Go inside Creighton volleyball practices with 3x National Coach of the Year Kirsten Bernthal Booth!
- Use resistance bands and pads to improve your team's blocking and defense off of a block
- Progress from individual repetitions to multi-player repetitions using the drills that focus on quality passing
- Teach players to make good decisions with the second touch ball out-of-system so your hitters can terminate points
with Kirsten Bernthal Booth,
Creighton University Head Coach; 2018, 2016, 2015 AVCA East Region Coach of the Year;
2016 VolleyballMag.com National Coach of the Year - 3x National Coach of the Year;
5 Straight Big East Regular Season and Tournament Champions (2014-18);
all-time wins leader at Creighton
This all-access video features the Creighton women's volleyball team, which has built itself into a successful program on the national stage thanks to head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth. The video takes place early in the volleyball season, which means you'll see Creighton work methodically to refine their mechanics and technique in order for players to success master various skills.
During the morning sessions, you'll see the team spend more time on ball control while limiting the amount of jumping that athletes do. Meanwhile, the afternoon sessions have a tendency to ramp up the intensity!
Day 1 Morning Practice
The focus of this practice is passing and serving, which are key ingredients to being able to run a successful offense. Tremendous attention is devoted to using techniques that will save the shoulders and keep athletes healthy during a long volleyball season.
The first part of practice focuses on passing and using different angles from both sides of the body, as well as high and low shots. Meanwhile, the middle hitters work on resistance footwork using bands and a partner to practice blocking footwork.
The coaches emphasize defense by teaching players how to get their hips around the ball, and then by hitting balls off of a pad to imitate a ball hitting the block. After a few minutes of 6v6 play with only tipping or rolling allowed, the coaches shift their attention to serving. The last half of the practice shows more drills with the focus on passing and blocking.
Day 1 Afternoon Practice
The afternoon practice features some split work focusing on individual positions, but the majority of practice focuses on serve receive as Creighton gears up for their season.
In the first half of the practice, Bernthal Booth demonstrates creative ball control drills, with middle hitters working on right side attacks and outside hitters working on back row attacks. From there, the coaches push serving and passing drills to better prepare the team for going through rotations.
During the second half of the practice, the coaches start off by playing short games through each rotation, focusing on what the players' strengths and weaknesses are. The First Swing Game allows both sides to get points up until the first swing is completed.
The intensity level increases by the end of the practice, where the pace of play is very game-like. The coaching staff does a fine job gradually increasing the load and intensity. Players begin at about 70% effort level and build up to full speed at the end.
Day 2 Morning Practice
Winning the serve and pass game is critical at every level. In this morning practice session, Coach Bernthal Booth presents multiple drills that focus on passing from different types of serves. The drills highlighted for individual passing can easily be adjusted for passing with a partner or multiple partners.
Specific focus is placed on platform readiness, locking in angles, and encouraging players to keep their feet active in order to produce quality passes. When players understand that they must play the ball before it plays them, they will make a more conscious effort to be assertive with their pass contact.
The practice ends with a game called 10 before 0, where passers compete in teams to make more 2 or 3 point passes, then 0 or 1 point passes.
Day 2 Afternoon Practice
The highest level of the game of volleyball is played out-of-system. In this practice session, Bernthal Booth emphasizes the importance of players being able to handle out-of-system play confidently and a