Keeping up with my tradition of commenting on my experience attending the AVCA Convention (2021, 2020, 2019, 2016, 2013), here begins my log of activities for the 2022 event. Partly because of a tight budget this year and partly out of a desire to see what the virtual convention looks like when there’s an in-person event happening, I opted for the virtual version this year. Obviously, that means missing out on the in-person activities. It also means, however, that because everything is recorded, I didn’t have to pick and chose between things happening at the same time.
So here goes with what I did on the first day!
Opening Session Part 1: If Gold is Our Destiny – How a Team of Mavericks Came Together for Olympic Glory
This is obviously a session based on the book of the same name I reviewed earlier this year. The presenter was the book’s author, Sean Murray. He started talking about the (in)famous Outward Bound experience of the 1984 men’s Olympic team discussed in the book. I wasn’t thrilled by beginning there as I think it puts too much focus on a style of team building I’m no big of. He did progress, though, into how that team developed a new style of play. They did so by borrowing from others and making it their own. Finally, he shared the importance of the way the team came to treat each other.
After that, things rather broke down. Opening Session Part 2, which was supposed to be a look at the four semifinal teams, didn’t stream properly. The recording was available shortly afterwards, though. The next session – which was a pre-recorded one – didn’t initiate as it should have either. Eventually, though, they got the video to show up.
Serving & Passing Systems
This was the third session I mentioned above. Interestingly, the now former Missouri head coach (let go at the end of their season) presented it. As it was pre-recorded, he was in full Mizzou gear.
He started with a talk about how they teach float serving. No real surprise on most of it. Contact the center of the ball. Keep the serve low to the tape. The whole flat and clean (flean) idea. My one niggle was in how he mention “popping”. As I’ve written before, I find that to be a counterproductive thing for servers to do.
He progressed then into a discussion of serving strategy (something I recently posted on). The one thing I did find interesting that isn’t something you hear a lot of talk about is targeting…