I have had and heard several discussions in recent years about the current ball handling rules that allow ‘double hits’ on the first contact. What I often hear is that the game has become less skillful and ‘dumbed down’. I find these statements to be utterly at odds with my personal experience. Volleyball players are far more skilled than they have ever been in the past. Twenty years ago it was easy to produce an aesthetically pleasing underarm pass in very large part because the serve took several seconds to arrive at its target. In 2014 serving is many degrees more difficult, especially the jump float serve. When I watch women’s volleyball I am constantly astounded at how they can receive at all. I would contend that the technical proficiency required to receive those serves is extremely high, although it doesn’t seem to meet the aesthetic requirements of some.
Just because a particular technique becomes legal it does not mean it is automatically better and it definitely does not mean that coaches are required to use it. The reality is that at the highest level the ability to successfully perform an underarm pass continues to be an essential requirement. All players should learn and be proficient at it. However, I understand that many coaches teach their young players to receive serve in the first instance with an overhand pass, leading to the ‘unskillful’ and ‘dumbed down’ comments of appointed judges… er, spectators. As I wrote in my last post, it is vital to remember that the coach controls his own training environment. It is the coach who decides which techniques to teach his players and at what stage in the development.
So if you are unhappy with the technical (and aesthetic) level of the players, don’t blame the rules…
… blame the coaches.
Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.