Teaching Volleyball Skills In Las Vegas

Volleyball Lessons, Skill Breakdown and Technique Analysis
by Coach April Chapple


I love teaching volleyball skills. 

I was taught by really good players and coaches and what I learned

from them, worked!


At all levels of play.


Starting from when  I was just beginning high school  and

attended USVBA club practices with the Sato family to.. .

(youngest Sato, two-time Olympic gold medalist Eric was my first

pepper partner) ...when I found myself on the same team as three-time

Olympian Paula Weishoff in Italy and our team was led by a young

unknown coach who up to that point had only coached in lower level

Serie B..


We ended up in the finals of the Italian championships, the Cup

of Cups championships (Coppa delle Coppe) and the finals of the

Italian Cup.  


This sport has taken me to almost all the fifty states and to many many

places all over the world. 


I've been lucky to watch up close, photograph, talk to and be coached

by some of the greatest coaches in the sport and play with or against

some of the best players to EVER play the game. 



Its been fun to learn the game, and learn how to compete and win...at

high levels of competition. 


At this point in my life, I have a really good time sharing my knowledge

with younger players.  From those that are here in Las Vegas to the USA

High Performance kids I get to be involved with every summer, to kids

who come to my Volleyball Voice Boot Camp classes and clinics to

those I train privately. 


Teaching volleyball skills based on the elite training I received and

giving back to the sport whether I'm in the gym or through what I share

on this site is one of my favorite things to do.  With that said...


...let's get started! You came here to improve your volleyball skills so let

me tell you about some important things you'll find here on my site that

will help you do just that. 


Teaching Volleyball Skills About Serving


I love to teach serving in volleyball. There's a reason.  

I loved scoring points with my serves when I played. It saved time and

effort, don't laugh! If you don't HAVE to play defense, then why do it!


As a player, once I was told that serving was the first opportunity a player

had to score a point for their team, that's when I started spending a ton

of time working on my serving skills. 


Could there have been a little ego involved?

Probably, just a smidge. 

The serve is an opportunity for a player to go back to the service line and

literally win the game from there. If you can serve 15 balls in a row or 25

whatever you are playing to..by the rules of the game, one player could

win the game for their team!

So I thought, Okay, why not try that every time I went back to serve?



Does it happen, yes it does.

I've been on the court when someone (okay not someone...Olympian

Mary Jo Pepplerhas served 14 balls in a row when we were down 3-14,

so yes it can be done. 


Serving the ball is the one skill in volleyball where a player can score a

point all by themselves. So why not try?

At least, your goal should be to become that player who can be

counted upon to consistently score a series of points from the service

line. 


That's how tough the serve you want to develop should become and

that's how dependable you want to be for your team. 

A point scoring machine from the end line every time you go back to

serve the ball. 


Learn to score points with your serve, or just learn the basics along with

other important information  in the articles listed below. 


Learn important tips for the overhand serve.  

Find the definition and explanation of the let serve, service error, overhand serve and other commonly used terms regarding a player and how they serve the ball 

I talk about why the serve is so important and how you can use it to quickly gain an advantage over the opposing team.

Three rules to remember when performing the floater serve

Learn where to serve the ball, in what zones on the court and when to serve there along with other serving strategies. 


Teaching Volleyball Skills About Setting


When it comes to setting I think everyone should have a good

touch and feel for the ball, regardless of what position you play in.


Players who are non-setters should regularly work on setting technique

getting regular reps with a partner or against the wall.  

They should also remember to develop arm strength so they can

practice setting long distances.



In other words, work on the ability to set the ball long distances away,

from antenna to antenna or from one side of the court to the other so

that, when that moment comes, you know THAT moment...when your

setter is running for a ball and she twists her ankle.


And there's no one else to set the ball on your team.  Well, in your case,

there actually is someone, right? 


Someone who's capable of setting the ball to the outside hitter because

they practiced it already. How about if that someone were you? 


