Please see photos to see what critiques look like
I've coached for over 10 years at a variety of levels including varsity and club. These forms have helped me develop line-ups, make decisions, and have the data to back up my decisions with confidence. The knowledge and documentation almost eliminated parent questioning as well as giving more feedback to my athletes so they know what to focus on for improvement.
I have the athletes get with a partner where they are tossing “perfect” tosses right to them. Partners should be critiquing them and telling them to push the ball up to them (one arm length away from net) and a lofty pass. I score each pass as either:
- Right to the setter, one-ball worthy.
- Setter had to move to get it, but could still have a decent settable outcome.
- Shank, miss, too low, any error that results in a freeball or deadball scenario.
I tend to be semi-strict on the scoring for this. These are Perfect tosses, so this should come with high expectations. I Then score how many out of 10 and how many are perfect.
This is open for you to use as you please. There are 30 boxes that you can use. Sometimes I score based on the position they serve to, or even make challenges asking them to aim. Other times I just say start serving and I track their accuracy. You can feel free to mark each serve as an ACE quality, normal serve, or error. I have 2 levels of error; out & net. I like to know what type of error I’m working with when I go to work with an individual later. These percentages are great to show the kids and to help me/you know what the areas of weakness are. If someone is 100% serving but not going for an ace, maybe thats what I should be working with them on in practice.
This is a much higher level critique sheet. The results from this greatly impact my lineup and decision making, because these are game like results. I am careful on serve receive to try and have the same servers serving at all the girls I’m critiquing. This helps me get more realistic results. For digs I usually stand on a chair and hit at the girls (or have another player/coach execute for me). I also have a blank area for critique in case I want to work on digging out of net or tips. I’ve used this area for many things.
Whether I am critiquing my setters or not, I have them go through this footwork almost daily. Sometimes they will fill the critique form out for each other to help with feedback. Generally a setter isn’t fighting for a position so these critiques don’t weigh the same weight. I use this for feedback and to ensure they are practicing each scenario/position when working on setting. This also shows them what areas they need to improve on, or are already improving in!
Please keep in mind that I don’t do this each day in practice. This is something I do at the beginning of a season, and try to do every 2-3 weeks or as needed. Feedback and data are so important!