Home » By Mark Lebedew: Could They Play Now?

By Mark Lebedew: Could They Play Now?

by WoV
source: marklebedew.com; Photo:CEV author: Mark Lebedew

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.

Mark Lebedew

Mark Lebedew


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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John Doek May 3, 2020 - 11:04 pm

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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