Monthly Archives: March 2011
60% Serve Receive Rule
Good news! No current injuries!
I took a break from writing on the First to Twenty-five mainly because of Spring Break. Most of the boys were out of town during the week, but with what we had we decided to practice during spring break. This decision was made by the boys at the beginning of the season. Traditionally we haven’t practiced during spring break, but this year as a state title is the goal, they didn’t want to miss an opportunity.
This week we had two matches. We won both 3 sets to 1, bringing our season record to 3 wins and 1 loss. My starting line-up is pretty set based upon the talent pool that I am working with. The starters are significantly better than their backup counterparts. So do I just leave my line-up the way it is and hope that we win some games?
If you have seen my recent posts they talk about line-up configurations and making changes to dismantle your opponent.
Once I have my starting line-up chosen, I get to play a little with the alignment. I have two middles. Their relation to the setter can be adjusted in a few ways. The first is which of my two middles I want closer to the setter. Usually this means when the setter is front row I only have two attackers. Do you want your stronger or weaker middle attacking then? I think it depends on your team. Likewise which OH starts in the front vs. the back is another consideration.
This week’s line-up consideration: The 60% Serve Receive Rule.
Numbers show that approximately 60% of all serves go to the middle of the court. This means that in an ideal world your very best passer would be in the middle of the court to receive 60% of the balls and your lesser passers would then split the other 40%. So why not make the ideal world?
First you need to know your best passer. You have to take stats over at least 3 to 5 practices and 3 to 5 matches to get a good idea of this. Some players pass better in games, some in practice. You have to be able to actually see this on paper, because if you guess wrong, you are hurting your team.
Let’s do the numbers just to demonstrate how important it is.
Given 100 serves…..
60% – Best Passer – Avg. Pass = 2.75 THIS PLAYER GETS 60 SERVES OUT OF 100
20% – Second Best Passer – Avg. Pass = 2.25 (This player gets only 20)
20% – Third Best Passer – Avg. Pass = 2.0 (This player gets only 20)
60 x 2.75 = 165
20 x 2.25 = 45
20 x 2.0 = 40
Average Pass = 2.5
What if we change just the top 2 athletes…
60 x 2.25 = 135
20 x 2.75 = 55
20 x 2.0 = 40
Average Pass = 2.3
The drop represented shows a drop based upon where your best passer is passing. If they are in the middle of the court, you just increased your passing percentage as a team.
I know you’re thinking, “Coach, a 2.3 or 2.5, seems like a lot of work and changing rotations just to get a small increase!”
Unless you are a college volleyball coach, those numbers may not really have a palpable feel to them. If you spend hours a day looking at stats, then you start to understand what that difference means.
In 100 passes, if your athletes only pass 2s and 3s, that means that for a 2.5 passing average, you get 50 2s and 50 3s. This means you can only run your middle 50% of the time. Because the definition of a 3 pass is that you can set all 3 hitters. In 100 passes if your athletes only pass 2s and 3s, it means for a 2.3 passing average, you get 70 2s and 30 3s. Now you can only run your middle 30% of the time!
In this scenario, your team is 20% worse off on the first ball if you don’t start your best passer in the middle of the court.
Figure out your best passer and go put them in the middle!
We play two of the states top contenders. 6-0, #2 power point ranked team on Tuesday and the 3-0, #13 power point ranked team.
We are currently 3-1, ranked 9th in power points.
See you on the court!!
These are only some of the many factors you may want to consider when choosing your starting lineup or adjusting your starting rotation.
1) Put your best passer 2 spots away from your setter. By doing this, your best passer can pass middle more often, allowing your setter to set from the front row most frequently. You may not like this or you may already do this, but passing throughout the game effects all other actions.
2) Put your best blocker as opposite or as right front. While I wouldn’t hope and pray that your best blocker shuts down their best hitter, he/she may act as a good distraction. Remember, blocking isn’t always about kill blocks but rather about your defense as a whole.
3) Put your best hitters in front and in back of your setter. This enables you to have a strong front row while you only have two attackers in the front row with the setter. If you haven’t already, develop some great back row attackers to complement your system when the setter is front row.
4) Start you best hitter front left. This allows your best hitter the maximum attempts possible throughout the game. Remember that your best hitter isn’t necessarily the one that hits the ball the hardest in practice. Think carefully about your selection.
5) Put your best outside attacker with your second best middle blocker. By balancing out your attacking options you have a more consistent flow of attacking the opponents on the other side. Small point rallies lead to winning the game.
6) Coordinate your best servers with your best attackers. Its not always possible, but try and make your best hitter front left when your best server is serving. This will let your OH hit more in the front row and also get more off speed shots back that they can put away in transition.
Remember as you make all of these changes to keep track of what your goal was and what was the outcome. For every change in lineup you will have changes in most if not all of the above consideration. Just because what you hoped would happen didn’t happen doesn’t mean that something else great didn’t happen.
Likewise if you make a change and you magically win the game, don’t assume it is because of what you thought would change. Keep track of at least some stats so you can see how the changes benefit or hurt your team!
See you on the court!
How can you use this coloring book to help grow your program?
Give it to all the little brothers and sisters of your current athletes! If that isn’t enough, print it up with your name on it and give it to young kids that are at your tournaments. (local tournaments preferably)
So you’re greedy and you want money? Don’t forget for every page you hand out, you have information on your volleyball summer camp for ages 6-12 covering all the basic volleyball skills with more fun games!
