Coaching Tip Of The Week #22

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22 be specific

“Be specific’

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to a coach that the words you use when you provide information and / or feedback are important.  Sometimes words that have the same or very similar meanings in normal use, can be interpreted completely differently by players with different perspectives, i.e. all of them.  Or a specific word focuses attention on a different part of the action than you mean to.  Perhaps this is most easily explained using examples.

Example #1 – Middle blockers’ timing.  It is common to hear that middle blockers need to be faster in attack.  It is true that the first tempo attack must be fast.  That is the point of it.  But if a middle blocker is too late getting to the attack position and jumping, they don’t need to be faster.  The more specific instruction is to be earlier.

Example #2 – Read blocking.  The most basic blocking technique is read blocking.  That is the middle watches the setter’s hands, reads where the ball goes and then goes to the spiker who will attack.  So it is normal that if the middle makes a bad decision, the coach will tell them they need to read better.  The more specific instruction is to watch the hands better.

Think about what exactly you mean, and be specific.


The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.


For more great coaching tips, check out the Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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