What are your recognition/communication expectations on the court at different ages? – from serve/serve receive to attack, from blocking/defense to transition etc…. I know it may depend on what you are looking for in your opponent, but what would the expectations for the basics be when trying to improve focus on the game and VB IQ in general.
That’s a good question. In regards to communication we want our players to talk as much as possible. First and foremost, call the ball long before it gets to you. If you’re a passer communicate with the players next to you if “YOU” have the ball or if you want someone else to take it then call “THEIR” name early so they know the ball is their’s. Communication is also important before the ball is served in recognizing if the opposing setter is FR or BR and is eligible to be an attacker and what are the numbers of each FR attacker and where are they lined up. Once the ball is served then the blockers need to continue to communicate where each hitter is going if the attackers start moving or crossing so all players know their blocking responsibilities. When the opposing team is attacking all the defenders should be actively engaged in either blocking or defending vs. the attack which also requires communication if a ball is tipped or hit between defenders and the defenders have to communicate who is going to take the ball. Once a ball is dug then the attackers must verbally communicate to their setter what sets they are hitting because in transition the setter is not looking at the attackers and is setting pretty much every ball based on where she “thinks” the attackers are going to be attacking…that’s why having the hitters call their sets regularly in practice is crucial so they get used to always communicating with the setter. As you can guess as a coach all this communication starts in practice and should be constantly reinforced in practice. If the players do not do it consistently in practice then they will NEVER do it when they compete.
At the older levels in our program most of the coaches give their players scouting reports to study so our teams know the tendencies of our opponents. Once they players are given those tendencies they are expected to communicate those tendencies to each other during competition. If you watch high level teams play you will hear the players constantly communicating with each other in identifying the opposing attackers and what to expect on defense and on offense players are doing the same when the passers are passing and the attackers are communicating with their setter.
Best of luck. Rick