The pre-conference tournament time of the year is always a bit amusing for me because of how panicky college coaches get about obtaining and breaking down video tape. Like some team with a 4-4 record is doing something so new, that the only way to beat them is to get the video tape to understand this never seen humdinger. Each summer and spring, I forget about this span of four weeks in the fall when I will always receive a bunch of emails and telephone calls trying to get our match versus Tumbleweed State.
True to history, this pre-season is no different with requests to upload tape, send DVD's, pick a tape from their schedule in return - One time I am just going to say yes to an exchange and mail off a copy of the Transformers. I only send video by what I am mandated to do by conference rules because I don't request non conference video (or for that matter, conference video) and I would rather use that time to practice with my team or just take a nice long walk to keep my sanity.
I came to this anti-video obsessive breakdown by way of experience - One match, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.......ok, it was not a far away galaxy but it does seem like a long time ago. I had the perfect match breakdown against a heated rival in the conference tournament - I figured out where they were going to start their rotations, I matched my best block against their best hitters which also worked out to having my best hitters against their worst blocker, I knew exactly which zone was weakst in their serve receive for each rotation, I confirmed and graphed the attack tendencies of the hitters, I even guessed what bad outfit the head coach would be wearing - I had it all baby!!! But......my team could not pass and we missed way too many serves, and we lost in three not very close games.
I can't go so far as to say that breaking down tape is a waste of time, because for programs that have reached a high level of success, they can afford to focus upon how to beat the opponent. For all too many of us, we would be better served to make sure our own house is in order.
Here is my scouting report for every team we played in the pre season, as to save any coaches from calling me for a tape:
1) Serve the ball in.
2) Don't serve their Libero.
3) Don't hit the ball out of bounds or into the net.
There it is - Hours of tape broken down into three items.
It is not rocket science - The offensive system is either a spread or a cross and maybe a back row attack in the 2 hitter rotations. The defense will either be perimeter or rotation and maybe they might swing block. The libero is the best passer, so serve the other players until someone starts to break. There is NOTHING that any college team will do, that any other college team has not seen done. This Terra Byte volume of data can easily be gleaned within the first 5 points of the match.
Head coaches, instead of wasting everyone's time (yours, your coaches, your players, the innocent trees made into paper) just go with my three items and engage in a little game time coaching.
Just a thought.