Learn how to create drive and desire in your defenders
- Learn a variety of drills that simulate game-like situations, requiring great movement and desire in your defenders
- Instill a "green light" mentality that will limit the amount of balls that drop in between defenders in a game
- Discover the four key characteristics to move from a good player to an elite defender
with Mike Lingenfelter,
Munciana Samurai Head Coach and Co-Director Asics Munciana Volleyball Club;
His Munciana Samurai teams have won four national championships and have placed in the top 3 (JVA/AAU/USA) in the nation every year of its existence (2004). Lingenfelter is one of two coaches to ever reach an 18 Open Championship Match in all three of the major volleyball organizations (JVA, AAU and USA); former Wapahani (IN) High School Head Coach, back-to-back Indiana 2A state titles in 2011 and 2012, 3x Indiana State Coach of the Year
Defense is centered on attitude more than it is about technique. By challenging your players in the gym daily with different high-paced defense oriented drills, you can measure how much drive and desire your players have to be competitive.
Mike Lingenfelter is known for his club's defensive tenacity and execution. In this video, Coach Lingenfelter demonstrates a magnitude of drills that challenge players to exert relentless pursuit of every ball. He reminds coaches that players need a "tool box" of skills that are game-oriented in order to continue to improve their skill level. As a coach, you must help players fill their "tool box."
"Burn the Boats"
Great defenders are the players who don't simply tell you how bad they want it, they show you. Coach Lingenfelter defines the "Burn the Boats" mindset as an attitude that is built on confidence and competitive fire, where defeat is not an option. He describes those attributes in clear, concise terms:
- Great desire: Defenders have great desire, and they take defense personally and have a "me vs. you" mentality.
- Discipline: Critical to becoming an elite defender.
- Game Savvy: Reading the game, and understanding situational hitting will increase volleyball IQ and allow players to be in the right place to defend.
- Proactive attitude: Great defenders have a "next ball" attitude.
- Green light approach: Elite defensive players don't share. They have the mentality that every ball is theirs to get.
- Intrinsic motivation: Defenders don't get the credit that other players get, so they have to be motivated internally to make every play they possibly can.
Coach Lingenfelter unveils how important these characteristics are to the success of a program, and how these attributes are often contagious. Through a series of drills that reinforce these attributes, you can develop positive self-talk (even though failure), bring out the desire in players, and develop mentally tough athletes.
Have a Model and a Motto
"Bodies flying" is the motto used in the Munciana gym to articulate the expectations of the players. Coach Lingenfelter stresses how to to identify a player that models the characteristics of elite defenders, and a motto that you can sell to your players every day. Get low, stay low, play low. He defines several characteristics of great defensive teams that any coach can adopt for his or her program.
Quick Feet, Better Footwork
Players may come into your program with several different footwork patterns used to accomplish the same goal. Coach Lingenfelter shows footwork drills that players can do with little coach involvement, maximizing independent training, while still training important skills. He also stresses the importance of repetition and discipline in developing great defensive players.
From simple one-person Pit Drills where you measure a player's drive and desire, to drills using tennis balls to allow players to focus on discipline and platform angles, Coach Lingenfelter demonstrates a variety of drills that exemplify each of the characteristics of elite defenders.
You'll see several progressions that take skills from an individual setting, to a team-based outcome. Coach Lingenfelter works drills where the goal is simply to get a touch on the ball