Serving data (inspired by VolleyballAnalyst)

Okay, this one was inspired by someone who has high-level serving information above and beyond what I can do.  You can find that here.  It’s worth the read.  I’ll wait for ya!

The difference is that the other author is looking at professional men’s volleyball and my information is NJCAA college volleyball–a different gender and a different skill level.  No matter, why not share the information I have.  I can make up for some of it with a larger sample size!!   Below, the numbers are broken down as:

SERVES – ACES (%) – ERRORS (%)

JUMP SERVE, TOP SPIN
2006: 634 – 47 (7.4%) – 21 (3.3%)
2007: 601 – 93 (15.1%) – 62 (10.3%)
2008: 853 – 119 (13.9%) – 115 (13.4%)
2009: 519 – 41 (7.9%) – 53 (10.2%)
2010: 1095 – 162 (14.8%) – 85 (7.8%)
2011: 1636 – 173 (10.6%) – 157 (9.6%)
2012: 1946 – 161 (8.2%) – 197 (10.1%)
2013: 1422 – 119 (8.3%) – 196 (13.8%)
2014: 917 – 98 (10.7%) – 123 (13.4%)
2015: 1490 – 154 (10.3%) – 154 (10.3%)
2016: 940 – 116 (12.3%) – 151 (16.1%)
2017: 702 – 76 (10.8%) – 93 (13.2%)
2018: 1412 – 119 (8.4%) – 171 (12.1%)               
TOTAL: 14,167 – 1478 (10.4%) – 1578 (11.1%)

JUMP SERVE, FLOATER
2006:  817 – 86 (10.5%) – 124 (15.2%)
2007:  1856 – 162 (8.7%) – 134 (7.2%)
2008: 536 – 57 (10.6%) – 39 (7.3%)
2009: 791 – 61 (7.7%%) – 57 (7.2%)
2010: 573 – 44 (7.7%) – 28 (4.9%)
2011: 441 – 54 (12.2%) – 67 (15.2%)
2012: 735 – 77 (10.5%) – 66 (9.0%)
2013: 1093 – 73 (6.7%) – 70 (6.4%)
2014: 476 – 39 (8.2%) – 39 (8.2%)
2015: 944 – 89 (9.4%) – 93 (9.9%)
2016: 1119 – 113 (10.1%) – 133 (11.9%)
2017:  677 – 65 (9.6%) -59 (8.7%)
2018: 997 – 92 (9.1%) – 91 (9.1%)                                          
TOTAL: 11,055 – 1012 (9.2%) – 1000 (9.1%)

STANDING, TOP SPIN
2006:  609 – 32 (5.3%) – 35 (5.7%)
2007:  666 – 69 (10.4%) – 87 (13.1%)
2008:  373 – 49 (13.1%) – 50 (13.4%)
2009:  229 – 26 (11.4%) – 28 (12.2%)
2010:  696 – 56 (8.0%) – 69 (9.9%)
2011: 122 – 8 (6.6%) – 13 (10.7%)
2012: 24 – 0 (0%) – 7 (29.2%)
2013: 129 – 14 (10.9%) – 36 (27.9%)
2014: 125 – 12 (9.6%) – 25 (20.0%)
2015: 177 – 22 (12.4%) – 15 (8.5%)
2016: 319 – 28 (8.8%) – 35 (10.9%)
2017: 811 – 67 (8.3%) – 84 (10.4%)
2018:  98 – 7 (7.1%) – 11 (11.2%)                          
TOTAL: 4,378 – 390 (8.9%) – 495 (11.3%)

STANDING, FLOATER
2006: 1315 – 120 (9.1%) – 114 (8.7%)
2007: 1106 – 94 (8.5%) – 120 (10.9%)
2008: 752 – 140 (18.6%) – 170 (22.6%)
2009: 1980 – 117 (5.9%) – 116 (5.9%)
2010: 1132 – 79 (7.0%) – 53 (4.7%)
2011: 1519 – 94 (6.2%)- 89 (5.9%)
2012: 455 – 40 (8.8%) – 53 (11.7%)
2013: 542 – 50 (9.2%) – 77 (14.2%)
2014: 1522 – 117 (7.7%) – 117 (7.7%)
2015:  829 – 53 (6.4%) – 78 (9.4%)
2016: 1481 – 110 (7.4%) – 148 (10.%)
2017: 1285 – 104 (8.1%) – 101 (7.9%)
2018: 587 – 52 (8.9%) – 64 (10.9%)         
TOTAL: 14,505 – 1170 (8.1%) – 1300 (9.0%)

COMPARATIVE TOTALS

JUMP TOP:                14,167 – 1478 (10.4%) – 1578 (11.1%)
JUMP FLOAT:           11,055 – 1012 (9.2%) – 1000 (9.1%)
STANDING TOP:        4,378 – 390 (8.9%) – 495 (11.3%)
STANDING FLOAT: 14,505 – 1170 (8.1%) – 1300 (9.0%)

I’m not sure of a conclusion to draw–other than it’s rarer to have someone stay on the ground and apply top-spin…and that they are less effective doing it than any other way.  Other than one outlier (2008 Standing Float) with outrageous ace AND error rates–the result of two very specific servers, the Jump-Top Spin offers the highest chance of an ace.

