What Just Happened? Chapter 2

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In this video, we could choose a few things that obviously go wrong. The spiker probably makes the wrong choice of shot. Taking the ball earlier and attacking the middle blocker (for a possible recycle) or the third blocker (where there is an open seam) would have been better options. The player setting should have played the ball with his hands, and his underarm set leaves the ball off the net and inside the court, increasing the difficulty of an already difficult situation. We could also discuss the reception, technique and decision making.

But the real problem lies with the first contact on the defensive side. Firstly, the position 1 player takes a ball that is clearly not his. He is off balance and plays the ball from well outside his body. The ball ends up in just about the worst position from which a spiker can receive a set. Secondly, and even more crucially, the player in position 1 is the setter. Every time the setter takes the first ball, he decides that the following attack will be a high ball, and reduces the chance of winning the point by somewhere between 11%-20%** depending on the quality of the first contact. In this case we should be able to assume that the first contact would have at least been good enough for the setter to play fast to the outsides.

For effective transition play, the first contact is crucial. And yes, it is even worse for the setter to take a free ball.


**Using the Science Untangled reporting app, in PlusLiga the rally win rate in transition for different attack types is:
– High ball 55.7%
– Fast ball 67.3%
– Pipe 72.1%
– First tempo 75.6%


The total of 82 practical Coaching Tips can be found here and here.


Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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