Trajectory times

The work on trajectory times is linked to spaces for the game and action on the ball, which will get richer at the same time.

Teaching contents

The concept of signal is fundamental in this work.

For the beginner the start of the ball is not a relevant signal. He only springs into action when the ball arrives into his close space. However in defence actions on a serve and attack, the game is above all a "race against the ball!"

The conditions that must be respected are:

  • place yourself where it will take the least time to go to the possible landing spots
  • be ready to move quickly
  • start moving at the same time as the ball.

This stake in the training is systematically underestimated by the pupils and sometimes by the teachers. And yet it can be proved that the gains of time are crucial at this level.

See the resource on
reaction times in volley-ball

From a teaching point of view

It is essential from the very first lesson of volley-ball and later on to:

  • create simple actions, then more complex ones related to trajectory signals
  • vary the trajectory times
  • vary the responses expected relative to the signal.

The learning situations proposed here will be differentiated according to their difficulty.

At a first level they involve learning to get organised around the trajectories produced by the pupil himself, or coming from an opponent.

Then we will need to get organised around the trajectories coming from partners. At this stage where the actions of several players are being coordinated we will speak of commitment timings.

Learning situations:

With own signal:

The situation is made much easier with the own team pass. Nevertheless it enables us to put in place the fundamental data of the action in constrained time defined by the trajectory of the ball and to adapt to the changes in visual perception and balance linked to the fact that the ball is moving high up.

We will observe the evolutions and successes in a series of simple tasks.

With an outside throw:

Using an outside throw is an essential stage. We target the ability to pay attention to the start signal of the ball, to read the trajectory, to move.

We can observe them through:

  • the attitude in preparation
  • how soon the movement starts
  • the placing on the trajectory.

The aim here is to catch the ball which then becomes the target, but most of the work on the trajectory time with outside throw will later be developed with the concept of defence of a court target.

Trajectory times and commitment times in the game development

During the later development of the game, trajectories will multiply and differentiate.

The aim here is to get organised around precise signals from a trajectory. In the same way, the learning of volley-ball will rest on the differentiation of trajectories, length of games and appropriate signals in order to spot them.

We will find here more details on these points.

See the resource on
commitment times
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