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This Week's Workshop - Jaylen Reyes On Defense

Joseph TrinseyComment

The Coronavirus Pandemic and associated stay-at-home orders have changed the lives of many people. In relatively unimportant, yet personally relevant terms, it means volleyball coaches have had way fewer chances to interact this spring- the time of year when many coaches are trying to learn and grow as coaches.

This Saturday will be the 11th session in my Coaches Workshop series. My first few didn’t have much of a plan behind them. I simply called up coaches that I knew and asked if they wanted to talk some volley… and apparently some other coaches were interested in paying to be part of that conversation.

As the month’s have gone by, I’ve settled into more of a formula and upped the professionalism… at least a little bit. We limit the sessions to less than 20 attendees and I provide a 10-page pdf packet with notes and images synthesizing the information from the session.

I’ve found that video-heavy sessions work well, and having a focus on either the offensive or defensive side of the ball works well. What I aim to replicate is what you would get if you could visit that coach’s gym and spend 2 hours with them… watching film closely and getting to pick their brain. That’s what I’ve always loved to do, and apparently I’m not the only one.

This week, I’ll be talking with Jaylen Reyes, Assistant Coach at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Why?

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Pretty simple: lead the toughest volleyball conference in the country in Opponent Hitting (and Nebraska has done it multiple times) and I want to know what you’re doing on defense.

Jaylen is a really sharp guy who was also an outstanding player himself. I’ll post more about my prep work throughout the week, but the three things I’m most interested in exploring are:

  1. How specific their gameplans are. How do they balance the desire to get the perfect plan in place with not overloading players? And I know they use the specifics of a gameplan to teach players general concepts about the game. I want to know more about that.

  2. How they handle In-System vs Out-of-System plays. This links a bit into #1, but there are some differences in where balls get attacked In-System vs Out-of-System. How big of an adjustment do they ask players to make?

  3. What their training structure is like. How much is, “rep it out,” vs other methods of teaching. They make some big-time defensive plays, so I want to know what goes into the physical training of their defenders.