Every coach or volleyball ‘expert’ knows that the best place to watch volleyball is from behind the court. From there you can most easily see the movement of the players and the ball. Knowing this coaches will always drift towards the back of the court to watch. Whether it’s at a match they’re spectating or scouting or in their own practice. I know in my own case that I tend to feel uncomfortable at practice if I am not behind the court. But coaches should beware of always drifting to that spot.
One excellent reason is that during a match, the coach never stands behind the court. The instructor at a coaches course I once attended told us that just as the players have to practice for a match, so too must the coach and therefore should stand at the side of the court as much as possible during practice. You have to learn to interpret the play from the position you will be in during the game. Back in the old, old days, I even went to the extreme of pulling out a chair a couple of times to get that specific perspective.
Another reason is that although the behind the court position gives the best view of the game, it is still not a complete view. I personally sometimes find it difficult to accurately gauge spiking power from behind the court if I am even a little bit elevated. But the most compelling reason to gain a different perspective, is that it can fill in some of the gaps in understanding that you have. At the recent cup final, I found myself in a seat on the side of the court, at about the 3m line. Although not the traditional optimal position I actually learnt some relatively minor things that nevertheless allowed me to much better understand the defensive system of one of our playoff opponents. With that extra (and non ‘traditional’) information at hand, we were able to develop some opponent specific tactics that helped us enormously in the playoffs.
Of course, I am not saying that if you sit beside the court you will win. But maybe you can learn something that will help you on your way.
Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.