Author Archives: Robinette Rivard

Volleyball Drills for Positions

Volleyball drills consist mainly of various ways to hit a ball. The classic formula of pass, set, spike is the main theme of these drills. Volleyball has a lot more finesse than just knowing HOW to hit the ball correctly. Knowing when to hit it, where to hit it, and where to be to hit it correctly are probably the most important fundamental skills that all players must possess. Devising volleyball drills that will help instill these facts into your players’ mind becomes of utmost importance.

When looking at the design of realistic volleyball drills, it is essential to get your team to understand the difference between their rotational positions and their playing positions. After each volley, the team all rotates one position clockwise. This gives each team member several chances to play at each rotational position, including server. It is important for your players to know where they are playing in the rotation, as that is the spot they have to return to after each play. After the team rotates, this is the position that the players will stand at until the ball is served. Having your players scatter on the court, then quickly return to their positions is one of the basic volleyball drills that will help instill this into your players.

After the ball is served, the players will then change to their played positions. Volleyball drills that stress the importance of being mobile are the key to getting these movements down. As you coach your team, you will invariably find a few players that are better at setting than the rest, while you will find strong spikers and passers from other players. Obviously you want your strongest players with each skillset to play in to their respective strengths. You may find that your strongest setters have been rotated to an outside blocker position. Since you want those players to be able to quickly get to the center of the court, you can run volleyball drills that will teach the players how to quickly move from any position in the rotation to their respective played positions. This will help your team members know how to get to their played positions quickly.

One for the best volleyball drills that will work on player position control would involve going through he standard rotation, then holding it for a bit while waiting for the ball to be served. You can start out fairly small and have a single player run through all positions in a rotation, then running to be in position to cover their played positions, then quickly returning to their rotation place. As your team members become more confident in their movements, you can begin to have more of your team join in on these volleyball drills until you have your whole team in on the rotations. At this point, you can even start throwing the ball over the net to simulate an actual play set in a real game.

Each player on your team needs to work hard on your volleyball drills while you are showing them how to play their rotational and played positions. This will help keep their mind focused on where they should be at pretty much any given moment in the game. The purpose of all volleyball drills si to instill a sense of automatic movement in your players. The same holds true in these movement drills. You want your team to be able to move and cover either of their two simultaneous positions at a moment’s notice. The less your players have to think about these things, the smoother their play will become.

Volleyball Drills for Blocking and Defense

There are many aspects to the sport of volleyball. To many coaches, the most important skill to work on is defense. Creating and running volleyball drills for blocking will help your team become much stronger in their defense. If your team has strong defensive skills, they will be able to keep their opponents from scoring. Any lack of score on their side makes it that much easier to score, and ultimately, win on your own side. Here are a few volleyball drills designed to help with blocking that will go a long way toward building that winning team.

When running volleyball drills to strengthen blocking skills, it is important to remember that most blocking will take place right at the net. It is often a one on one play, with the blocker and the hitter virtually face to face. Anticipating where the player in front of the blocker is going to go, going to be, and going to hit is paramount to success. This is just a simple matter of being able to read the hitter. To that end, one of the great volleyball drills to use is the mirror drill. In this drill, two players face each other on either side of the net. They will actually both be playing the part of blockers. The players must mirror the movements of each other. This helps with anticipating where the opponent is going to be, and what he is going to do. Have each player take turns being the lead, so the other blocker is the mirror. Breaking the mirror, or not being able to keep movements symmetrical, three times will result in a penalty. You will find that your players begin to motivate themselves to do the best they can. Be sure to have your players mix things up quite a bit and throw in some surprise moves to be sure the players are kept on their toes.

Another of my favorite blocking volleyball drills is the joust. Jousting is a simple game that pits two blockers against each other. Have your blockers stand on either side of the net. You will then toss the ball in such a way that it will be centered over the net between the two defenders. The defenders then have the option to decide if they want to defend the shot of go for the kill. Ultimately, either way is going to have the ball get through one of the players. The players score one point for each successful block, and one point for each successful kill. The first player to 10 points wins. The loser will be penalized. For added interest, you can divide the team into 2 teams and keep a running total of the team score, penalizing the losing team. The reason that this drill works so well is because it teaches the players to look at the dynamics of their opponent. A shorter player will find that their strategy, whether to block or score, will change if they are facing a taller player. Two players of roughly the same height will have to decide what to do based on what they feel their opponent is going to do. To this end, it is important that you mix up the couplings, to give each player a variety of opponent types to face off with.

