Short characterization RUSSIA





2000 - 2008


OG 2000






WCH 2002






WC 2003






OG 2004



GAMOVA, Ekaterina



WCH 2006





KABESHOVA, Ekaterina (L)

WC 2007






OG 2008




General remarks

·         Impressive metamorphosis from an unsatisfactory 7th rank in the 2008 Olympic Games to defend the 2006 world title.

·         The superior performance capacity, an unshakeable self-consciousness and the „definite“ will to win were turned into a stable application of all physical-conditional, psychic-motivational and technical-tactical elements of modern top volleyball which the team even was able to enhance in crucial situations of the whole World Championship tournament. Even though such comparisons always are quite relative - in that World Championship we experienced the best Russian team ever.

·         The basis for this superior performance of the team (mean age 26,1 years, mean body height without libero 191 cm) was the extraordinary level of performance of the long-standing top players Shashkova und Gamova (both in the “shape of their life”) and the reliable performance of Borodakova (quick attacker) and Kryuchkova (libero) who also could make use of their experience in former World Championships.

·         Three to four internationally inexperienced players (as for example of the main setter Startseva and the 22 years’ old attacker Kosheleva) showed comparable perfor-mance, which was another key to success.

·         Stable final starting rotation for the whole tournament, short term supplements to implement selected tactical goals (service, serve reception, block, double supplementation) – which were applied often in the final stage of a set.



·         Tactically clever performance in the service in the majority of the cases as powerful distance or approach floats (2-4 steps) and as jump floats with quick approaching steps. No. 5 Shashkova’s controlled, tactically very aim directed jump services with several spin variations were almost perfect. Use of different service positions.

·         Effective and reliable performance in the service. Rank 2 in team-ranking (7% Aces / 7% Faults) and rank 6 by Shashkova in Best Servers Ranking (10% Aces / 14% Faults). 



·         Adaptation of the serve reception formation in accordance with the opponent’s service tactics:

·         In case of jump spin power serve: Formation with 3 players (in one line in the back yard), sometimes a quickly changing 2+1 formation (to ease the load for the outside attacker).

·         In case of standing floats and jump floats: depending on the situation a flowing change between formations with 3 and 3 players and changing starting positions for the service (orientation more towards the attacking line).

·         Calm actions with reliable anticipation of the location of the next actions and very stable serve reception technique as a result of serve reception training. Well established part of the technical stock of actions and precise application of serve reception from above (Libero: Nr.7 Kryuchkova, Attacker Nr. 5 Shashkova).

·         Extraordinary total performance (Team-Ranking Rank 2: 52% + / 5% -) as perfect basis of the sideout attacking actions in general. 78% of all actions by the libero (Ind. Ranking Rank 3: 60% + / 4% -) and attacker Shashkova (Ind. Ranking 6th 57% + / 5% -), supported by No. 15 Kosheleva (54% + / 6% -), neutralize any action of the op-ponents service tactics.


Set / Attack - Complex I and Complex II

·         Major setter No. 13 Startseva and Nr.12 Ulyakina, played their first WC/OG with a confincing performance and a well balanced and effective distribution of passes as well as with a compact playing style. The underhand setting was consciously applied a basis tech-nique.

·         Set distribution C1: Domination of high and (medium-high) quick passes to position 4, in addidtion and in depence of the situation a similar share of quick attacks in front of and behind the setter were played as well as back court attacks (pos.1/6).

·         Set distribution C2: The team preferred to arrange attacks via the outside positions (P4!) on the basis of high passes resp. medium-high speed passes and via the back court (pos.6); in individual cases variable pass distribution as part of quick attacks (freeball situation).

·         Especially effektive attack variations: C1 - quick attacks pos.4, quick attack behind the setter, back court P1/P6; C2 - attack P4 and back court attack.

·         Extraordinary team performance (Rank 1: 51% + / 10% -) with 3 players among the Top Four of individual ranking, they performed 75% of all attacks which was important for the overall team performance.

·         Major features of attack arrangement: Physical superiority during the whole tourna-ment (quick footwork, spiking power, height of actions), great variability and efficiency of attacking techniques, perfect adaptation of setting arrangement to the individiually strong points of the attackers.


Block / Defense

·         Well organised and effective block/field defense system.

·         Effective application of all forms of blocking actions, good adaptation of the block formation in dependence of the position of the opponent’s setter (in front/behind) and of the attacking variant resp. attacking position (block with 3 to fight back court attacks).

·         Quick movements close to the net and compact arrangement of block formations (timing, height, reliable block shadow) – Presupposition for the arrangement of an adaptive position defense with high options of success even for the tall players.

·         Basic structure of field defense: Pos.6 back / without or with block guard by field players from pos.1 and pos.5.

·         Reinforced defense in case of diagonal attacks (2, sometimes even 3 players), defense against backcourt attacks without guard for the approaching covering and with several players close together for the attack guard with the ability for quick reactions with a flexible (2-2-1) - basic formation as an important component of field defense tactics.

·         Diagonal player in the back court on pos.6, libero acting efficiently on pos. 5 with a very good anticipation of the location of the action.

·         Almost equal to BRA being second in block-ranking (21% kills / 29% faults), both block players (25% kills / 28% faults) among the TOP 10 of individual ranking, team performance in field defense on average level.