On the drive to and from the World League action in Dallas over the weekend, myself and the other Midwestern State assistants listened to some volleyball-related podcasts. One of them was Coach Your Brains Out. That’s a podcast which has been in my queue for a while now. We ended up listening to the first two episodes. And of course talking about what we heard. 🙂
One of the opinions expressed in the first podcast by one of the guys is that reading on the beach is more important – or maybe is done more – than indoor. The idea there seemed to be that because as a defender (assuming your partner is blocking) you have every ball and you need to read to be in the right position. This is as opposed to indoor where the ball could be someone else’s and you have a much more limited area of responsibility.
I certainly agree that from a defensive perspective. A good read on the beach is really important. Being even a little wrong puts you well out of position given how much area you have to cover.
I don’t agree, however, with that beach players have to read more than indoor players. I think all players have to read the same amount. It’s just that for an indoor player the read comes with different potential implications.
For example, if you read that the ball will not be attacked in your direction, you shift to your next responsibility. For a hitter, that’s transitioning to attack. For a setter, that is moving toward target to take the second ball.
All players read all the time.
Let me restate that.
All players should read all the time. Doesn’t matter if you’re talking beach or indoor. It always matters what the opponent is doing and is set up to do with the next contact.
To my mind, this is one of the areas of coaching that doesn’t get enough attention.