When teaching volleyball skills we do many types of setting drills for

accuracy, to build strength and for consistency. Learn more in the

articles below.


Tips for young players to use immediately to self check their setting technique when practicing alone or at home. 


Teaching Volleyball Skills About Blocking


Blocking is important, even if you are short and still have to play in the

front row on your team. Doesn't matter! You can still contribute as a front

row defender which is basically what a blocker is.


Learning how to block a volleyball is important because that wall that

you put up with your hands is the first line of defense your team has, to try

and keep the ball on your opponent's side of the court, once your team

has served the ball.


Here are articles that teach volleyball blocking skills...


Teaching Volleyball Skills About Passing


There are two skills you must conquer if you are going to even think

about playing competitive volleyball, the first is serving, the second is

passing. 



I'll make this easy, if you can't pass, you can't play.

Passing the ball is a technical skill that can take a minute to learn but you

need to  keep doing consistent reps to stay sharp.


Whether against the wall at first and then live passing on the court, which

is what we do at Stupak Community  Center, you can train yourself to get

better.


When teaching volleyball skills here are the things my players learn

to do and how to do it even better in the articles below:


The first contact in a team's offense, once the ball has been served into their court by the opponent, learn how to make contact and how to control this ball.

Here's an extensive breakdown of instructions for the volleyball forearm pass.


Teaching Volleyball Skills About Digging


Man, I love defense. I love digging. Actually I had to learn to love to dig

because I'm six feet tall and have been since high school.


It wasn't until college when I played at the University of Knoxville under

Bob Bertucci and trained also with  Penn State head coach Russ

Rose that I learned how to enjoy playing defense as a tall player  in

the back row. 


Regardless of your height, you can learn to dig and you can learn to

love it!


When you and your five players are on the defensive side, you need to

block the ball which keeps the ball from crossing the net back

into your court, or if the ball does get past the block, then someone on

your team has to dig a ball.


When teaching volleyball skills for digging let's start with the articles

below. 


Definition Of Team Defense and the Volleyball Dig

Learn individual defense terms that will help you understand how to dig a volleyball consistently

Learn more individual defensive skills and techniques that will improve how you dig a volleyball up or to your setter

You dont always have to rely on digging with your hands to dig a ball legally and to the target

Learn what to say and when to say it when you are in the backrow or are blocking for your team. 

Here are the rules you absolutely cannot forget when playing team or individual defense


Teaching Volleyball Skills About Spiking 


Of course I save the best for last.

Because what every future Olympian player wants to learn is how to

spike a volleyball, right? 


That's the most common question I get.

How can I spike like a pro player? When can we hit? 

Well you can't think about hitting until you get the ball over the net and

then pass it or receive serve. 


So there's that. Then... your setter has to get to the second ball so she can

set you.

So basically three other skills have to be done correctly before you can

even begin to think about a spike approach. 


But since we are here talking about spiking, find out below what I

recommend  when I'm teaching volleyball skills for hitting a ball.


Learn these volleyball spike training tips that pros use to spike a volleyball aggressively for points

Learn these volleyball hit options when practicing how to spike a volleyball

Learn what tools you can use to improve your hitting game and develop into a reliable point scoring spiker 

Volleyball hit tips for players learning how to spike a ball effectively.


Coach April Chapple 
Teaching Volleyball Skills in Vegas


Learn more about Coach April Chapple....

  • Has been teaching volleyball skills to high school and middle school athletes both boys and girls for the past 7 years after moving to Las Vegas in 2006. 
  • In the last four years 14 players have been chosen to play on USA Volleyball High Performance teams, one in the USA High Performance Championships
  • All Volleycats Elite VBC club teams have finished in the gold and no lower than silver divisions of the Southern California Volleyball Association Power League
  • Volleycats Elite Panthers earned Silver medal at 2015 SCVA Summer Soiree 
  • Volleycats Elite Tigers earned Bronze medal at 2017 AAU West Coast Championships 
  • From 1996 - 2000 coached coaches  as the "Five Quick Tips" regular columnist for the American Volleyball Coaches (AVCA) Association bi-monthly "Coaching Volleyball" magazine.
  • 2012   Las Vegas High School - Freshmen Boys team - later as seniors finished as Nevada state championship runners up in 2016
  • 2013 - 2017 Volleycats Elite VBC - Club Director


Journalist 


  • author of over 100 published articles online and off teaching volleyball skills about playing and coaching elite volleyball. 


