…you make an ass (arse) out of u (you) and me.
Everybody knows that.
In a cooperative world, within a team for example, that is undoubtedly true. Otherwise the world would not have been blessed with that particular pithy cliche. However, in a competitive world, the sports world for example, the reality is a little different. I would suggest that in that world, when you assume, you lose. In addition, assumption leads to doing things the way they have always been done. Assumption stifles innovation. Assumption leads people to accept conventional wisdom.
Some things about volleyball that we should not assume…
Digs lead to points
Attacking leads to points. Digs can lead to attacks, but not necessarily. The quality of digs is a greater indicator of the number of points than the dig itself.
More blocks means better blocker
It might, but equally it might not. I’ve written about blocking statistics here. I have some evidence that seems to suggest that in at least one case, the middle blocker with the most blocks (points and touches) may actually create the least total break points for the team.
Practice is good but the players can’t perform in matches
By definition, if players do not perform at the expected level during a match something in the preparation was lacking. And if technique ‘breaks down’, logically either the appropriate technique has not been trained or the technique has been trained poorly.
Free balls are automatic points
I have written about free balls here. When I first learnt that my team was less successful at scoring from free balls than from service reception (even controlling for quality) I thought I had a weird team. After the last World Championships, it was discovered to the shock of many (and the relief of one), that it was actually standard.
Including this blog post.
But one thing is certain, if you assume anything, your opponent has an advantage.