What Just Happened? – Part 4

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Tagged What Just Happened?, Readiness

In Part 1 of this series, we watched a clip in which the action looked like a ‘non effort’ but was really miscommunication. In this clip, we see an action that looks like a maximum effort but is really a lack of readiness. And we know that readiness is more important than effort.

In the above video, we see the setter set to position 4 and then make a massive effort to cover the subsequently blocked attack. We might assume that he has done everything he could to get to the ball. However, we know that we must watch not only the action, but also the movements before the action to see where the error might have been made. In this case what we see is the setter take several small, almost imperceptible (unless you are using your Magic Eye) steps backwards, assume a ready position and then dive forwards. By a rough reckoning if he had stayed in the position he was when he set the ball, at the very least the ball would have bounced off his foot. If he had stayed in that position and assumed a ready position, the ball would quite possibly have bounced off his arms.

As coaches we have to pay attention to all aspects of the play. It is tempting to praise effort at face value, but if we praise misplaced effort we actually hinder our players’ development and indirectly encourage such things as the ‘coach’s dive‘.

A lot of volleyball happens below the surface of what we see. If we dig a little, we can find a lot of useful information.


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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