2017 Volleyball Alberta Coaching Symposium: Weekend Recap!

This past weekend we held our 2017 Volleyball Alberta Coaching Symposium at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton. It was a weekend filled with knowledge exchange, networking and engaging in relevant topics in coaching.  

We kick started the symposium on Friday night at MacEwan University with Linda Rizzoli & Leanne French who involved the attendees in a great activity “Exploring perspectives with your team.” This was a great ice-breaker activity that coaches can do with their teams and to bring cohesiveness and camaraderie.  

Following that we shifted gears to the fast-growing beach Volleyball with a presentation on the current rules and differences between indoor and outdoor volleyball by Volleyball Alberta’s Program Director Ray Sewell.

Day one of the symposium ended with Volleyball Alberta’s Technical Director Jim Plakas having an interactive session with the attendees on responsible coaching and planning.  

Day 2 of our symposium began with attendees at Dr. Pierre Baudin (Volleyball Alberta Hall of Fame & Associate Coach of University of Pandas Womens Volleyball team) session on skill analysis using technology. Pierre discussed that one of main advantages of technology use was to control time. It can be used for error detection and correction both in practice and during matches. This session was great for our coaches since we are in the day and age of technology growth and proper use of this can be a great enhancement for our athletes.

We then shifted to the courts for Keith Hansen’s (Level 4 NCCP Coach & Former Head Coach RDC Kings – nine time National Champions) presentation on practice drills that Junior High school coaches can use. It was great to have some of the Fog Club players join him as he demonstrated drills.  

We were happy to have with us Jessica Hess, RN for a presentation on nutrition for our athletes. Some topics that the symposium attendees discussed in this session were “What should are athletes be consuming and when and how much is too much?

Ryan Hofer (TWU Women’s Head Coach – 2015 National Champions) presented on the “Big rocks for creating advantage in Volleyball” Some of the advantages he explained in his session included: team culture/environment, technique, systems, recovery/regeneration, mindset, and training. Keith also did an in-class session on the “Art of Coaching.” One of his key points was “How do you get your athletes to go into taking risks, putting themselves out there? … We have to give them confidence!”

During lunch, we were happy to have Terry Danyluk (current University of Alberta Bear’s Volleyball head coach and Olympian) join us for an “Ask the Coach” session.

After lunch, we had all attendees in a Laurie Eisler (Head coach of UofA Pandas – seven time National Champions) session about coaching the serve in Women’s volleyball. She explained to think of a serve as a weapon- unleashing a cannon.” She also explained that if a server loses a point on a good serve it means she has made her opponents make a decision.

Ben Josephson (TWU Men’s Head Coach – two time National Champions) presented a session on practice planning and drill design.

Brock Davidiuk (former Men’s National team player, current assistant coach with UofA bears Men’s volleyball team) presented a session in the gym on Team Alberta curriculums for setter training. He provided practice drills coaches can do with their athletes to train this position. Team Alberta players joined him in the demonstrations.

We were delighted to have Dr. Vicki Harber (Canadian Sport for Life) join us to present on a very important topic in today’s youth sports “Promoting positive parenting in sport.” Parents play a huge role in our sports and how do we as coaches engage them to enhance our athletes? 

The last session of day two had all the attendees join Dr. Lorne Sawula (Former Women’s National Team Head Coach) in the gym for a activity session on how to teach basic skills to technical specialization practices. He had NAVC club girls join him on the demonstrations. This session provided the attendees with specific drills, what to look for, how to advance drills for their athletes.

We would like to thank everyone that attended the 2017 Volleyball Alberta Coaching Symposium! We truly hope that it provided you with a lot of insights from the experts as well as an opportunity to network. We hope your knowledge is shared with others and you continue growing the game we all love!

To view pictures from the symposium click here

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