Effort Or Readiness?

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“Go for it!!!”

“Hit the floor!!!”

“Make an effort!!!”

Those words and dozens of variations of them are heard every day in every volleyball gym in the world and penalties in the form of extra work are distributed to those who do not heed them.  But are we actually seeing lack of effort?  How many times do coaches think they see lack of effort, but are in reality seeing lack of readiness or preparation?  Turn the video back three seconds and look again.  Does the quick hitter not go for the cover ball because he is lazy, or because he is not in a ready position early enough?  Do the defender not go for the ball because he is lazy or because he is still moving from the primary to the secondary position and is therefore just too late?

Of course, there are many instances of genuine lack of effort by players in defence, but when providing the necessary feedback to players we need to be precise on what and where the fault lay.  And very often the cause of the fault is not a lack of effort per se but a lack of readiness.

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IMG_2339Photo © Eckhard Herfet


  1. I remember getting angry at coaches telling me I hadn’t made an effort when I was off balance moving the wrong way. I always felt an effort in that situation would make the situation worse (roll an ankle, twist a knee etc)


    1. Yes, the feedback should have been on why you were moving in the wrong direction.
      Funnily enough just yesterday at practice exactly that situation happened and my very first thought was ‘I bet there are a lot of coaches who would get on the player for not going for that ball’. Weird, eh?


  2. The coach has to prepare the players to do what he is expecting from them. Day by day, little by little. Most of the time players are afraid of the situation. Ones they get used to it, it starts to work, but it takes time and a lot of patience.


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