Get Better – Change Perspective

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In the 1970s and 1980s the combination was the king of offences. Blockers watched the ‘fake’ spiker intently and tried to figure out if he was really going to spike or not. Coaches invented complicated systems to try to get a block on all players. For a while blockers stopped enough balls to win enough matches to keep the status quo.

Sometime in the 1980s, someone had the bright idea to watch the setter. After all, the setter knows where the ball is going. So blockers stopped watching the ‘fake’ spiker, stopped running around in circles, and started to block more balls. They won a few more matches and changed the status quo.

Shortly after that, someone asked the question, ‘why are we running all our spikers straight at the block and letting them have multiple blocks against us?’ So setters stopped trying to fool blockers who were no longer biting on fakes, and set the ball fast to the outsides, making blockers chase the ball. And that is still the status quo.

The point is, to paraphrase a widely misquoted comment of Albert Einstein, you can’t solve the problem you have from the same perspective you currently have. If you want to get better, to innovate, to push boundaries, to win, you have to look at problems from different perspectives. To paraphrase an often misquoted comment by John Wooden, not all change is progress, but all progress is change.

If they had ever met, I am sure a single coffee meeting would have come up with ‘If you want to progress, change your perspective’.

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