Canonical volleyball instruction begins with the mechanical form of the athlete, because it derives from assuming certain physical characteristics of the player: that they are young, mobile, of a certain minimum height and composition. Among coaches recruiting for competitive school programs, having these features are desirable, but this target group is a minority of the world’s population.
This contrasts strongly with how beach volleyball is played around the world: it’s one of the most popular participatory team sports in the world, enjoyed by all manner of people. It’s played by the young, the old, in locales far from the beach, and creates communities that lasts generations. Although the media focus tends to be on the “elite” player, a vast forest of beach volleyball enthusiasts ultimately support and propagate the sport.
VolleySensei is created to bring beach volleyball instruction to this diversity of human forms and situations – Volleyball For The Rest of Us.
- Everybody plays. Short of complete blindness, beach volleyball is accessible to everyone. If necessary, we modify the rules to adapt to the athlete. We respect the uniqueness of the player, and we build communities to uphold this respect. We celebrate the diversity of athletes.
- Evidence-based coaching General coaching culture is heavily reliant on reputation and tradition, but we base our instruction on the respect of science and evidence. Understanding the reasoning – the why of an instruction – is the foundation, not the option.
- Play the long game We care about the majority of players, not just the ones on top. And we recognize the potential of each person to grow into the athlete they can be. Beach volleyball is a lifelong activity; we train for longevity as well as skill.
- Progression endures We don’t promise quick fixes or shortcuts. Steady progression through a regimen is how any particular skill is established, not just because of the basic understanding of the technique, but also including all the small unconscious reflexes, and steadily built strength that accompanies the actions. It’s not always easy, but when earned, it stays.