Page 15 - CoachManual-EN

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The nature of Volleyball must be understood before
we can begin to analyze systems, theory, tactics and
coaching methods in our sport. Volleyball has many
characteristics which are unique unto itself and the coach
must immerse himself in the nature of the game so that
he may be better adapt to the particular strategies and
tactics for successful play. Volleyball is characterized by
the following elements:
Volleyball is a rebound sport
This implies there is no possession of the ball by the players
with the exceptionof serving. The coachmust constantly be
concerned with training players to be in position to return
theball. The coachmust be concernedwithcontact pointson
the players’ bodies and players’ positions tomost efficiently
return the ball. In most other games, athletes possess the
ball and run while holding it. They compensate for poor
body position by the act of possession. Strength overcomes
poormovement skills. InVolleyball wemust work veryhard
to position our bodies correctly before returning the ball.
Most ball contact in Volleyball is intermediate.
There is no final contact therefore ball control is essential.
Co-operation and teamwork are vital. Once the ball is put
into play only the final attack counts. Because success
depends on the interrelationship and co-operation among
players, these qualities dominate coaching strategy
and tactical theory. And because of the overwhelming
number of intermediate contacts, the term “ball control”
dominates coaching thought.
Volleyball has a high concentration (ratio) of
people to the size of the playing field.
We have a very congested, very dense playing area and,
therefore, we need to consider the organization of players,
the organization of movements, the flow of players and
what we call balancing the court or covering the court.
The relationship of players who are next to each other in
rotation becomes critical. The interrelationship of who
plays next to who becomes a prime coaching concern.
Volleyball offers relatively little positive feedback.
The fact that there is relatively little feedback, particularly
instantaneous positive feedback, presents some difficulty
in the learning process. One of key elements of motor
learning is the immediate reward or positive feedback.
In Volleyball it is difficult for youngsters to understand
where this positive feedback is except with service aces
or attack kills. All other contact tends to be intermediate
and not positive in reinforcing capabilities particularly
in the area of defence. Blocking and back row recovery
skills require great creativity by the coaches to achieve
high performance. This is why players tend to learn
serving before passing and offensive skills and before
defensive skills.
In Volleyball the traditional roles of offence and
defence are reversed.
In Volleyball offence prevents points from being scored;
you merely achieve possession of the ball when your
offence is successful. With defence, we are attempting
to score points. Volleyball can handicap the traditionally
aggressive offence as this produces many unforced
errors and loses many points. Conversely, conservation
defence, which simply waiting for the opponent to make
a mistake, is not likely to produce success in Volleyball.
In Volleyball defence, we want to be aggressive and create
opportunities to score points. The coachmust understand
this reversal and integrate these concepts into training
and tactical presentations early in the development of
his players.
Volleyball is noticeably imbalanced between
offence and defence.
In spite of changes made by the FIVB Rules of the
Game Commission in an attempt to narrow the gap,
this imbalance stays noticeable. Perhaps more than any
other team sport in the world, Volleyball offence has a
visible advantage, and, in some ways, this negates the
reversal of normal offence and defence roles which are
structurally presented by the rules. In recent years, FIVB
has introduced two important changes in the rules of
Chapter III
Nature of Volleyball as a Team Sport
by Mr. Doug Beal, CEO USA Volleyball & former Head Coach of USA mens team
Chapter III -
Nature of Volleyball as a Team Sport
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