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By Mark Lebedew: Green Volleyball

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

One of the many misconceptions about volleyball, especially men’s volleyball, is that it is all power. The attack is only about spiking with power. The serve is only about bombing away. And therefore volleyball is boring and the rallies are short. The reality is that volleyball is a game of infinite variety.

Mark Lebedew

Mark Lebedew


It is the variety which shortens the rallies, as defenders have to prepare for so many different possibilities. Top level spikers have an enormous number of options in their toolkit to take advantage of the innumerable situations with which they are confronted. Different speeds of attack, tips, rolls, and various other speeds are visible in any match. Attackers attack against different parts of the block to score or gain advantage. The limit is only in the imagination of the attacker, and it turns out good players have a lot of imagination.

The particular attack that I want to talk about today is the ‘recycle’, hence Green Volleyball in the title. Get it?  

A recycled attack is one that is covered by the attacker’s teammates after they deliberately play the ball into the block. The goal is to take a situation of disadvantage, attacking against a well formed block, and from it create a situation in which the attacker’s team has the next attack, in the best case scenario one in which they can mount a fast attack. It is a very difficult and indeed rare skill. You will see it mostly in high ball attempts and even then perhaps only a couple of times per match. If you see a spiker recycle on a faster ball, you know straight away that you are watching an exceptional player. The reason being that it requires a great deal of control, and also risk. The attack must be soft enough that the ball travels slowly off the block, and hard enough that the block cannot read it and throw it straight down. The risk is that if it is not successful it looks to the uninformed that attacker is trying to take the easy option, that is not spiking hard.

When it works it is a thing of great beauty. As in the second clip in this video. The second video is not quite as beautiful, but even more effective.




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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