The catch is–somewhere in Coaching Volleyball magazine a few years back, there was a different study (wish I could remember where I put it) that showed this was true–but that after the first serve, a Jump-Top Spin serve quickly lost its efficiency for scoring compared to either sort of float serve.

 

Advertisements

Can Sandbagging be Eliminated in a VB National Tournament

A couple hundred years ago, a Danish chemist named Hans Christian Ørsted came up with a new way of pursuing science–to use imagination.  The term he created was ‘gedankenexperiment’–a thought experiment.  This is usually used with science–Einstein wondering about people traveling close to the speed of light or Schrödinger’s Cat.  Combined with what is the traditional club VB complaint as Qualifiers/Nationals come around about teams which sandbag to win easy divisions (which IS pathetically something that does happen), I saw an assertion in an argument that fixing this was impossible.

Well, why not a Thought Experiment?  Is it possible to determine an actual champion and limit the effects of sandbagging?  Can this be done without scrapping current infrastructure like AES?

I think the actual answer is–yes.  It is possible.  I also think it would require administrators to rethink things…because it would mean a completely different schedule for teams playing.  I’m going to make some assumptions here–one for ease of math, the other based on Convention Center size/available courts:

  • I’m going to assume there are 256 teams playing in an age group.
  • I’m presuming there are 100 courts available for competition (this is roughly the number used at the Mideast Qualifier)

Since AES already exists and creates ‘seeds’, we’re going to use those to rank the 256 teams.  We will then create a schedule of 1v256, 2v255, 3v254–all the way down the line.  Could this create mismatches?  Sure.  But everyone’s going to get a crack at winning–and if you want to be champ, you have to beat whoever is in front of you.  This means already you have no benefit from sandbagging–you’re just going to get lined up to face a better team.   This is a total of 128 matches.

Once the first round is finished, we have a winner’s bracket and a loser’s bracket–basically, we are setting up a “Swiss tournament”–so that all teams play in each round.  With each round, the winners are narrowed down, so after the 2nd rd, you would have four ‘brackets’: Win-Win, Win-Lose, Lose-Win, Lose-Lose.  After the third, you get Win-Win-Win; Win-Win-Lose; Win-Lose-Win; Win-Lose-Lose; Lose-Win-Win; Lose-Win-Lose; Lose-Lose-Win; and Lose-Lose-Lose.  Make sense?  For us to get to the point of only having two undefeated teams will require 8 rounds–a total of 1,024 matches.

That means we’re going to occupy those 100 courts for a total of 10.24 time slots.

Well, that means if we have 256 18s, 17s, 16s, 15s, 14s, 13s, 12s, and 11s, we’re going to need 81.92 slots of court time.

At a Qualifier, courts are generally used for an AM pool and PM pool, so 12 slots/day.

USAV Nationals were slotted for nine days last year–which would be 108 slots of court time available.  AAU teams play for a week or so–that’s 84 court slots of time.

That means there’s plenty of court time available–even if some matches go long.  It means the initial schedule would be a pain to put together–8 age groups trying to be fit in over a week…but it would eliminate a ton of coach confusion regarding what comes next–it’s either/or.  You win–you go here.  You lose–you go there.  There would be no more tie-breakers based on point differential, no need for teams to wait around to play a single set at midnight to determine who plays at 8am the next day.

You win, you advance.  You lose–you get to keep playing, you just won’t be playing for a title.  It would eliminate sandbagging, create an actual champion, and would still give teams a full 8 matches–with a bracket-system that SHOULD make each match more balanced than the one that came before it.

Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

The Danger of Improper Terminology

This is generally going to be about coaching–really.  It’ll just take a minute to get there.

One of my pet peeves is the improper use of language or terms.  Every time a word or idea is misused, it distorts the truth–and worse, in many instances makes the word unusable for any real purpose.  Need examples?

Look at the evolution of words such as ‘gay’ or ‘queer’.  Do people realize why or how those words came to be associated with sexual orientation?  Left and Right–those go back to the French Revolution.  ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’ don’t actually mean, aren’t supposed to mean, what many Americans use them for.  It’s perfectly possible to have a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal…except in America.  Why, it gets confusing enough that a radical (Jesus) is claimed as a conservative.  Go figure.

We can do this in numerous fields.  That brings us to education and coaching.  There is a constant call for ‘punishment’ as motivation for athletes.  That’s when the chaos starts to come in to the picture–because some realize that the word ‘punishment’ will draw fire, so they say ‘negative reinforcement’ instead to avoid the criticism

This makes it worse–because negative criticism IS ITS OWN THING.  It is completely different than punishment, so what you now have happen is people mis-use a term, use methods of conditioning that are less effective than others–and along the way make it more difficult to apply one of the techniques (negative reinforcement) that IS better than punishment.