A good set of volleyball drills for blocking will help your team go a long way toward becoming a winning team. These two drills alone will help your blockers have the edge over any other team in your league. They will help build anticipation and analysis skills, which count for so much more than simple brute strength and repetition of basic skills. There are many more defensive volleyball drills that you will learn, but adding these two in your practice book will ensure that you have some of the best blockers in the game.

Volleyball Drills You Can Do Alone

Volleyball is a team sport. It requires the effort and support of everyone on the team in order to be successful. To this end, most volleyball drills are designed for the team to work together on. However, much like any other sport out there, the more an individual can practice, the more they will bring to the team as a whole. Because most players don’t live with each other, it is important to work on a set of volleyball drills that a player can work on when alone. These are drills that can be done between practices or even in the off season. While they are generally beginning drills, they will help even advanced players stay sharp the year round.

One of the skills taught be volleyball drills is accuracy. A good solo drill you can work on is simply standing in front of a wall and hitting a certain spot on the wall. This sounds simple enough, but in practice there is much more to it than this. The player will pick a spot on the wall and aim to hit it. They will want to work on perfect form to get the most out of this drill. While a simple exercise, the wall-hitting is one of those very versatile volleyball drills that a player can do alone. They can work on spiking, serving, and even setting. Each type of hit will present the player with a set of challenges that ensure the ball travels to the spot they have chosen.

Before leaving the wall behind, your players can use the wall for other volleyball drills too. The wall-block is a very good drill that can be accomplished solo. The object of this drill is to start in a blocking position, jump and “block” the wall at a spot that is higher than the height of the net, and land in the block position again. Players should change the height and angle of the spot they hit in order to remain flexible. One of the best parts of this drill is that it teaches your players how to block a ball without causing a net foul. If your player isn’t careful performing this drill, they will scrape their arms and elbows on the wall. Since this would equate to the net in a real situation, you will find that your players learn very quickly the correct form to use when blocking. That means that they will drag their arms across the net a lot less.

Volleyball drills for passing and setting are a staple in any coach’s repertoire. Unfortunately, most drills require at least two people in order to pass the ball back and forth. A player can work on this alone, however. The player should toss the ball up in the air and bump it back up with both arms. Then they can rotate hits, switching to individual hands, setting the ball, and even using their forehead. This will teach total and complete ball control for them. The object is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible using only legal moves to do so. Just the ball control learned from this is worth the time invested in teaching this drill.

It is important for your players, as well as coaches, to learn that they can work on some volleyball drills on their own. The more that a player drills, the better their performance will be. A team is made up of the sum of each player’s individual performance. Using solo volleyball drills will also show the team that a player feels the sport, therefore the team, is important enough to put in a little extra effort. The effort will pay off for the team as a whole when it comes to game time.

What You Need To Know Before You Fish in Bay Area Houston

If you’re a fan of going on fishing trips, then you’re the kind of person that will do all you can to make sure that the trips you take are noteworthy. You leave no stone unturned, which means that you’ve no doubt decided to take a trip to fish in Bay Area Houston. In fact, you’re banking on your trip to southeastern Texas to be one you’ll remember for a long time.

But what exactly is so special about taking a trip out to Bay Area Houston? Well, this is what the collective area between Houston and Galveston is known as. Because of its proximity to bodies of water, with the most notable being the Gulf of Mexico, water-based commerce and shipping are king.

Whether you are an experienced angler or a relative newbie to fishing, you still understand that every new place to cast your line will present its own unique set of challenges. If you’ve never been to Bay Area Houston, what you’ll be encountering may get you to have to re-think your approach down to the type of bait you use and how you’ll handle wind (April winds are notorious for making even experienced fishermen get frustrated).

Here a few things you need to know if you plan on making Bay Area Houston your next fishing destination:

Chartered Fishing Trips – It is amazing how many chartered fishing trips you can go on. Not only are the trips well-organized, but the people taking you out on these trips have been fishing the area for decades, which means you’ve got some good fishing to look forward to.

Many Choices of Fish – You might find it nice to cast a line at a local watering hole for one type of fish. However, a trip to Bay Area Houston will yield chances to catch a lot of different types of fish including but not limited to: speckled trout, black drum, flounder, and red fish.

An Enviable Coastline – There aren’t a lot of places that have thirty-five miles of coastline at their disposal, but Bay Area Houston isn’t just any place. You also have the popular Clear Lake, as well as Trinity Bay, Galveston Bay, East Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.

A Different Kind of Water – Because of the geographical make-up of Bay Area Houston, many of the bodies of water you’ll be working with have what is known as brackish water. Brackish water is, in essence, a combination of fresh water and salt water. This presents its own challenges to anglers, but it can also provide some very nice rewards.

