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Player-centric volleyball stat collecting

In an issue of the AVCA’s Coaching Volleyball magazine there was an article on the collection and use of stats. It’s a pretty comprehensive discussion. It focuses, however, on the more basic stats, not the higher end stuff that some coaches use these days. The author takes the perspective of a coach in a small program where there isn’t much in the way of help for collecting stats during training, etc.

That article made me think about making the stat collection process more player-centric.

I wrote before about player-centric drills, which in contrast to coach-centric ones put players in charge of initiating the process. For example, a passing drill where players serve is player-centric. One where the coach serves is coach-centric.

So how can we take coaches out of the stat-taking process? Basically, players must keep track of serves, passes, hits, or whatever. This is in place of a coach (or manager) doing so. The article mentions doing something like having passers write down how they did in a serve receive drill. There obviously are other ways you can do this.

I’ve mentioned my own personal struggles keeping stats while my team is in action. I really don’t like having to take my eyes off the play to tick a box on a clipboard or tap a tablet. Working by myself, or with limited coaching help, while I was at Exeter and Svedala, I was forced to find ways to do what I wanted or needed to do in terms of training. I had to give some thought to how I can do the same thing with stat collection.

Ideas are certainly welcome!

John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women's team. This follows a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.