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29. marca 2022


We spend a lot of time during practice learning the volleyball skills like hitting, serving, setting, passing, blocking, and playing in defense .... But is that enough? Is it enough to teach a 16-year-old player these skills and then stop paying attention to learning? No, it is not enough, it is a MISTAKE.

Let’s look at golf for example. Despite the fact that professional golfers are learning new methods and try to hit the ball as far as possible, they train daily the most basic hits because they can never fail with them and must be able to lean on them at every moment of the game. Even after several decades of playing if a professional golf player changes the grip of the club by placing one finger differently it can lead to huge improvement. 

I can’t talk certainly about other sports (even though I’m in the researching stage),   but in volleyball I’ve witnessed at many levels and in many cases, that most of the   time at the end of the set and matches it is just the failure of simple touches. The   players did not train them enough (or properly) or they don‘t know   how to play them at all. A good player knows how to hit   and make a point, give an ace, a block, or   set well …. but can a middle blocker set the   ball at 24:23 after the defense of his own   teammate? … Can the setter set perfect balls   in a row for an attacking player? Can a player   not only jump on the block but also follow the tactics on the block for 2 hours in the match? Can a player during a tight score serve the ball to the zone which the coach instructed?

One of the things a player can do to get to a higher level is to understand that learning individual playing skills is just the beginning, not the target “destination”. Knowing how to hit doesn’t mean you’re a good hitter. Setting good during one match doesn’t mean that the player is a good setter. If a player during a game blocks 8 times it doesn’t make him a master of the blocking art. It can also only mean that the opponent hit him 8 times.

During my first two seasons in Perugia (Italy), I have met a lot of volleyball stars and one of them was Damiano Pippi. At that time, I was only at the beginning of my career and for him our seasons together were the last of his career. I remember that he was always the first to get dressed for practice and while I was taping my crooked fingers, he was already stretching, running, training and practicing skills before the practice with maximum   concentration. I asked myself … Why does he do it? He was practicing the simple   things, routine movements and  a lot of concentration. For   several seasons in a row he was the MVP of the league as the best   receiver (with Goran Vujevic they formed one of the best passing   pairs in the world and I have not seen such a good couple of   players anymore). If I woke him up at 3 in the morning and gave him   my strongest service, I am sure he would pass it perfectly … and he   did that day after day, practice after practice he was training   simple movements, perfect underhand passes and every touch was   precise and with maximum concentration. How he practiced   precisely before training, he did the same during practices because   he knew that those situations would happen during the match and he knew he would be ready for them- and that was exactly what made him such a great pro. Until the last day of his career, he worked on himself, not only on muscle training and speed, but also on technique and concentration … but especially on the most basic volleyball passes.





Becoming a player that has a lot of strength is possible at any moment during the career, but being technically capable and creative not. We live in 2021 and I, as a coach, reflect on where volleyball is going, which are the latest trends and how I can be helpful to my players. We all see how volleyball is changing and developing and every good coach has to (should) react and adapt to changes.
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The older coaches say: “This generation of players is not the same as ours was”. They want young players to be like they were at that age because only in that way they will understand the game.
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A team that wants to be successful for a long period of time has to lower the difference between the concentration during practice and during games. Therefore, achieve the same level of playing skills during practices and during games.
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