At the USA Volleyball High Performance Coach’s Clinic in 2015, French National Team coach Laurent Tillie caused quite some consternation amongst participants by explaining a reception technique that emphasised bent arms and cross over footwork. It occurs to me that many who were so concerned have not seen his team using this technique. Last week I had the very great pleasure to watch the French team attempt to qualify for the Olympics, and to see how they used these ideas in practice.
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I don’t want to editorialise in this forum so have simply transcribed (as best as possible) Tillie’s exact words, and then included a video of the French team in action. This link shows a perfect example of the cross step that Tillie discusses, demonstrated by the great Scott Touzinsky.
“The arms are relaxed. From this position, go to the ball and think only of the orientation of the platform. And finish the movement (shows cross step movement)….
(For float serve reception) Usually we ask to have straight arms and move the shoulders. If the ball comes fast and you stay (with straight arms) the ball goes away. So we try to work bending the arms. Bending the arms it is easier to control the platform, gain time and be ready to bring the ball to the setter.”
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