Volleyball: Steps to Success, written by Bonnie Kenny and Cindy Gregory of the University of Delaware, is a great resource for new to intermediate level players looking to hone their skills in a team setting.
New players (or anyone who’s wondered whether they should run a 6-2 or a 5-1) will find the overviews of team offense and defense extremely helpful. Likewise, their coverage of team defense includes helpful diagrams and descriptions that will allow you to choose the right setup for your team’s needs.
If that’s already going over your head, don’t worry. There’s coverage of basic individual skills in the first few chapters, including common mistakes and how to correct them.
My favorite feature of this book is their “rate yourself” system, which lets you gauge your performance in the various drills and exercises. You can then go back and retry the same drills after some training and see if you and your team have improved.
My main “problem” with this book, and it’s hardly a real problem, is that it focuses on drills that require lots of players to run effectively. In essence, they’re assuming a team setting for most of their instruction. As someone who spent a lot of time training with a team but now has to find ways to improve as an individual, there were some sections that were frustrating because they are nearly impossible to implement on your own or with just a few friends.
The early sections on movement and strength/quickness training didn’t fall into this category, however, and even though I’ve been playing for nearly two decades (wow … I feel old) I still learned something from the later sections of the book. For example, did you know the 6-2 offense has been making a comeback since USC (University of Southern California) used it to win back-to-back NCAA women’s national championships in 2003 and 2004?
Overall I give this book 3.5 out of 5 volleyballs. It’s text is helpful and clear, but some of its drills don’t allow for individual training.
If, like me, you’re looking for something more targeted to individual volleyball skills training, we suggest our Volleyball Life Ebook series.
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