Previously, I introduced a debate related to set tightness. That came out of an FIVB Outside Hitter seminar I attended in 2015. That certainly generated some intense exchanges. What I want to talk about in this post is another idea Mark Lebedew brought up during the seminar. It might change the way you think about some aspects of what you do with your team.
Mark said the objective of defense is to score points.
Think about that for a second. Chances are up to now you thought the objective of defense is to keep the opposition from scoring a point.
The distinction is important. Mark told the story of the USA men several years ago when they made a decision to use their libero in 6 rather than in 5 to get more digs. It worked. They got loads of digs. Unfortunately, they scored fewer points in the process. Presumably it was because they didn’t have the pipe/bic available in the offense as effectively.
That’s one way of looking at things.
Another is to consider defensive positioning at a player level. In this case it’s the difference between simply getting a dig and putting up a ball which results in a set that can then be attacked with conviction. There are certain positions a player can be in defensively which increase the likelihood of producing settable digs, even though they might reduce the overall number of digs made.
Does that change how you think about your defensive system?