Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Game-Like Training: A Revolutionary Approach to Volleyball Practice


Game-like training is a groundbreaking concept that has revolutionized the way volleyball athletes train and improve their skills. Instead of focusing solely on isolated skill drills, game-like training emphasizes practicing the entire game of volleyball. It recognizes that success in the sport is not determined by individual skill execution but by how well the team plays within the context of a competitive match.

The Power of Game-Like Training

When I first discovered game-like training, it completely changed my coaching philosophy. I realized that if I wanted my players to excel, I needed to shift our practice approach. No more standing in lines or repetitive drills. Game-like training became the cornerstone of our practice sessions.

Rapid Improvement and Unleashed Potential

The results spoke for themselves. Within just a couple of weeks of implementing game-like training, our players showed remarkable improvement. Their ball control, movement on the court, and overall performance surpassed anything we had seen before. It was clear that game-like training was unlocking their full potential.

From Rookie Season to Champions

With game-like training as our guiding principle, my coaching staff and I led a team of young athletes to an impressive fourth-place finish at the state tournament. The following year, with just one senior player, we made history by winning our school’s first-ever state championship. I credit this success to our adoption of game-like training and the transformation it brought to our team.

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Beyond Skills: The Essence of Game-Like Training

Game-like training goes beyond teaching individual skills. It encompasses critical aspects such as thinking, communication, reading and reacting, anticipation, perception, and court awareness. By simulating real game situations, athletes can develop these essential qualities and master skills in a more meaningful and effective way.

Building a Game-Like Practice

To create a game-like practice environment, consider these key points:

  • Make drills competitive, always keeping score and emphasizing results.
  • Ensure every drill has a purpose, such as achieving a specific target number of great passes.
  • Introduce consequences in drills to simulate pressure situations.
  • Vary your practice sessions with different drills to keep things interesting.
  • Empower players to take ownership of running drills, fostering a sense of responsibility and engagement.
  • Keep everyone involved by avoiding long lines and prioritizing active participation.
  • Practice in out-of-system scenarios, replicating chaotic game situations rather than perfect scenarios.
  • Allow players to learn through experience by coaching less and letting them play more.
  • Remember to prioritize fun in every practice, as it is a powerful motivator and catalyst for growth.


Q: How does game-like training differ from traditional skill-based drills?
A: Game-like training focuses on practicing the entire game of volleyball rather than isolated skills. By simulating real game situations, it enables athletes to develop a wider range of skills and improve their overall performance.

Q: Can game-like training be applied to other sports?
A: Absolutely! While game-like training has gained significant traction in volleyball, its principles can be applied to various sports. The key is to create practice environments that closely resemble the dynamics of the actual game.

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Q: How long does it take to see results from game-like training?
A: The speed at which athletes experience improvement will vary, but many coaches have reported seeing noticeable progress within a few weeks of implementing game-like training.


Game-like training has transformed the world of volleyball practice. By shifting the focus from isolated skills to the whole game, athletes achieve rapid improvement, unleash their full potential, and develop a deeper understanding of the sport. Embrace the game-like training philosophy and watch your team thrive like never before.