Choosing to fish in Bay Area Houston means you’ve decided that you want what some would argue is the best fishing in the state of Texas. The great thing is that no matter the level of fisherman you are, you are sure to find the right place to cast your line.

Top 5 Sport Fishing Destinations You Need to Add to Your Bucket List

5. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico:

Cabo San Lucas is known as a tourist hub that offers myriads of things to see and do. Because the place is situated right on the tip of the southern Mexican Peninsula, it offers an incredible deep sea fishing opportunity for visitors of all ages. Fishing enthusiasts come every year to the city to catch species, including wahoo, tuna and even billfish. Also, the town’s vibrant setting, ample shopping opportunities and vacation villas offer each visitor a fun holidaying experience.

4. Florida Keys:

Nestled adjacent to the 125-mile-long arc of islands is the beautiful Florida Keys fishing grounds. This destination offers a unique environment where visitors can enjoy deep sea fishing. Also, this destination is home to five most sought-after fish species: permit, redfish, bonefish, tarpon and snook. Countless charter boats and fishing charters offer guided trips every day. Those looking for some different experiences can head to the arc off the Keys where species like blue and white marlin, tuna, wahoo and swordfish are found in abundance.

3. Bimini, Bahamas:

This gorgeous island in the Bahamas is often termed as the sports fishing capital of the world. The warm waters of the small island offer an optimal setting for the fish habitat. Here, fishermen can expect to find yellowtail, big black grouper and mutton snapper. This ideal destination offers year-round fishing opportunities for all. Resorts in Bimini offer deep-sea excursions for visitors and fishermen alike.

2. Phuket, Thailand:

Old temples, floating markets and pulsating nightlife are not the only attractions for which Phuket is known. In fact, this destination has become a premier deep-sea fishing location in this day and age. The beautiful warm waters in Phuket offer a favorable habitat for many species. The clear and turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea create a perfect atmosphere in Phuket for fishing. Visitors can expect to find lots of billfish, queenfish, game fish and mahi here. Fishing enthusiasts should follow the strict fishing rules while taking a fishing excursion in Phuket. Because of the fierce rules, Phuket is still one of those few pristine regions that remain as an ideal deep-sea fishing destination.

1. Panama, Central America:

Sport fishing in Panama is gaining popularity. This destination offers a number of fishing spots where guests can enjoy the thrill of catching grouper, snapper, amberjack and rooster fish. As one of the most consistently productive fisheries in the world, Panama has always been a number one fishing destination. Sports fishing lodges like the El Rio Negro offer all inclusive fishing charters and fishing tours for avid fishermen and beginners alike.

Ways to Tell You Are Serving Correctly in Volleyball

Consistent, accurate serving is the objective of every volleyball player – from youth to Olympic team member. To reach that point, however, it’s important to know if you are serving correctly. Here are some ways to do that.

The first way to tell whether you are serving correctly is whether the ball is going where you want it to go. I know that sounds very simplistic, but the reality of things is that proper mechanics tends to result in high levels of accuracy. If you are consistently hitting your target then chances are pretty good you’ve got things right. That said, chances are you’re reading this article because you aren’t as accurate or powerful a server as you’d like, so let me provide you with some checkpoints you can use to get yourself on track.

Are you finishing your serve balanced? If not, there’s something wrong. Usually, it comes down to your toss. If you toss the ball too far to the left or right you’ll end up leaning in that direction to try to make proper ball contact. Either that or you’ll be serving the ball in that direction when you didn’t intend to do so. If you find your weight well onto your front toes, then you’ve tossed the ball too far forward, while having to arch your back and lean backwards means a toss behind your ideal contact point. All of this can be fixed by improving your toss.

Is the ball spinning when you want it to float, or floating when you want it to spin? That is a function of your ball contact. You need to make sure you’re stricking the right part of the ball in the correct way to get the desired effect.

Is the ball coming landing short or going too far? Distance in serving is all about the speed of your hand at contact. Swing your arm faster to hit the ball farther (notice I didn’t say swing harder). Swing your arm slower to hit the ball shorter. Make sure to keep your ball contact firm, though. No floppy wrist or mushy hand!

Does your shoulder hurt when you serve? If so, it probably means your arm swing is off in some fashion – assuming you don’t simply have an injury from something else, of course. This again could be related to ball toss, but it could also be a function of your mechanics. This might be hard to judge by yourself, though. You’ll likely want the help of a coach in evaluating your arm swing – or at least the use of video.

Which brings up perhaps the best way to gauge whether you are serving properly. Video yourself serving and compare it to video of someone who serves properly. There are many tools out there these days that allow for side-by-side analysis. This will let you see how your technique stacks up against the good server in the areas of body posture, arm preparation, toss, footwork, and follow-through.

