Feedback is an important part of training. This applies to everything. If we don’t get feedback we struggle to know what we’re doing right or wrong.
A major part of the job of a coach is to provide players with feedback. You might even go so far as to say it’s the most important part of a coach’s on-court job. That doesn’t always mean the coach provides feedback directly, though. It can be as simple as giving players a chance to watch their own performance on video. And of course the outcome of every action is a form of feedback in and of itself.
There’s a gap in volleyball player feedback, though.
How often do players get feedback on whether they are correctly judging whether a ball is in or out? Really, it only happens when the player lets a ball go and sees where it lands.
What about balls they actually play, however? How often do players actually get feedback on whether those balls would have been in or out if they weren’t played? Not very often is my suspicion. And how often do players just call the ball without actually playing it as a specific court awareness exercise? I’d say almost never.
And yet I seem to regularly see players play balls that looked to me headed out of bounds (generally long). For sure, some of this is a function of excessive enthusiasm. For the rest it’s a failure of court awareness, which it seems to me could be corrected with more feedback and/or training. Mark Lebedew talked about this from his own perspective as a coach.
What do you think? Have I hit on something or am I just crazy? 🙂