, you will be able to coach a team. Everyone makes mistakes and coaching is a very complex activity. It is always possible to talk to other coaches if you are stuck. Some of them have been doing this for decades so they know all the pitfalls and challenges.

How to become a certified volleyball coach

In most instances, you won’t need a certification to become a volleyball coach but you will need to follow some training sessions. Getting a card at USA Volleyball is the first step. This is a nonprofit with headquarters in Colorado. They manage all coaches in the USA and make sure that everyone has some basic knowledge of what needs to happen.

With this, you will be able to follow training about Safety in sport and get the IMPACT certification. This makes sure that you know how players can remain safe on a physical and emotional level. You can follow additional training courses as well but these are not obligated at this point. Following these can be a great way to stand out from other coaches and can show teams that you are dedicated. You can follow these courses at any point in your training career.

To get a certified volleyball coach, You will also need a CAP1 certification and a Referee certification. All of these can be had from USA Volleyball as well so they are a great starting point. They can also answer all your questions and can be contacted on (719) 228-6800

You will also need to get registered in your local volleyball organization to get started.

All in all, it will cost about 500 USD to become a certified volleyball coach. This process can take a few weeks to go through. 

Some high schools will also require that you have a high school degree before you can start coaching there. Therefore it is a great idea to check with the team that you want to join if they have other requirements (such as a background check). 

Being able to build up a team is the big difference between the beginning and experienced coaches:

How much does a volleyball coach earn in the USA?

There are two types of coaches: freelance coaches and hired coaches. Freelancers typically charge more per hour but have less certainty and might have to pay some expenses themselves. Given that there are not a lot of volleyball clubs in the USA, some people decided to start their own as a for-profit businesses. 

Freelance coaches earn between $30 to more than $120 per hour for their work. This depends on the region and their skill level. Private courses can cost more as the coach has to focus on one player and this often requires a lot of preparation.

High school volleyball coaches are generally paid per year, and this pay scale is around 3000 USD.  If they have to travel a lot, most of their expenses will be covered as well by the team. 

College volleyball coaches can earn more than 100,000 USD. We have to note that very few coaches make this much. It is often retired professional athletes or coaches that have decades of experience and a proven track record. They are under a lot of pressure to perform as well.

Community club coaches often make around 1000 USD per month. Others are certified middle school volunteers and don’t earn that much.

Coaches often try to earn more by organizing summer camps or tournaments. Lately, a lot of them have been focussing on offering private coaching sessions as this is recurring revenue and it can provide a lot of satisfaction to see a player grow over time. 

To conclude, we can say that coaching a volleyball team can be very challenging but rewarding as well. It can take some time to get used to but eventually, you will find the best drills and ways to deal with the team. You will make mistakes along the way and that is OK. Coaching a team is a big commitment and it can take decades before you can earn a lot of money with it. There is no professional volleyball competition in the USA so you might need to go abroad if you want to coach a professional volleyball team. 

Increasing the volleyball IQ and level of players is not easy but a great coach can do this.