How do you prepare for a training?

This post is also available in: Dutch

Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the halls are full of fanatical and enthusiastic volleyball players. Ready to move as energetically in training as we do in competition. But, to offer all teams training, trainers are of course needed. In this blog, let’s take a look at the function of a trainer and how to prepare a training. Perhaps you will be inspired to train a team, or maybe you would like to join one of our other trainers.

What does a trainer do?

As the word says, as a volleyball trainer you train one or more groups in volleyball. You give directions, invent exercises and make sure the players get better at the sport. A training varies from 1.5 to 2 hours. The players will of course start with a warming-up and will then fanatically start the exercises devised by the trainers. That might sounds a tad difficult, but in reality it is not so bad. It is up to the trainer to give the players tips individually or as a team.

The volleyball trainer prepares many different exercises to cover all ways of playing. On the other hand, he/she also repeats exercises so that the players can repeat the practice. Through the combination of repetition and challenge, the intention is that the trainer is able to improve the level of the player and the team.

The volleyball trainer is sometimes also the coach of the team and guides the team during the competition. As a coach you then request time-outs, you give tips, think of possible substitutions and encourage the team in a positive way to keep those balls off the ground and to score on the opponent’s side.

Prepare a workout

Preparing for a workout may sound trickier than it is. Although, of course, some time has to be spent on it. Let’s take a look at how to make a good workout.

Each training has a specific layout and structure. A good training should contain a logical follow-up in movement forms. The different parts must be related and logically flow into each other.


Of course you start with the warming-up. An important part because a good warming-up prevents injuries. Your heart, circulation and breathing must be brought up to par through a good warming-up to be able to go through the training without injury. A warming-up also has a positive effect on speed, flexibility and endurance.

And then it’s time for training itself. For this I naturally took a look at Pim Scherpenzeel, who offers education, training, courses and technical support for volleyball trainers and coaches. In the distant past he was also my trainer and I learned a lot from him back then.

The central part of the workout

Anyway, let’s look at the core of a training, in other words; the central part of the training. This should be seen as the part where learning is central. (New) skills or techniques are taught, improved or applied, so that they can be used later in the match. According to Pim, these two are often linked in different parts: core 1 & core 2. For example, you can learn something in core 1 that you then apply in core 2. As an example: in core 1 you learn to improve the attack from position 4 from a thrown ball and you also work on the set up to position 4. You then apply what you have learned in core 2 when you attack from the set up you get of a fellow player. Do you still get it? So in core 1 you get the ball thrown and in core 2 you smash from a played ball.

Because players learn something new more easily and quickly when they are still fit and energetic which obviously is at the beginning of a training, core 1 is used to teach players ‘new’ moves and techniques. It is therefore useful to explain and perform unknown parts of volleyball at the beginning of the training, both on a technical and tactical level.

Then you put what you have learned into practice in core 2. The players now know the movements, but it is not yet automatic. The emphasis in core 2 is therefore more on cooperation with other players. This includes exercises in match formation, service play and team play. More pressure is given here by increasing the pace of the exercises, placing more resistance to the action and having players perform the ball contact under more difficult spatial conditions.

Tag on as an assistant trainer

If you want to know what this looks like in practice, take a look at a training by Vincent Lugtenburg. He often works this way. For example, the other training we started with an exercise in which we had to deal with a thrown ball by Vincent at position 1 by diving/falling onto a mat. We continued to turn so that we stayed nice and warm (core 1). The next exercise was about the same, but now we stopped taking turns and the mats were removed. We also didn’t get the ball thrown but had to pass it after a smash. So the exercise continued, so that we now had to use what we learned (diving the ball sideways on position 1) in game form (core 2).

You can end a training with a nice game, think of King/Queen of the courts, a team setup on one side and the other players on the other side or four against four. This way you can put everything you have learned into practice during a small game.

Interested in becoming a trainer?

Many training exercises can be found online, we share a list for you below. Do you find it a bit exciting or scary? Then come and have a look at one of our training sessions, the trainers love to explain how they prepare a training, why they do certain exercises and how to give the best instructions / tips.

We are always looking for trainers, for seniors but also for youth teams. As a trainer you are available once a week to give training and preferably also available to coach. Volleyball knowledge is of course a requirement, but above all energy & motivation. Of course you can also do this together with someone else.

Become a trainer and help relieve others. Mail the TC. Would you like to train a youth team? Send an email to the YouthTC.

Training exercises

As mentioned, here is a list of websites where you can find exercises:
Volleybaltraining maken

Your Sport Planner


Block Out Academy

Sovicos Volleybal Instagram Guide

Do you have questions about training? Email the Technical Committee. Have you seen a mistake in the blog or just a comment? Then email the editors.