Here are a few volleyball strategy tips on how you can change the pace or control the speed of the game so that you can effect the rhythm of the match.
One simple volleyball strategy to control the speed of the game is to pass the ball in a low body position.
In girls volleyball, often one team will get a free ball pass from their opponents, and they are so excited to get this "gift" that they rush to pass the ball.
Since a free ball is a gift that you've just received from your opponent, you want to take full advantage of this situation because it doesn't happen often.
When it does happen, you want to make absolutely sure that this free ball turns into a point or hideout for your team, especially since you don't know when the opposing team will give you another free ball opportunity.
To take full advantage of this opportunity, the goal should be to give yourself and your team time to run a free ball play perfectly. In order to do that, you need to take control of the speed of the game.
The last thing you want to do is give the setter a bad pass especially on a free ball opportunity. By playing the ball in a low but balanced position you increase the possibility of your pass getting right to the setter's hands.
Just because you've been given an easy ball to pass, doesn't mean you can throw your perfect passing technique out of the window.
If you are a free ball passer, you should use the few more inches it takes for the ball to descend, to get yourself in a good low position, really squat underneath the ball to deliver a perfectly passed ball to the target.
Those few seconds that you allow for the ball to descend to a lower point before you pass it, not only gives you time to gain more control of the pass, but it also buys time for your hitters to get further back in transition.
The more time a player can give her hitters to get back in transition, the more time they have to get to the ten foot line -- or behind it and prepare themselves to run the team's free ball play.
This allows you to control the speed of your next play and so it affects the tempo at which your team plays the game.
You can control the speed of your team's free ball or down ball counterattack by raising the height of your pass so that the ball has a much higher arc.
If you pass the ball so it reaches 8 to 10 feet in the air above the height of the net, you will slow down the pace and rhythm of the game.
A good time to pass the ball higher in a game is when your team is having trouble getting a sideout.
Either in serve receive or when your team receives a free ball, you would probably want to slow the game down, when the opposing team is running a faster offense and it feels like your team just isn't establishing it's own team rhythm.
By slowing things down on your side of the court, it gives your setter time to think about what play she wants to run.
It buys her a few seconds of time to recognize what the opposing team's block is doing and where they are being the most effective.
Now your hitters have a bit more time to take their best spike approach that allows them to see the block and the open spaces to hit to one the opponent's court.
Also, teammates have a little bit more time to concentrate on performing their basic skill well, which will help your team re-establish their own rhythm.
Just like you can slow down the rhythm of the game, the opposite is true as well.
Does your team need to speed up the pace of the game?
By lowering your pass, passing a ball that is one to three feet above the height of the net, you can deliver a well-targeted ball right to your setter's hands at alot faster pace.
From the passer's platform to the setter's hands the speed of the pass can help determine how fast a team run's a play.
The setter is not the only player who can control the rhythm of the game. You, as a passer can too.
You should practice this with your team's free ball attack and transition drill practices.
In practice, with free balls you can purposefully speed up your free ball or even down ball passes, as long as you pass the ball from a low balanced position without sacrificing accuracy, precision and control inorder to run a faster paced attack.
Your girls team can run pre-determined plays called by the setter when she sees an easy high free or down ball coming over into your court. But remember, the play will work only if your setter gets the ball passed right to her.
Accuracy is the key.
Depending on your coach and your team's free ball passing ability, it may be best for your setter to be the one to call the free ball play.
If the setter calls the play when she sees the easy free ball coming over to your court, then your passers, your libero and/or your defensive specialists in the back row will all know that she expects to be in position to set the ball for the fast counterattack.
Also, the middle blockers will be ready to speed up their spike approach in order to make this faster paced free ball counterattack play effective.
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