Probable error

At advanced level, volley-ball requires complex organisation which facilitates the unfolding of a scenario validated or reoriented with each action on the ball while taking the opposition into account. The unfolding of the scenario is punctuated, sequenced by hits from opponents or partners, which validate or invalidate the hoped for unfolding of the action.

Scenarios known by all players and served by appropriate techniques enable to manage the time constraints and to project into collective anticipation while creating uncertainty amongst the opponents through the multiplication of possible solutions (attacks from several positions and in several timings). If the "error" is made on reception, at the block or in defence particularly, plan B scenarios are put in place. There occurs a cascade of decisions on organisation modes known by the players which favour adaptation.

Volley-ball rests on two pillars:

  • Improvement of optimal tactical and technical scenario that work best.
  • Taking into account the possibility of an error and strategies and technical/tactical solutions to answer it.

Paradoxically we see more scenario rigidity with beginners while with them the error is not only possible but rather probable:

  • When a player is about to receive the ball his partners watch him play as is the mastery of his hit were certain.
  • When a player passes, the same players seem to believe that the trajectory will be ideal, even when hitting conditions are difficult.
  • If the pass is not ideal (which is generally the case) the attacker blames the passer without questioning his own placement or his rhythm of action.
  • When a player attacks each of his partners behaves as if the attack was definitive.

We propose to take from the outset the established fact of the probable error as a base and essential working thread. At reception, on a spike, it gives the player confidence in taking a risk.

Each player in the collective game should organise himself:

  • Knowing what he should do (the best tactical choice which orients the activity of all players in the current action).
  • Acknowledging that the hit will probably contain a margin of error compared with what id hoped for.

Therefore, attitudes, placements and movements are organised:

  • If the scenario is the one hoped for, on a margin of inaccuracy in the hits.
  • If this inaccuracy does not enable to follow the desired scenario, to create a replacement scenario.

Learning to play volley-ball is not about trying to achieve a rigid scenario which fails 95% of the time and shows a static and discontinued game. It is about organising, adapting to the real unfolding and to the physical and technical abilities of the partners and opponents to achieve the best possible action in current conditions.

Organising only around success if aiming for failure.

Organising around the probable error is aiming for success.

This requires to assimilate:

  • Preparation attitudes.
  • Placements and movement.
  • Actions and communications.

Managing the dimension of probable error not only poses time management problems (see continuity / break-off), but also space management and margin of error problems.

Later, at a high level of practice the logic remains the same, but it will be necessary to take more risks in speed and game precision (faster trajectories and smaller spaces) while remaining available for unavoidable misses and/or surprises coming from the opponent.

Learning situations:

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