Author, Writer


  • contributing writer for publications: Active.com, CapitalOneCup.com, Las Vegas Sports magazine, Volleyball Magazine, USA Volleyball Magazine, e-sports.com 
  • websites: Improve Your Volleyball formerly Inspiring Female Volleyball Players.com, Volleyball Voices. The Volleyball Voice and Volleycats Elite.com 
  • e-booklets: "How To Stop Serving Like A Wimp" and 86 Girls Volleyball Tips:How To Gain Confidence on the Court.


Photography


  • photographed some of the top international players in the world
  • work has been published in many of the top Italian magazines and publications
  •  MAX, Corriere dello Sport, the cover of the Gazzetto dello Sport magazine, the Gazzetta di Vicenza, and all three Italian volleyball magazines.


Hall of Fame, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


  • Four time All American
  • the first four-year volleyball Hall of Fame Inductee at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Inglewood, California native is a former US National Team member who represented the US in indoor women's professional Italian league for eight years


Professional Volleyball Player


  • finalist Italian League Championships
  • finalist Italian Cup Tournament
  • finalist European Cup of Cup (Coppa delle Coppe) Tournament
  • first round draft pick and First Team All Pro - Major League Volleyball - New York Liberties
  • first round draft pick and First Team All Pro- Team Champion -Budlight Fours (ESPN) - 


Beach Volleyball


  • Voted Budlight Four Person best Left Side Hitter
  • (WPVA) Womens Pro Beach Volleyball Association member
  • (AVP) Association of Volleyball Professionals
  • (FIPAV)Italian 3x3 Beach Champion
  • (CBVA) California beach Volleyball Association-earned #1 ranking
  • (FIVB) #80 ranked in the world
  • played in FIVB and AVP events w/ four-time Olympian Danielle Scott Arruda
  • Manhattan Beach Six Man - won first place title twice

Former teammates include three-time Olympian, Olympic MVP and silver medalist and current UC Irvine coach Paula Weishoff, two-time Olympian Elaina Oden, her sister two-time Olympic team captain Kim Oden, three-time Olympian and USA Volleyball team captain Tammy Liley, AVP Beach volleyball pro Dianne Shoemaker DeNecochea, WPVA standout Heather Hafner along with beach legends and Olympians Karolyn Kirby, Liz Masakayan, Mary Jo Peppler and many European, Asian and South American Olympians and World Champions. 


  • travelled the world as an elite professional indoor and beach volleyball professional for 30+ years
  • coached by some of the top volleyball coaches in the world including Taras Lyskevich, Russ Rose, Mick Haley, Bob  Bertucci, Claudio Piazza, Mary Jo Peppler, Nina Matthies, Elaine Roque, Mark Barber, Part Zartman, Joel DeNocochea,  Claudio Cuello, Claudio Cattani, to name a few

2014

  • Club Director, Volleycats Elite VBC 

2015 

2016

  • USA Indoor Girls HP - Tryouts in Los Angeles April 11 - Lead Evaluator - Setters
  • USA Indoor Girls HP - Tryouts in Los Angeles April 17 - Lead Evaluator - Setters
  • Assistant Coach for the USAV Youth Continental Team Program at the USA High Performance Championships, Ft. Lauderdale, FL from July 14 - 24, 2016. 
  • Club Director, Volleycats Elite VBC

2017

Web Author, Improve Your Volleyball





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The Volleyball Voice

Boot Camp Class, Clinics and  Competition

Stupak Recreation Center, 251 W. Boston, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89142

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