Previously I commented in my coaching log entry about the volume of communication that took place during training. The university women I coached at the time had finally reached the level of understanding and intensity where they talked nearly constantly during game play. It wasn’t all of them all the time, of course. It was a massive change, however, from when I first got over there.
I joked with the team after training that people must have heard them throughout the sports center we trained in. From my perspective, that was awesome!
Volume = focus and intensity
You see, for me a loud team in training is a focused team playing at a high level of intensity. It’s what I was used to when I was coaching collegiately in the States. One of the things I immediately picked up on when I got involved with volleyball in England was how quiet it was on the court much of the time. I remember watching a men’s match my first season and hearing nothing but the sound of the ball on either side of the net. It blew my mind!
When I refer to a team being loud, there are a couple of elements to it. First is the simple part. Players communicate with each other during play. That’s calling the ball, hitters calling for sets, liberos making defensive calls, etc. There’s also the between play type of talking mentioned by Matt here. That’s being supportive of each other, keeping each other focused and motivated, and all that.
As Matt posted, though, communication needs to be focused and positive. It’s no good if it doesn’t actually serve a purpose or if it’s negative. It should be about transferring information and encouraging team cohesion.
I had a comment exchange with Coach Rey about the completely opposite idea of a loud gym – namely a silent one. Conceptually, I understand how it would be amazing to have a group of players who know each other and everyone’s responsibilities on the court to the point they could play silently. Alas, there aren’t many teams that reach that point.
So how loud is your gym?