06. 12. 2019

By Mark Lebedew: What Most People Don’t Understand About Volleyball

Source: https://marklebedew.com; Photo:CEV

Author: Mark Lebedew

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Volleyball is not as popular as it should be.  I think we can all agree on that.  Many people contend that the reason for its lack of popularity is the games are too long or the rallies are too short or there are too many service errors or some other thing.  I don’t agree.  Volleyball is not as popular as it should be because the promotion of volleyball is universally disgraceful and because most people don’t really understand what is happening.

 

 

Here are some of the things most people don’t understand about volleyball.

1. The speed. The speed of thought, decision making, execution is fast.  Really, really fast.  Volleyball is a rebound sport, so players must decide on every action before the ball arrives, then execute that decision.  In longer rallies, the players have fractions of seconds to recognise what has happened, decide on a solution and execute it, often while off balance or with one hand.  TV does not accurately bring across how fast because viewers don’t have to move their eyes to follow the action that takes place over 3, 4, 5 metres, and because commentators literally don’t have time between rallies to explain what just happened and how amazing it was.

2. The violence. 2m, 100kg men, jumping 1m in the air, using all of their power to smash an object straight down. Other men standing on the ground 6m away trying to deflect the ball up and often getting belted instead.  Even inside the stadium you don’t really get a feeling for how hard players are spiking and how little time defenders have to react.  And when you are close to the court, there is a really distinctive thud as the ball cannons into a defender’s chest.  It is a sound you really have to hear.

3. The variation. Volleyball looks like the same thing repeated over and over again until one team wins and the other loses.  The reality is that every action is completely unique.  Every rebound changes the geometry of the next action and its possibilities.  Every solution to a game problem is unique.  Again TV commentators don’t have the time to explain the complexities, and so most people forever stay in the dark.

4. The dynamism.  Volleyball players explode off the ground.  Over and over again.  Other sports have jumping, but volleyball is jumping.  And the jumps are maximal.  TV doesn’t do those efforts justice.  Volleyball is the most dynamic sport in the world.  By far.

For volleyball to be as popular (as we think) it should be, our task is to educate ourselves and others into these elements, and others.

Volleyball is not as popular as it should be.  I think we can all agree on that.  Many people contend that the reason for its lack of popularity is the games are too long or the rallies are too short or there are too many service errors or some other thing.  I don’t agree.  Volleyball is not as popular as it should be because the promotion of volleyball is universally disgraceful and because most people don’t really understand what is happening. 

Here are some of the things most people don’t understand about volleyball.

1. The speed. The speed of thought, decision making, execution is fast.  Really, really fast.  Volleyball is a rebound sport, so players must decide on every action before the ball arrives, then execute that decision.  In longer rallies, the players have fractions of seconds to recognise what has happened, decide on a solution and execute it, often while off balance or with one hand.  TV does not accurately bring across how fast because viewers don’t have to move their eyes to follow the action that takes place over 3, 4, 5 metres, and because commentators literally don’t have time between rallies to explain what just happened and how amazing it was.

2. The violence. 2m, 100kg men, jumping 1m in the air, using all of their power to smash an object straight down. Other men standing on the ground 6m away trying to deflect the ball up and often getting belted instead.  Even inside the stadium you don’t really get a feeling for how hard players are spiking and how little time defenders have to react.  And when you are close to the court, there is a really distinctive thud as the ball cannons into a defender’s chest.  It is a sound you really have to hear.

3. The variation. Volleyball looks like the same thing repeated over and over again until one team wins and the other loses.  The reality is that every action is completely unique.  Every rebound changes the geometry of the next action and its possibilities.  Every solution to a game problem is unique.  Again TV commentators don’t have the time to explain the complexities, and so most people forever stay in the dark.

4. The dynamism.  Volleyball players explode off the ground.  Over and over again.  Other sports have jumping, but volleyball is jumping.  And the jumps are maximal.  TV doesn’t do those efforts justice.  Volleyball is the most dynamic sport in the world.  By far.

For volleyball to be as popular (as we think) it should be, our task is to educate ourselves and others into these elements, and others.


About Mark Lebedew:

Mark Lebedew authors the At Home on the Court Blog. He coaches professionally in Poland 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 is 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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POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

All this because volleyball is not e real professional sport and many clubs are managed with people with (almost) zero experience and knowledge in volleyball. And they manage money from state companies or government directly. Do not expect that that people will think differently. That is why volleyball will never move to another level and will always have some small “make up” in the future Reply

POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

Many Strength and Conditioning Coaches/Scoutman are trying to get into coaching. Due to their lack of experience and knowledge, at first, they take a major pay cut in comparison to actual volleyball coaches. Currently, coaching jobs are paying very little, even in the top leagues, and some of the experienced coaches are not taking jobs for 25.000-40.000 EUR, knowing that demands are just as high as before when they were making double of this salary. Unfortunately, club leaderships see coaches as a disposable matter and therefore keep dropping salaries because there are candidates that will take these jobs. I am not here to judge, just to describe some of the dynamics around this profession. Reply

POL M: Young Australian coach Reynolds will command Jastrzębski next season

Interesting trend, that some coaches who specialised on physical training, some who never played volleyball on top level, became pretty successful volleyball coaches. It can be observed in some menś and women teams. It reflects a situation that volleyball has become a very physical sport. Even the world champion country, which in past had taught others, needs coaches from abroad who come into this category. Reply

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