Monday, 22 April 2024
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Volleyball Training

Volleyball arm swing mechanics – watch more, theorize less

Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.

In a previous post I encouraged coaches to teach young athletes how to throw properly as part of developing volleyball arm swing mechanics. It’s really something that should be part of physical literacy development generally. We don’t always get kids who’ve been well prepared in that context, though. As a result, it’s an issue we may have to overcome.

Something that doesn’t help in this context, though, is coaches kind of over-thinking. Let me explain.

I was once in a gym observing a men’s pro team practice. On a side court, I could see a team of 13s girls from the same club training as well. The throwing issue was fresh in my mind at the time. So when I noticed their coach doing some work on that I made sure to pay attention. It was disappointing.

You see, this coach did something I’ve see quite often over the years (sometimes called “bow-and-arrow”). I probably did it myself back in my younger days. Rather than try to explain in words, let me show you an example of what I mean I came across on Instagram (I’d link, but it’s no longer available). Watch what this other coach does with their athlete, then again in demonstration themselves. I’ve blurred it out to avoid identifying anyone involved, but you should be able to see what they’re doing with the arms (I’m also presenting it at 1/2 speed).

Now compare that to this video I’ve shared before. Pay specific attention to what the hitter’s arms do.

Do you see the difference?

In the first video the coach demonstrates arms going fully up overhead, then the right arm is drawn back from there. In the second video, notice how the arms split even before the hands get to about shoulder level. The left continues upward, while the right pulls back.

When I watched the coach of the 13s group, they were like the coach in the first video. Meanwhile, the men’s players on the other court were doing it like the second video (maybe a little higher, as Haak here seems to draw lower than most).

But you’re talking about pro athletes

Here’s the kicker to my story about the 13s. When the they got around to hitting after the throwing, most of them did it more like the second video. So the coach was actually going against what their athletes’ bodies already understood.

Now watch the rest of the 1st video and see what the player does. And the other coach demonstrating (though that one’s harder to see). I’ve again blurred the footage, but if…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Coaching Volleyball…