Archive for May, 2011

Look, no hands!

May 8, 2011

I used to hate the idea of receiving serve with the hands. I wrote about it once and got all sorts of comments. I’m not vehemently opposed to it now, but i spend a lot of time teaching players to pass on their forearms and almost no time on the fingers. Should you or shouldn’t you? One thing I often hear is that it’s more practical in men’s volleyball than women’s.  Well a few things i’ve seen recently have challenged this notion.

  1. Last weekend, I watched the Adelaide-based members of VTAW (Volleyball Team Australia Women – the senior women’s indoor national team) training camp, and their coach shared with me some of the things they were working on, including receiving serve with the hands. Makes sense. It seemed to be worth investing in.
  2. This week my DVD of Carl McGown’s presentation on forearm passing at the 2010 AVCA conference arrived in the post. Titled Forearm Passing: How the Best Do It, it’s a great presentation that basically sings from the same hymn sheet as Hugh McCutcheon’s presentation at the 2008 Australian Volleyball Symposium, but goes more into the research. Most interestingly, when quizzed on receiving serve with the fingers, McGown makes this curious  claim: In the 2010 men’s World Champs gold medal game, the Brazillians only received 1 out of a total 90 float serves on their fingers, and the Russians received 8 out of  a total 102 float serves on their fingers. McGown reinforced that “the best are receiving float serves on the forearms”.
  3. Looking at the Technical Videos from the men’s and women’s world champs last year, 4 of the 6 women’s teams featured have dedicated reels of examples of receiving serve on the fingers. The men’s videos have none.

Is receiving serve on the fingers now more of a trend in women’s volleyball than men’s now? Or maybe none of this proves anything?