Archive for January, 2014

Lost Months: Part 5, Women’s AVL (5 Oct 2013 – 10 Nov 2013)

January 22, 2014

I try to write a post a month. That went well for about 4 years straight, until July this year. I was busy. Turns out being an amateur volleyball performance analyst is quite time consuming. It’s no excuse, but thought I’d fill in what I’ve been up to….

First round v Monash/Melbourne University Blues

First round v Monash/Melbourne University Blues

I got involved with the Canberra Heat team in the Women’s Australian Volleyball League last year. There’s a strong commitment to play AVL in ACT from both the men’s and women’s teams given the low level of competition in the Capital Volleyball League and peoples’ desire to play at a good level.

As such, we started training in February – nearly 7 months before the first match. The format this year was home and away (last few years has seen a Grand Prix format), with match ups consisting of a Saturday game and Sunday game at the same location between any two given opponents.

I helped out at trainings but my main role was performance analysis (video delay and game/training review video) and scouting. During the competition season, I spent a lot of time on video work. Coding 35 odd games was not an issue during AJVC when I took the whole week off, but doing it around a full time job has it’s challenges. Typically, the schedule to deliver review video and scouting of our opponents was:

  • Saturday: Before Game: Show clips of opponent to team for game plan. During Game: Code match and provide stats to coaches. After Game: Prepare review video
  • Sunday: Before Game: Show review video of team’s performance of previous match. During Game: Code match and provide stats to coaches. After Game: Prepare review video; Export clips of next opponent for coaches to study
  • Monday: Put together attack tendency charts per rotation for coach’s game plan.
  • Tuesday: Before Training: Show team review of Sunday’s match. During and after training: Begin coding video of opponent we will playing after this week’s opponent
  • Wednesday-Friday: Continue coding video of opponent we will playing after this week’s opponent

As a whole coaching and playing group we put in more time and effort into preparing for the games that any of our opponent likely did. However, this was no enough to break our 3 year run of going winless. Fortunately, we ended the year competing in the annual Good Neighbour tournament where we won bronze against one of the Junior Women’s Development Group teams after being 2-0 sets down. On to next year.

Team photo after winning bronze at the Good Neighbour tournament in December

Team photo after winning bronze at the Good Neighbour tournament in December

 

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Lost Months: Part 4, BBAS/EIV Camp (20-22 Sept 2013)

January 21, 2014

I try to write a post a month. That went well for about 4 years straight, until July this year. I was busy. Turns out being an amateur volleyball performance analyst is quite time consuming. It’s no excuse, but thought I’d fill in what I’ve been up to….

I was fortunate to be invited by friends to help out at the Bendigo Bank Academy of Sport (BBAS) Volleyball program/Eastern Institute of Volleyball  (EIV) camp, held in Bendigo. The coaches who I worked with at AJVC were head coaches of the respective academies.

The programs have developed several players that have gone on to represent Australia at the  junior or senior level. It was just good to see how they do things and their philosophies. It was also good to see my colleagues in a different setting with players that were less developed than their state teams and needed more specific instruction with technique. Definitely picked up some good cues and teaching techniques.

Toddy using lengths of elastics tied from blocker's hands to defenders to show seams and areas of defensive responsibility (1)

Toddy using lengths of elastics tied from blocker’s hands to defenders to show seams and areas of defensive responsibility (1)

Toddy using lengths of elastics tied from blocker's hands to defenders to show seams and areas of defensive responsibility (2)

Toddy using lengths of elastics tied from blocker’s hands to defenders to show seams and areas of defensive responsibility (2)

Toddy using lengths of elastics tied from blocker's hands to defenders to show seams and areas of defensive responsibility (3)

Toddy using lengths of elastics tied from blocker’s hands to defenders to show seams and areas of defensive responsibility (3)

Lost Months: Part 3, CVL finals (15 Sept 2013)

January 19, 2014

I try to write a post a month. That went well for about 4 years straight, until July this year. I was busy. Turns out being an amateur volleyball performance analyst is quite time consuming. It’s no excuse, but thought I’d fill in what I’ve been up to….

The Capital Volleyball League in Canberra is unusual in that it plays Wednesday nights but has its medal matches on a Sunday at the AIS. Wednesday nights works in ACT because people tend to go away on weekends, but there is the downside that people have to rush from work to get to the game and try to leave as early as they can because they have work the next day. So playing on the final on the weekend is cool – you get to make a day out of it and you get crowds and players stick around or come earlier to watch, and bring their friends and families.

This year I coached 2 teams for ANU (Australian National University): a “Premier” and “Division 1” womens team. It was a set-up that I think works well – having 2 teams that compete but are effectively 1 in training letting us do a lot of 6-on-6 stuff. My methodology this year was to make everything in training a 6-on-6 situation whether we were working on technique, tactics, warming up etc.

The players were great and came from all over Australia and the world. Turnover of the players is quite significant year to year as people come to study and only stay for a  year or 2. I think they got a long quite well due to their willingness to pack up and make a new life somewhere else translated to a willingness to make things work with new people.

Both teams did quite well and finished 2nd in their divisions. Going into the final the Premier team had won the first 2 regular season games against their opponent but lost the next 2; the Division 1 team had not beaten their opponent (who had not dropped a set all season). I spent quite a lot of time gathering scoresheets, video and breaking down opponent tendencies for both teams in semis and finals. We guessed their starting rotations and practiced the tactics we would use in the month leading up to the final. A few days before the game, we went through the gameplans in a lecture theatre in the Uni boarding college followed by dinner at the on-campus dumpling restaurant downstairs where a lot of the students and staff eat.

In the end we lost both games in 4 sets. The work we put in got us to perform much better than anyone could have expected but still came short. The Div 1 team took a set off a team who had not lost a set all season. The Premier team had 2 set points in the 4th and nearly took it to 5 sets. The losses were bittersweet – losing always suck when you know you were;t far off winning, but there’s closer knowing that you left no stone unturned in your preparation.

It was a great season with a great bunch of players.

Premier team. With a middle blocker from Texas, libero from Hong Kong, setter from Germany and players from QLD and NSW

Premier team. With a middle blocker from Texas, libero from Hong Kong, setter from Germany and players from QLD and NSW

Division 1 team + a few premier players who stayed back to support us

Division 1 team + a few premier players who stayed back to support us

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