April 6, 2020
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How To Identify Natural Leaders On Your Volleyball Team | Picking Volleyball Captains | Podcast

Hey coaches, it’s Whitney with getthepancake.com,
a website for volleyball coaches. I have been writing articles for a couple
of years now and wanted to try something new. In addition to adding my latest articles to
the website, I thought it’d be fun to read you some of my favorite posts on coaching
volleyball. Personally, I love reading articles online,
but sometimes I just don’t have enough time to sit down and digest the information. However, I’ve started listening to a lot
of podcasts and YouTube videos while I’m getting ready in the morning or driving somewhere,
like to practice or a tournament. And I’ve found that listening is much easier than reading articles. I tend to get more out of it because I listen closely to every
word and don’t skim over the information. While I’m not ready to start a volleyball
podcast yet, I wanted to give this a try and see what you all think. If this appeals to you, make sure to subscribe
to my channel and turn on notifications so you know when my next video comes out. Also, a thumbs up would really help me determine
if helping you save time by reading my articles here is something you would want more of. Alright, enough chit chat, let’s get to
the article! “How To Identify Natural Leaders on Your Volleyball Team” By Whitney Bartiuk of getthepancake.com Before your first tournament of the season,
you’ll need to identify leaders on your team. This can be a challenge because in the beginning
of the season, EVERYONE is on their best behavior! Everyone hustles to shag, they’re all clapping
for each other, and when you ask them to come in… they run. But in order to find one or two players who
will own the role of leader, there are a few things that we as coaches can keep an eye on at
practice. Noticing these characteristics early on will
help you in more ways than you can count, as you’ll be able to focus attention towards
guiding these players, who will in turn help steer the rest of the team for you. CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL LEADERS: – Teammates Naturally Listen
– Eye Contact With The Coach – Do Not Give Up Easily
– Own Their Position Now, these characteristics are not a 100%
guarantee that the players will be a great leader on your team. Your true leader may exhibit all of these
traits, or only 2-3, but it is unlikely you’d have a leader who did not demonstrate most
of these characteristics on a regular basis. HOW TO FIND YOUR LEADERS Before the start of your next practice, call
your team in for a quick huddle. Notice who gets there first, who is comfortable
making eye contact with you (or even initiating conversation), and if players gravitate towards
a certain player. These will be some non-verbal indicators a
player carries influence over the rest of the team. Next, try asking your players a simple question,
like, “Hey ladies, I have a tough/fun/other adjective practice planned for today, but
I set aside some time at the end for a quick game. I have a couple of ideas, but wanted to know
if there was a game you’d like to play?” You’ll have a couple of players chime in,
and you need to prepare yourself for a small disagreement (which is why I typically avoid
asking players for opinions or drill ideas). But pay close attention to which idea gets
the most support, because the natural leader on your team will probably a) share an idea
that appeals to most of her teammates, and b) also choose a game or drill which the coach
would approve of. However, leaders are also able to adapt if
their idea isn’t the most popular, so if a few ideas are thrown out, wait to see who
the final “decision maker” is on the team. An example would be if one player says Queen
of the Court, another says Dead Fish, and another says Hitting Survivor. Let’s say the group seems to be between
Queen of the Court and Hitting Survivor… Notice who the last person is to change their
mind and get the rest of the team’s support. This player likely holds influence over her
teammates. WHAT TO WATCH FOR ON THE COURT During play, you’ll also notice who holds
themselves in a confident manner on the court, and who “owns” their position. These players will usually come into the season
telling you “I’m a libero” or “I’m a setter.” On rare occasions, players who are new to
the sport but hold influence may not have a position yet or be 100% confident in their
skills, but they will soon adapt to one. You’ll also notice that the entire team
tends to look towards certain players or take feedback without push-back from certain players. A classic example is in serve receive, a player
might be out of rotation and a teammate would tell them so. If they argue with or question this player,
they are likely NOT a leader on the team in the eyes of their peers. However, if the teammate quickly adjusts without
negative feedback towards this player, the player is seen as a leader on the team. LEADERS AS CAPTAINS Alright, so you’ve decided the natural
leaders on your team, now it’s time to decide who to name as captain. I’ve written on picking captains before,
but I want to make sure it is clear that these players should be role models on the team
for good behavior. On occasion, the natural leaders on the team
may not be ideal candidates for the position of captain. If this is the case, you’ll need to spend
some extra time on these players to find out their motivations and reasons for playing,
so you can encourage them to WANT to be better for the team. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you
can force on a player. That’s a discussion for another day. I hope you have enjoyed this article and that
you are able to identify your natural leaders more quickly because of it! If you have anything to add, please consider
joining our “Volleyball Coaches Corner” private Facebook group, where volleyball coaches
from all over “talk shop” and share helpful tips with one another. Thank you SO much for listening to my first narrated
article from getthepancake.com, if you enjoyed the article being read to you so you could
be more productive with your day and multitask, let me know by liking this video and subscribing
to my channel. The Get The Pancake family is a very active
community of volleyball coaches, and I always encourage discussion at the end of every article. If you heard something interesting or worth
remarking on, please add your comment below! Also, please share this video with other coaches
who may be looking for help with figuring out captains or who the leaders are on their
team. Again, thank you so much for listening! Don’t forget to check out getthepancake.com for more volleyball coaching resources, and find @getthepancake on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

David Frank



  1. Kyle Fahrenkamp Posted on January 24, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Love the podcast concept….I listen to podcasts while commuting or running all the time.

  2. Jessica McCoy Posted on January 27, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    I really liked this format to get information out!