Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Smart Volleyball Versus Dumb Volleyball

The art of playing volleyball goes beyond physical skill and agility. In fact, the difference between victory and defeat often comes down to the players’ ability to think strategically and make the right decisions at the right time. To help you improve your game and play smarter volleyball, we have gathered insights from some of the wisest players and coaches in the sport.

Todd Rogers – Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist

On the beach, non-thinking players often try to execute difficult shots and end up missing due to the limited hitting window. However, thinking players opt for a higher percentage hit to the deep middle area of the court, which can be challenging to defend. This decision-making can create hesitation among the defenders, giving the smart player an advantage.

Don Shaw – Former Stanford Coach

Indoor volleyball requires players to adhere to a game plan. Non-thinking players might forget to execute specific strategies, even when instructed to do so. On the other hand, thinking players carefully consider the game plan and make a conscious effort to carry it out. By doing so, they contribute to the team’s success by making crucial decisions during gameplay.

Marie Zidek – Assistant Coach, University of San Diego

In indoor volleyball, thinking teammates anticipate and react to soft opponent hits, ensuring that their setter stays in a position to execute an effective offense. Conversely, non-thinking players stick to their defensive spots, allowing the setter to receive an easy first ball. By actively engaging in the game and capitalizing on the opponent’s weaknesses, thinking players maximize their team’s potential.

Bill Neville – National Commissioner for Coaching Education, USA Volleyball

Thinking servers understand that each serve presents an opportunity to put the opposing team under pressure. They carefully select their target, making it harder for the opponents to receive the serve effectively. Non-thinking servers, however, often aim for the center of the court, inadvertently giving the opposing team an advantage. Smart servers recognize the value of every serve and use it strategically.

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Andrew Fuller – Volunteer Assistant Coach, University of Southern California

Thinking players in beach volleyball reduce the variables by analyzing practice and video data. This allows them to simplify their decision-making during live action, making them faster and more efficient in their movements. Offensively, they focus on making precise passes and sets, giving themselves multiple attacking options.

Hugh McCutcheon – Former U.S. Olympic Coach

Thinking players in indoor volleyball find ways to gain a tactical advantage. When faced with unfavorable sets, they adapt their shots to maximize their chances of winning the point. Non-thinking players often struggle to manage difficult situations and make hasty decisions, which can lead to errors and missed opportunities.

Russ Rose – Head Coach, Penn State Women’s Team

Thinking players don’t let mistakes or losses affect their performance moving forward. They have the mental strength to bounce back quickly and maintain their focus, improving their chances of success.

Deitre Collins-Parker – Head Coach, San Diego State University

Thinking players proactively anticipate the actions of their opponents, simplifying the game and making it easier for themselves. Non-thinking players tend to react to situations, which can make the game more challenging.

John Kessel – USA Volleyball Director of Sport Development

Thinking players have a high volleyball IQ that comes from playing in game-like situations rather than just participating in drills. By practicing deliberate and realistic scenarios, they develop the ability to perform well in actual matches without overthinking.

Nicole Welch – Head Coach, UC Santa Barbara Women’s Team

In indoor volleyball, thinking setters carefully assess the situation before deciding whom to set. They look for mismatches and observe the movements of the opposition to optimize their setting decisions. Non-thinking setters often fall into predictable patterns, making it easier for the opposing team to read their plays.

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John Hyden – 3-time Olympian

In beach volleyball, thinking players focus on specific skills and avoid overtraining. They understand that repetitive practice helps build muscle memory, allowing them to perform skills instinctively during matches. Non-thinking players, on the other hand, rely too heavily on instinct, neglecting the benefits of focused training.

Tyler Hildebrand – Former U.S. Men’s National Team Player

Non-thinking beach players tend to believe that hand setting is a natural talent, while thinking players understand the importance of practicing and honing this skill. By dedicating time to hand setting, players can improve their overall game and enhance their ability to control the ball. In indoor volleyball, thinking players recognize that high and hard swings are not always the most effective approach. They vary their attack based on the trajectory of the set and the information they gather, creating more options for scoring points.

Holly McPeak – 3-time Beach Olympian

Thinking beach players understand the importance of positioning themselves relative to their partner, especially during passes and digs. By maintaining proper positioning, they set themselves up for successful sets and hits. Additionally, smart beach players adjust the height of the set based on the quality of the pass, allowing their hitter ample time to approach and attack.

Kayla Banwarth – U.S. Women’s National Team Libero

Thinking players rely on muscle memory during matches, trusting their extensive training to guide their instincts. Through consistent practice and mindful repetition, they develop the ability to react without hesitation, enhancing their performance during games.

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Marv Dunphy – Head Coach, Pepperdine Men’s Team

Thinking blockers in indoor volleyball understand the importance of reading the game and making quick decisions. Instead of fixating on the ball, they focus on the direction, speed, and location of the set. This allows them to position themselves effectively, maximizing their chances of making successful blocks.

David Fischer – Head Coach, University of North Carolina – Wilmington

Being a thinking defender in beach volleyball involves recognizing patterns and anticipating an attacker’s next move. While it’s important to analyze the game and strategize, it’s equally crucial to react instinctively in the heat of the moment. The best players strike a balance between thinking and reacting, allowing them to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of the game.

Q: How can I become a thinking volleyball player?

A: To become a thinking volleyball player, focus on deliberate practice in game-like situations. This will help you develop a high volleyball IQ and make better decisions on the court.

Q: What are some tips for improving my decision-making in volleyball?

A: Improve your decision-making by studying the game, analyzing video footage, and practicing scenarios that mimic real match situations. This will help you anticipate the actions of your opponents and make smarter choices during gameplay.

Smart volleyball players possess a unique ability to think strategically and make informed decisions on the court. By learning from the experiences and insights of seasoned players and coaches, you can enhance your own volleyball skills and elevate your game to new heights. Embrace the mindset of a thinking player, and watch as your performance reaches its full potential. For more information on improving your volleyball game, visit Alpinetgheep.