In modern volleyball there are any number of applications and technological tools that can be applied to coaching. DataVolley, for example, is a widely-used example for statistical and video analysis. There is also VolleyMetrics, for those who want to outsource this type of work. These things cost money, though, and not everyone has that – or the staff to put it to use. That means sometimes you have to revert to old school methods.

That’s what I found myself doing once when I coached Svedala in Sweden. I wanted to do a thorough analysis of a recent match. It was a disappointing loss. We were up 2-0 and had leads late in both Sets 3 and 4. Not having a better option at hand, I went through the video. I wrote out the rotation, pass/dig rating, set, attack type, and result for every non-serve ball played over the net by us and the opposition. I then plugged that into a spreadsheet so I could break it down.

Yeah. Fun stuff! :-/

We did have official match stats, though they were of dubious value – especially the first version of them. We also used SoloStats on the bench during matches to track serve reception stats and examine rotation performance. I needed, though, to be able to drill down and cross-section things to get a better handle on what we’re doing well and what not so well.

I hoped we could eventually come up with a better way to do all this, but it was a small club with a limited budget. More or less, I had to go that route for all our matches where I wanted more detailed analysis.

What were my findings, you ask?

The big one was we needed to be much better out of system. We got kills only 8% of the time and it was either errors or blocks on 20% of the plays. And therein is the value of statistics – even very basic or hand tallied ones. They give you ideas for things to look at more closely or to spend more time on.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager for Volleyball England (overseeing the national team pipeline systems), as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

    2 replies to "Old school analysis"

    • AT

      Hi! Have you ever tried DataVolley Click&Scout? It is a simple version of DataVolley, designed for use with tablets and touch input instead of coding. It costs 50€ per 365 days. Inputs and analyses are not as detailed as in DataVolley but you can still analyse reception quality, attack efficiency by players and/or rotations, attack directions, block, team attack distribtion and a lot more. We use it in the 4th devision in Germany mainly to evaluate our own team due to a lack of (video-)information on the opponent. Still, you need an assistant coach/scout to do the scouting during matches.

      Are there any more comments or experiences with that software?
      Best Regards!

      • John Forman

        The club uses C&S for the official match stats, though I think it’s the very basic Media version. I haven’t personally used it myself. I should at least give it a look. For me, of greater interest would be the video side of things, though.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.