Hopefully you have a coach who is keeping an eye on your serving technique and helping you correct things as needed. If not, though, the tips here should help you identify problems and put you on a path toward more effective serving.

Want To Catch Big Bass? You Have To Fish For Them!

Yes, we all want to catch big bass and catch that once in a lifetime bass but most anglers just don’t fish for them. They fish where the average size bass are located but not the monster bass. Then the angler wonders why he doesn’t catch the fish he wants to catch.

A big bass isn’t going to be out in the open. for sure. Matter of fact, most anglers will never ever get near a monster when fishing. They are too worried about catching bass and just fish where the average size bass feeds and lives. Yes, they fish structure, weeds, stumps and etc. but that is not where the pigs are feeding. The anglers have read so much about bass fishing they think that is where to fish for big bass.
It’s NOT!

Confused? You’re not alone, so are hundreds of thousands other bass anglers. Do you really think the lunkers got big by being out in the open where other small bass are feeding? Yeah, you’ll catch a nice bass every so often but you’re not catching big bass on a regular basis. Big bass are going to be in deep cover, some bass have never seen a lure even because anglers don’t go where they are located.

Big bass are going to be located in the thickest, heaviest cover you can find or even imagine. They are going to stay close to that cover most of their lives. Some will never see a lure because anglers won’t go where they are or don’t know where they are in the lake they are fishing. You can fish a whole lake and never come close to a monster bass.

I know an angler and have fished with him that catches nice size bass regularly. Other anglers just can’t believe how he catches monster bass all the time. So, why does he catch the pigs while other anglers are catching nothing? Because he fishes for them! He fishes where they are, he goes in places where most anglers don’t even think of going and fishing. He fishes lures that resemble the prey the bass are eating. He imitates the prey with his retrieve and does everything he can to make that lure look real.

If the bass are eating craws, why throw a lure that is 10 inches long? How does that imitate what the bass are eating? If the bass are feeding on shad then why throw a craw? Listen, bass have lived where they are most of their lives, they know what is natural in their environment. If something is out of place then the bass is going to know that and be cautious about being around it. Bass didn’t get their size because they just fed on anything that came along. If their environment changes then they are not going to feed… period.

Another thing is big bass aren’t going to chase your lure like you think they will go after it. The guy who catches the big bass on a regular basis fishes his lure so slow that you think he fell asleep. It might take him 10 minutes to get his lure back to the boat. He wants to keep his lure in front of the big bass’ face for as long as he can keep it there. Why does he do that? To temp the bass into striking longer.

I fish the same way, I fish the heaviest, thickest cover I can find. I put my lure right where the cover is the thickest and then wait. After awhile I will move the lure and move it slow. I learned this a long time ago and noticed when I fish like this I catch more nice bass and you will too. I fish from shore a lot and have had dozen of boating anglers come over and ask what I was using as a lure. I would tell them and even show them my lure. What they didn’t realize was it didn’t matter if I showed them the lure or not if they didn’t have the technique to go along with it. Next time you’re out on your favorite lake, look around, look under trees, look for the thickest cover in the lake and try fishing it. Fish where others don’t fish or even think about going to find cover. Try it! You’ll be surprised!

Volleyball Rules: Player Behavior

As a volleyball instructor, you need to display control by supplying your players a set of rules and requirements which they have to know and comply with. Setting down the law during the initial week will be crucial if you want to run a well-oiled machine. I have produced a summary of some tips i believe would be the essentials.

UNACCEPTABLE Behavior

1. Engaging in anything other than watching and cheering when players are on the bench. The players should not be chatting about Jersey Shore or their boyfriends. They need to be paying attention to the game.

2. Distracting a player that is attempting to play a ball. This is along the line of good sportsmanship. Do not let your players fall into this as you really do not want to unliked by other teams. You will quickly make a name for yourself.

3. Yelling or swearing in anger. Once again, sportsmanship. I had a player yell the “F” word during a tight match with lots of people watching. The most unfortunate aspect was it was so quiet because it was such an exciting play. An extremely uncomfortable instant no doubt.

4. Questioning or criticizing an official’s call. Almost nothing bugs me more than watching players ask for a call after every play. Do not allow your players to do that. Let them understand that that is your job.

5. Hurling or kicking the ball in anger. If you have ever coached boys, you realize what I am talking about. They really like to kick the ball as far as they can. Plus, isn’t this like the very first rule of volleyball you ever learned? That and rolling the ball under the net (I really like throwing it over to the person serving).

6. Talking to the officials. You definitely need to make certain everyone knows only the captain can talk to the officials. It really is not entertaining to receive a yellow card at a critical part of a match.

