This book features 24 chapters authored by as many experienced, successful coaches from the ranks of Juniors, high school, collegiate, and national team levels - even beach. The editors have broken the book down into five sections:
Coaching Priorities and Principles
Program Building and Management
Innovative and Effective Practice Sessions
Individual Skills and Team Tactics
Game-Winning and Tournament Winning Strategies
Not surprisingly, perhaps, the Skills & Tactics section is the biggest with nine chapters covering all the major facets of volleyball skills and systems of play. The Program section comes in second with five, three of which focus specifically on collegiate, club, or high school volleyball programs in specific. The Practice section has four chapters which cover practice planning, drill development, teaching methods, and volleyball conditioning.
In the technical chapters there are things some readers will no doubt disagree with in terms of mechanics, focal points, or whatever. That's going to happen in any book where such things are discussed, though. I personally really liked the setting chapter which spends much of its time talking about the mental side of setting and what it takes to be a good one.
There are specific drill sections included in the Serving and Blocking chapters. A couple of the other skill chapters mention drills as well. This is definitely not a volleyball drill book, however.
The bookend sections each have three chapters. The Priorities one focuses largely on the mental and behavioral side of coaching in terms of setting goals, handling yourself with the various people and groups you will interact with along the way. The last section on Strategies, as it's name suggests, focuses on getting the most out of your teams in competition when game day comes.
Naturally, when you're talking about a book comprising contributions for multiple authors you're going to have variation in writing style and voice. That's certainly true here. Some are quite well written and very engaging, while others are less so.
It must be noted that since the book was published in 2002 it in several place reflects the transition going on from sideout to rally scoring taking place in US volleyball during that period. Different levels of play adapted rally scoring at different times, so there are references to sideout scoring in places through the text, especially in the sections where offense is being discussed. This may incline the reader to think the material dated, and certainly there are a couple of points made which are not really relevant in the modern game. They are minor, though, and do not detract from the overall value of the book.
Admittedly, there are a couple of chapters under the Program Building and Management section with a very US-centric view, which may make them a bit less useful than other chapters for those outside the States. Even here, though, there are some bits worth latching on to - like John Dunning's discussion on how the focus of a team or program must be the players and Tom Pingel's very detailed (and action oriented) look at how to develop a successful club program. Yes, the latter has the US Juniors system as its foundation, but in my experience the details and issues involved in running clubs are common no matter where you go.
There is one rather quirky element to the book, at least to my sense of things. It's the drawings used to show the mechanics of the skills discussed in those chapters - at least some of them. They are quite reminiscent of the style of illustrations from much older coaching books. I'm not saying they don't do the job, because they do. It's just that they strike me as a bit antiquated in style.
One of my favorite chapters is Pete Waite's "Competitive Edge" one. It is largely dedicated to addressing the mental and emotional side of training, competition, and general player/team management (Waite later authored Aggressive Volleyball).
Jim Coleman's "scouting & evaluating" chapter could have your head spinning. It addresses volleyball statistics in ways I'm sure most coaches have never really considered them before.
Personally, as a more experienced coach I found the chapters which focus on planning, philosophy, and management the most interesting and valuable. Were I less experienced, the skills and systems chapters would no doubt be of considerable value, but then the other material might be less so. As a result, perhaps the best way to look at The Volleyball Coaching Bible is as a long-term reference that can be used to different ends as one develops as a coach.