First to Twenty-five – Post 3
We had our very first volleyball tournament of the season this past weekend. It was a local 2 day volleyball tournament with a total of 24 teams. Except for 1 or maybe 2 teams, all the top volleyball teams and schools were there.
Friday, the first day, we went out and looked crisp. We won a total of 3 matches, each lasting only 2 sets. We struggled only in one set, barely winning the first set 26-24, but then we rallied back the second to take it 25-7. Its volleyball, sometimes those things happen.
By winning 4-team bracket on Friday, we qualified to be in the “Gold Division” where we would compete for a top 8 spot on Saturday. With the competition tougher and a prize trophy at stake, we came ready to play! We found out that the first game was against a conference rival and not only that; they are touted as the best volleyball team in the entire state. We went out there and absolutely got demolished. I believe the score was something like 17-25 and 19-25.
Sure that doesn’t sound too bad to you, but you’re not writing a blog on how to win a state championship and be the best team!
We didn’t even look like we stood a chance against them. But wait, there is some good news. The good news is that we did play pretty bad. We had more hitting errors than they had kills. Meaning that we actually gave them more points than they earned themselves in the match. We missed 4 serves one game and 6 the next. Do you see what I am hinting at? The bad news is that we had so many errors, but the good news is that it wasn’t serve receive or just getting killed by the other teams attackers, it was things as a team that we can actually work on.
Worse than losing the game against the top team was that after the game my top outside hitter informed me that he had injured his back and couldn’t play the rest of the day. While this explained many of his hitting errors, it didn’t put me in a good position for the rest of the tournament.
We ended up losing all 5 matches on Saturday! If you are just beginning to follow us, then you have already given up on our hopes for a state title.
We did take statistics during most of the tournament so we do have some numbers to look at as coaches. The raw numbers from a match can sometimes tell a coach a weak area, but at times they may not be enough. From this weekend for example we had 8 hitting errors one set and 5 the next in a game we lost on Saturday. While this tells me that we need to work on minimizing hitting errors, it doesn’t directly tell me what type of hitting errors occurred. Did we hit into the block? Did we hit out of bounds? Did we hit into the net? For almost all hitting errors there are a few things to analyze, the set, the approach and the contact. By separating those three factors, you can then make practice plans to address the issues.
Season Record: 3-5
Best hitter, passer and team motivator injured and out for an unknown amount of time.
First in-season and conference game coming up in 1 day against states #1 ranked team (not us)
Boys couldn’t attend practice yesterday due to choir practice.
Thinking about buying?
With great hesitation I purchased the Bushnell Speedster II for use in my volleyball practices. Reviews of the Bushnell Speedster (Also exactly the same as the Bushnell Velocity) I read said things like, “too hard to use”, “doesn’t get the speed every time” “inaccurate” and more. I purchased mine from OpticsPlanet.com, but you can find them at a lot of stores.
To my surprise the negative reviews were WRONG! The radar gun is AWESOME!
I first started using the radar gun to track volleyball serves. I told the boys that the only way I would tell them how fast they hit it would be if they served it in the court, and then the balls were flying. The radar gun didn’t miss a single volleyball. It may be that the volleyball is bigger than say a baseball and the radar gun has an easier time finding the fast object.
Next I moved on to outside attacks. Once again, it didn’t miss a single attack! The setup which I will explain in a little bit is a little different, but the radar gun clocked every volleyball that was hit.
As a side note, it does clock how fast someone is running and the speed of a shoe flying in the air. (It’s all I had when I opened the box)
How to use a Radar Gun as a Coach….
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was going to use the radar gun for volleyball, it was just something that I had always interested me. What I can say is the results of using the radar gun in our first practice were eye opening. Obviously the boys were trying to swing harder on their serves. With the requirement for it to be in the court to get your score, they tried really hard to serve in also. After we did serving for a while, I did give them their speed on their missed serves, just to make it a little fun. My ideas for future use would be making a specific goal. Something like 10 serves in the court at 45+ mph and then we can clock our outside hitting, or then we can move on to playing a game.
When I went to use the radar gun for hitting from outside, the radar gun encouraged the boys to approach more aggressively and swing hard while keeping it in the court. The biggest change I saw here was that the boys didn’t want the ball to hit the tape. They reached higher and swung hard at the same time. If the ball hit the tape, it usually slowed the ball down, so they would get disappointed.
For athletes who don’t hit the ball so hard, sometimes digging or blocking a 50 mph attack is motivation also.
Our fastest jump serve that went in was clocked at 53 mph with an average between 43 and 48mph. Not as fast as they were hoping. Our fastest outside attack was 45 mph, with an average near 40 mph. Our average float serve was between 32 and 34 mph.
Things to remember after you buy the gun…
The Bushnell radar gun is only designed to track objects that are moving in a straight line either towards or away from the gun. This means that the angle of the radar gun must approximate that of the attack or serve angle. If my attacker is contacting the ball at 9 feet, it is best to get a box and clock the hit from 9 feet. My advice is that you have your athletes attack the ball towards the back line. If you want to have someone track a volleyball with your radar gun during a game, you may want to consider calculating the speed using the correct mathematical formula.
If you have questions on how to use the gun, here is a manual to help with calculating the accuracy of your radar gun. Click Here