7. Negative cheers. Recall this one?: We want a pitcher not a belly itcher. None of that please.

8. Blaming teammates. Another thing I feel that I observe way too much. Every team has that one player that loves to look at the person who screwed up and say some thing. That is the coach’s job. Do not allow that to get beyond control.

9. Pouting following a bad play. In the event that this happens, just take the player out. This is not really going to benefit the team.

Here is a list of points to encourage:

1. Help teammates off the floor
2. Compliment teammates and opponents on great plays
3. Roll the ball under the net
4. Run to get an errant ball and bring back to the server or referee
5. Cheering at the conclusion of each point (win or lose the point)
6. Cheering from the sidelines (“Jenny’s on fire, Ooh, Ah”, “Keep it up Sara, keep it up”, “Here we go Red, here we go”)
7. Motivating player which makes an error (“Don’t worry, you’ll get it next time”)

Volleyball Serving Drills – Getting the Ball to Go Where You Want

Serving is the one skill in volleyball which is not at all reliant upon the actions of another player. It is completely in the control of the individual. In that way, it is generally the easiest one to develop to a reasonable level. For a new volleyball player, simply getting the ball in the court consistently is a major hurdle, but once that is overcome, being able to place serves with accuracy is the next challenge.

Getting the volleyball to go where you want when serving comes down to one simple, but critical thing – consistency. There are two aspects of this consistency. One is the toss. The other is the ball contact. Put simply, if you cannot toss the ball in the right spot and strike it properly each time, you will struggle to serve the ball where you intend.

Additionally, accuracy is almost always well-served by being pointed at your target. That means face your target from the beginning and make sure all of your motion – your step, your toss, and your armswing – all move in that line. When all of those things are moving in the same direction, the ball is much more likely to go that way.

Alas, there is no magic bullet for becoming an accurate server. It all comes down to repetition. Any drill or game involving serving is one which allows you to work on consistent tosses and ball striking and having everything moving on the line of your target. You just need to make sure you focus on those key points each time you toe the service line.

That said, there are many ways to train accurate serving. Most serving drills can be adapted to require serves into certain areas of the court. For example, rather than doing a simple 10-in-a-row in the court type of drill, you could require that all serves be in one designated half of the court. Naturally, as accuracy improves, the target zones should be made smaller.

Being a really good server, though, isn’t just about being able to hit targets. It’s about being able to put the ball where you want it when called upon. That means having the ability to hit any target at any time. This is critical in trying to take advantage of weaknesses in your opposition’s serve reception and giving your team an advantage. An excellent way to work on this sort of situational accuracy is in drill and game situations where targets are indicated in some fashion (like a coach call) prior to service.

What accurate serving comes down to is the same as with most things – repetition. Given the proper focus and intention, any drill can be effectively used to develop accuracy.

Why Is Snowboarding So Addictive?

The sport of snowboarding has seen massive growth over the past few decades. Twenty years ago there were few snowboards on the slopes. It was seen as a rebel fringe sport.

Snowboarders were seen by skiers as little more than an annoyance who routinely got in their way on the mountain. Now, there are just as many snowboarders if not more on the mountain as there are skiers. Why has snowboarding become so popular? Why is snowboarding so addictive?

Speed, speed and more speed. If speed is what you want then skiing is for you. In a downhill race skis will beat snowboards every time, but is speed simple how fast you can get to the bottom or is it something more. Snowboards are plenty fast and the feel that a snowboarder gets through their board and body often leads to the perception that they are going faster than they actually are. Snowboarding is more exciting because of the level of control that a boarder feels over their board. Speed plus fine control leads to a more exciting run than simply speed.

The versatility of a board is another factor in its growing popularity. A board can go anywhere as long as it’s downhill.

Its broader base means that boarding through powder that would bog most skiers down is no problem. It is also easier to carve and cut with a board than it is with skis, meaning that moving through an obstacle strewn path is easier on a board. Boarders can venture where skiers do not dare to go.

The tricks are what suck most snowboarders in. There are a lot more ways to look cool on a mountain with a snowboard than with a pair of skis. Never underestimate the appeal of looking cool. Every snowboard can be used in a bowl or half pipe, where specialty skis are often required to pull off the more impressive tricks.

The final addictive factor of snowboarding is one that is shared with skiing. The silence. That crisp silence that is only found when you are barreling down a mountain. That feeling of speed and isolation that is accompanied only by the hiss of your board on snow.

It’s an amazing feeling that is hard to duplicate. It is certainly addictive. Why else would people constantly drag their bruised and sore bodies up a mountain time after time? They love the rush. They are addicted.