February 18, 2011

Friday's Randomness, Inclusive of Volleyball

Randomness, Volleyball style:

1. Nothing like hiring a Head Coach for a Top 10 NCAA Division I program but putting TBA when it comes to a start date. I don't know what is more laughable, that Minnesota waited 3 months to hire a coach without establishing when this coach will actually be in the employ of the university or that USA Volleyball is trying to figure out a solution which is best for Hugh McCutcheon? You would think this coach is an uber Russ Rose or something; who by the way, must be chuckling at having Penn State's main conference foe in this situation!

2. The implementation of NCAA Sand Volleyball will reward those programs located near or on a southern coast, while punishing programs which are landlocked or in the mid to northern part of the United States. I have seen it already happening with international recruits, who are shunning recruiting efforts of schools in the midwest, to pursue opportunities in the coastal south and southeast. Just build sand courts you say? Well, if you really knew Beach Volleyball, then you would understand a man made court will never equate to a coastal beach court. Oh, and did I mention that it rarely snows in Florida in March or April (or ever for that matter)? Hard to run a Sand Program when you need to shovel snow off first.

3. I would suggest to Club Volleyball coaches to be outrageously daring and not do the same old thing in every match. The club season is comprised of almost too many matches, and to just run the same system in every tour/shootout/power league match which is played every other weekend creates no stimuli for improvement. How about only setting the middles for one entire game? I remember an old coach of mine telling us to do this, and it was amazing how our passing improved so we could run the middle, and how the other team did not key into this change! How about running a combination play on every sideout? How about serving short on every serve or jump serving every serve? How about commit blocking one on one with each blocker or having your setter block middle and the middle block right? How about not using a Libero for a game? Force front row only players to pass and play defense. What I am seeing club match after club match is a Volleyball rut being created, in which the players are not stimulating their Volleyball intellect. Coaches, please be creative and take some chances, do something new and unusual. Who cares if you happen to lose a game in a tournament which is not a qualifier? Winning should not be the focus in every single game of every single match during a Club Volleyball season.

4. Wow! Some of these newer playing facilities which are being used for smaller Club Volleyball tournaments are impressive! I mean they are big, with lots of seating, plasma television screens suspended at the rear of the courts for scoreboards, training rooms, organic restaurants, spas, valet parking, ocean views and chocolates on the pillow! A far cry in the development of the USA youth sporting culture where teams where begging their way in high school gyms at night.

5. Still can't get my head to accept club tournaments charging admission for entry; just reeks of petty greed. If the financial margin is that tight, then please charge an extra 25 bucks per team on the entry fee, rather than sticking Grandma for $5 to go see her granddaughter play. At least the Senior discount ticket price for the movie theater gets her a chair backed, padded seat.

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