03. 05. 2020

By Mark Lebedew: Could They Play Now?

Source: marklebedew.com; Photo:CEV

Author: Mark Lebedew

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I have been watching some old matches from the 1980s and 1990s and trying to imagine how and where some of those players might fit into the current.  A lot of players from the 1980s are not big enough or athletic enough to have a natural home in 2020.  A couple of players I thought would thrive and indeed might even be better 35 years later were Karch Kiraly and Aleksander Savin.


Karch was a great receiver and a great athlete. His height would not have been an issue and he would have been able to hit a fast ball.

Savin would have been as effective in attack now as then.  With his athleticism he would have benefited enormously from the improvements in block technique and tactics.  Given that he would never have had to receive or spike high balls, he would spend more time doing the things that he was great at.

Which brings me to Bas van de Goer. He would have been a great player in every era, but what position would he have played if he had been born 20 years later? I suspect NOT middle blocker.


About Mark Lebedew:

Mark Lebedew authors the At Home on the Court Blog. He coaches professionally in Poland, in season 2019/20 with Aluron Virtu CMC Warta Zawiercie. That follows five seasons Germany where his Berlin Recycling Volleys won three straight league titles and a CEV Champions League bronze medal. He has prior professional experience in Belgium and Italy. Mark was also Head Coach for the Australian Men’s National Team. 

Mark partnered with his brother and father to translate and publish "My Profession: The Game", the last book by legendary Russian coach, Vyacheslav Platonov. 

With John Forman, he is behind the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project (link http://volleyballcoachingwizards.com/) which identifies great coaches from all levels, making their experience, insights, and expertise available to people all over the world. The project has produced multiple books, a in e-book format available here ( link to http://bit.ly/34yakou ) or in print at Amazon here (link https://amzn.to/2JRqTE6)




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1 Comments about "By Mark Lebedew: Could They Play Now?"

03.05.2020 | 23:04 |   John Doek [unregistered]

K. Kiraly” - the same hight , a similar style as M. Kubiak, who is a key player of a successful Polish NT… I agree that K. Kiraly would be a world star even nowadays, and not only for fast balls. He was a very complex player. (But also now there is similar prodigy, even smaller, Y. Nishida.) As far as ” A. Savin” I suppose he was an excellent athlete. This generation, Soviet NT had several players on similar level .. I had seen them twice personaly.. However this time Soviet NT already used the outdated volleyball system. Although some NTs introduced BCAs , Soviets had hesitated with this element, also with new types of the serves, underestimated a field defence etc. So that he could not show all his abilities, and finished a career too soon... He did not carry out BCAs as Dutch “Bas van de Goer” or US S. Timmons, whose a main position was also MB.. As far as B. Goer, he was a versatile, mobile, real universal athlete . Even now he could have been the world star on 3 positions: opposite, OH, or MB. It would be difficult to find even now a similar player ....

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FIVB releases new men’s and women’s world rankings

Serbian women had poor results in 2019 vnl (5W-10L) which has cost them to drop the 6th place.

Turkish women had 11W-4L in 2019 vnl. And beat China in final round though later lost to them in semifinal, it's still plus for them because you win more points defeating an opponent above you but lose less points when you are defeated.


FIVB releases new men’s and women’s world rankings

This is more laughable :) In 2017 turkey was the 12th country in old ranking list
behind the 11th argentina.Then the turks played eurovolley 2017 semifinal (took
bronze) and then vnl 2018 final, vnl 2019 semifinal, eurovolley 2019 final and won
the 2020 european olympic qualification tournament. After all of these,they were
still the 12th team behind the 11th argentina.:D:D:D

Of course the new rankings are more realistic and fairer,I think,but plz note they are not to tell which NT is stronger but to reflect potentials of countries by taking all their performances in a time span into account.

Well,serbia,world and european champ,but has no vnl / world cup medal so far,
why,if they are so mighty? Ok , we all know/guess why, but the ranking system don't pay attention why and it shouldn't for a healty evaluation of serbia's potential.

I also accept serbia's ideal line-up is presently the strongest NT,but this issue is something different. Reply

By Mark Lebedew: The Best Player You Might Have Heard Of...but have probably forgotten

Older video, records and analyses, editing, research by Mark Lebedew are very interesting. I take his work as priceless.. No one else do such a work...He provides us with many volleyball jewels, observations.. In past we often could not see many top tournaments, or matches on TV ….There was no Internet, no YT. Only very limited TV ... We often did not know the background, problems on some tournaments - see e.g. what happened during Italy vs Netherlands OG 1992, on M.L. YT channel, and how it had influenced a final with Brazil..
In time of pandemic, we can take a lesson from some former activities on courts . In past there was a much more decent behaviour during matches, avoiding useless personal contacts , no so and such intimacy as nowadays, no expressive shouting as is a current rule after killing spike or blocks, ourts... Only at the end of the match, tournaments emotions were same as now... (Now we see on 75 and more the useless, risky, ritual teamś hugging per a match) .. Moreover until 1998, volleyball was for TV fans very friendly - due to of a perfect visible. recognizable white ball. Since this time, the screen fans eyes suffer - volleyball has become a pantomime on screens.
Moreover the game was much more smoothly - no so many and so long interruptions as nowadays.. Majority of referees had a respect..
I suppose, if volleyball wants to survive this pandemic crisis, it will have to return to some above mentioned procedures.. Systematically...