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!

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, 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.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.