The second SVA Coaching Fast Track took place on Sunday 2nd of Nov at the Emirates in Glasgow and it turned out to be more successful than anticipated. 28 promising young athletes and nine dedicated coaches shared the expertise of Thomas Dowens and John Scrimgeour. All of the candidates worked really hard, showing clear signs of improvement as the day unfolded. The coaches helped with the session, exchanged ideas and enjoyed getting the opportunity to work with the players. The players learned a lot and enjoyed working with girls and boys from different clubs and parts of the country
The middle player is the most important offensive player because all offensive combinations begin and are designed around him/her. The focus of the day was the link between the Setter and the Middle Blocker, looking at the rhythm and timing of the link, about the tactics of the link and investigating the key points required to make the link effective and successful.
Using scaffolding exercises Thomas explained how setters should utilize their hips and their bodies so they can connect to the middle player’s jump while at the same time also being able to initiate effective offensive combinations with the other attackers. The most impressive aspect of the day in my opinion was actually seeing young setters being able to disguise their sets and playing fast volleyball. The simple but effective ‘Link-Target-Touch’ sequence was repeated giving a structured platform for reflection. Metaphorically speaking the setter must be connected with the hitters through an invisible string. This string is nothing more and nothing less than rhythm and timing.
Special thanks to Lynne Beattie whose participation motivated the young players, especially the girls. In the words of one of the coaches, “watching your daughters face when she realises that the lady she just spent the day partnering and training with at a volleyball camp was in fact an Olympian……yeah, I’ll remember that one for a while.”
Many thanks to Thomas Dowens and to John Scrimgeour for their tireless efforts and to everyone, from South Ayrshire to Aberdeen, who contributed in making this the biggest and most rewarding Fast Track I have ever attended.