Following the 2022 NCAA tournament legendary former Nebraska head coach Terry Pettit shared some thoughts he had on things. I wanted to address some of them here.

Move the libero to a different position if you anticipate an attack to zone 6 or 1 and she is a much stronger digger.

Digging the ball isn’t the only consideration at play here. For sure it’s a big one, but you also have to consider the point of defense, which is not simply to get digs.

Train the right side player to set quick attack and have the setter dig the ball to the opposite instead of the libero.

This is the question of who takes second ball when the setter plays first contact. Using the RS to do so is an option, and I’ve certainly done that myself. Ultimately, though, there are multiple things to consider in that decision.

Run combination plays off controlled digs or free balls. Have a designated player audible to the combination play: left in, right cross etc.

In a lot of cases setters pre-call free ball plays, so there’s not really need for an audible. Everyone should already know the plan. An audible offense is certainly an option, however.

BR setters on some teams are playing too many balls. Middle backs and liberos need to be much more aggressive in taking away soft shots that setters are playing.

I agree with this 100%!

Very few teams, other than Kansas, had a jump top-spin server.

Yeah, there aren’t many topspin jump servers in the women’s game these days. The move the USA team made away from them a few years back may have had something to do with it. Or coaches just didn’t see them as effective. There is definitely room for that option, though. Just need to have sufficient velocity and/or placement.

Any time that you do something that causes the opponent to adjust or spend time in practice preparing for something different it is to your advantage.


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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.

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