Coaching Professional Development

The Canadian Elite Academy has offered sessions to over 319 different participants in the last couple of years. Currently, the success of the academy is based on the fact that team coaches spend so much time on building the team they do not get the opportunity to help with the individual skill training needed to build skilled volleyball players. The whole mandate behind the academy is to break down the skills, spend two hours teaching a single skill, to give the athletes the skill instruction which they can then take and work on when they get a chance. The academy tries to give the young athletes the foundation to develop the skill correctly so when they get older coaches are not spending their whole practice trying to break bad habits. During this time we have utilized some of the best coaches in the province to offer these sessions. If sessions have small enrolments then Dr. Darren Cannell is the head coach but if the sessions warrant the use of other coaches to teach specific skills. During these sessions, we have had numerous requested from coaches who wish to use the sessions as professional development opportunities and watch the sessions from the side and take notes about the talented coach’s approach to teaching the individual skills.

Here are the parameters that Volleyball Canada considers necessary to approve a Non-NCCP event and award Professional Development points:

  • 1-3 hours
  • Instruction takes place
  • Opportunities for discussion and reflection are available (30-100% of the time)
  • Instructors/Coaches are NCCP Certified in the context that they are working, and are using current VC coaching methodology (to be verified by the PSO, NSO, or PSO representative). If coaches are not certified within the NCCP, they must possess other professional or international certifications or designations.
  • If the learning environment is a practice in which instructors work with coaches, the training sessions must be delivered in small-group (minimum 4) or large-group (12-16) settings, and not in individual sessions.

Coaches will be able to watch the practice and the academy coach(es) will share any plans they have available. If the Academy Head Coach is not the one coaching then he will sit and explain the process, the drills and the approach as the practice is in progress. All the Academy practices are coed, and players are of all skill levels, all instruction is individualized and designed to take a skill to the next level. For each athlete, this level might be different. The pre-brief will happen during the 15 minutes before and if the presenting coach wishes they will be available 15 minutes after the session to answer questions. The head coach will be available for most of the two hours to answer questions when the head coach is coaching, then he would invite the coach to join in with the practice as an assistant and then they can be involved with ball tossing and activity but a silent observer. If the head coach knows the coach and their level he might encourage the observing coach to be more vocally involved. The observing coach during the sessions will be able to see the approach to skill development, the practice pace, how the instructions are given and the cues and feedback are given. They will also see a wide variety of different drills to used to help instruct the skill being taught. Currently, the academy have this happening with a lot of different coaches and parents as we have open practices and anyone can watch and ask questions of the sessions. Many bring notebooks and take notes during a practice. The only change that would make to process is the administration and registering the coaches before they attend to achieve the coaching professional development point. The academy coaches are asked to help complete teams with individual skills and we then attend their practices and the team coaches write down our whole process and pick and choose what they like and how they might incorporate it into their team practices.

There are so many different ways to teach each of the different volleyball skills and using a variety of coaches allow the academy to share these different methods. Different is not always wrong, but one method might work with one athlete and not with another. The more coaches I get involved in the academy the more drills and approaches I have learned which has greatly improved my coaching and we would like to share this professional development with other coaches. I know I am a visual learner and I have learned more about coaching volleyball by watching others coach during practices and I know there are others who also learn that way

Two hour sessions will be worth a single point towards your certification.