I was never particularly comfortable seeing the bench players jog across the end of the court or whatever during timeouts in matches when the rest of the team was in the huddle talking strategy, adjustments, etc. I’m sure you see it. Perhaps your team even does it. I understand the basic value of those players staying warm. You might call on them to enter the fray. It always seemed a bit odd that they were apart from everyone else, though.

This really hit home with me during my first league match with Svedala in 2015. I saw my bench players kept to themselves during a timeout early in the match. This wasn’t something we discussed. They just did it, which suggests that’s how they did it in previous years.

That practice ended right away. I walked over to them during the next rally and told them to join the huddle from then on. I don’t want any of my players left on the outside watching. Everyone is part of what’s going on. I want them all in the huddle to hear what we talk about. I want them to contribute if they have something meaningful to add based on what they see. That, to me, has much more value than a little light exercise.

What do your bench players do? Why?

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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.

    1 Response to "Why isn’t the team together during timeouts?"

    • Marco

      I mostly agree. I don‘t make a rule for it, but I encourage them to spend at least a part of the time out in the huddle.
      On a similar note, I don‘t understand why they stand in the corner during play. Volleyball is the only sport that I know of, where the bench players stand around. I‘d much rather have them sitting on the bench close to the court and actually be involved. Also, this way they are close to the coach/assistant, etc. so I think they are less disconnected from the game and in my opinion more ready to enter.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.