The season is filled with opportunities to win and lose during tournament play. Most clubs organize some sort of scrimmage or intra-club competition early in the season to prepare their teams for the first tournament, so when it’s time to play to 25, their players stay calm and collected. However, there are many ways to incorporate competition into your training on a regular basis so your athletes are used to competing hard and winning a close battle.
Here are 12 creative scoring ideas to encourage competitive practices:
#1 Wash Drills
Wash scoring terminology varies from coach to coach, and I define a “wash” as anytime the score goes to zero because of a negative product on the court. The most common use of washes for me is when a team fails to touch a ball before it hits the ground. Another common item that I “wash” the score with is when a team does not call mine. Be creative with this, and you will add that element of single item focus that is needed in all drills.
- Small Points and Big Points – One way of incorporating “washes” within drills is to create drills with small points and big points. One of my favorite games is called 7 small 3 big. The goal of the game is to win 3 big points. Big points are won by getting 7 small points. These small points can be “washed” if a team does something that you have defined as a “wash.” The big points are safe from being “washed.” As the number of small points increases, and the team moves closer to a big point there is added pressure to stay focused on making sure not to get washed.
- Multiple of 10 Washes – I have some drills in which points accumulate fairly quickly (games played to 50 points). When this happens, I like to wash points to the nearest multiple of 10. In other words, if the score is 27, and the team is washed, the new score would be 20.
#2 Virginia Math
This was named after one of our managers who came up with this scoring method. Every time the ball goes over the net we count the times it crosses. If at the end of the rally the ball goes over 7 times, then the winner of the rally gets 7 points. It is a nice thinking drill, and also adds pressure to the rally as it goes longer.
I usually use this concept in a 4v4 warm-up game (with Neville rotation, Multiple of 10 Washes, and Virginia Math – it seems like a lot but they catch on fairly quick). You can eliminate players for whatever item that you are working on, and I usually do this with talking. I have…