It’s enough that I figured–I’ll write a blog post on it, describe it like I did when I was teaching it in high school…and maybe it can shift knowledge enough that people stop using terms improperly (I mean, it’s worked well so far for me with left/right, liberal/conservative….) and can become better educators from this.

What people are referring to with reinforcement is trying to change behaviors in some fashion.  This has been going on for thousands of years, but the guy who made an active study of it was a Russian named Pavlov.  In short, Pavlov rang a bell, gave his dogs food.  They drooled.  After a time, he would ring the bell, didn’t give food, but they continued to drool.  Thus, Pavlov showed how you could create a desired behavior.  There’s more to it, but this isn’t a Psych textbook.  Ultimately, there are three types of conditioning:

  1. Positive Reinforcement  –With this, we are going to add something in order to add to an existing behavior.
  2. Negative Reinforcement  –With this, we will remove something as long as we get the desired behavior.
  3. Punishment  –We will do something the subject doesn’t like to remove an undesired behavior.

The first big thing to note between 1/2 + 3 is that the first two are addressing the behavior desired directly.  With 1 and 2, if I want the person to take a drink of water, my actions relate directly to the act of drinking water. Notice that 3 does not?  With the current water-drinking example, 3 doesn’t address the drinking, it’s going to work to prevent standing in line talking; walking down to the end of the hall; playing with the foot pedal.  These things may all be undesirable, they may get in the way of taking a drink, but they don’t incentivize getting a drink.

That’s another big thing.  A lot of people see ‘positive reinforcement’ and think things are being given away for free. From coaches over the age of 30, you’ll see the term ‘snowflakes’ used to cast scorn on positive reinforcement, that addressing a desired behavior this way makes the player soft, weak, or any number of other words with negative connotations.

The difficulty with ‘negative reinforcement’ is that most people see the word ‘negative’ and take it to mean bad–‘Don’t be such a negative person’.  The word here doesn’t mean that.  It is meant more like plus/minus.  ‘Negative’ means to subtract something from the equation–but I guarantee that 99/100 times when you see a coach (at least 80/100 for teachers) use this term, they are conflating it with ‘punishment’.

So teaching Intro to Psych clued me in–I can sit and give textbook examples and definitions all day, but people still don’t get it.  It takes concrete examples.  The examples below aren’t meant to be specific to any team–I’ve tried to make them generic along with how to fix them…

IMPROVING SERVE-RECEIVE

  • Positive: In practice, athletes GET a high-5 for a perfect pass; when 25 consecutive don’t drop, athletes GET to play 3-on-3 for 15 minutes; when practice is done whoever keeps the most from dropping GETS a Snickers bar.
  • Negative: If we get 15 in a row that don’t drop,  we will NOT do the second ball-handling drill players don’t like; if we get 50 good passes before we have one drop, there will NOT be a curfew at this weekend’s tournament
  • Punishment: For every ball that hits, we’re doing burpees. For every ball that hits, the passers have to stay an extra minute after practice.

Notice that the first two create incentives–things players want?  High-fives, playing games, candy…or the removal of a curfew or getting to skip a drill they hate.  Every coach knows the drills players don’t like and hopefully has seen the morale boost when athletes find out “Hey, good job–we’re skipping Evil Drill Four today!”  Punishment doesn’t address that.  Players don’t get a benefit from a perfect pass–all they need to do is keep it from the ground–even if that means it shanks off and hits Grandma and her knitting.

COMMERCIAL BREAK:
As always–if this is of interest, consider purchasing my book here.
I’ve also got an educational foundation that seeks to create scholarships for young people going in to education and teaching via non-traditional means (coaching, games, play-acting, whatever).  You can donate to that here.
WE NOW RESUME OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING.

WORKING ON TEAM CHEMISTRY/COOPERATION

  • Positive: Players permitted to select own teams during practice; Team Hustle Award; direct selection via consensus of team captains
  • Negative: Permitted to supervise own non-practice events (warmups, weightlifting); coach does not select roommates for road trips
  • Punishment: Micro-management by the coach; players directed not to speak/offer suggestions during practice; lack of ‘calling for it’ in a drill leads to physical consequences.

PLAYER’S EFFORT IN PRACTICE

  • Positive: Increased playing time; larger role in crunch-time; named team captain
  • Negative: Coach does not hover over player during certain drills at practice/trusts player is going 100%, moves on to other players who coach is unsure of.
  • Punishment: Run. Pit drills. Dive drills.  95% of overuse/repetitive drills.

BETTER HITTER

  • Positive: Feedback on what the player is doing–which can include what the player is doing wrong, by the way; high-fives; attainable but challenging goals to move on to a different aspect of the skill
  • Negative: Removing certain “handicaps” (for lack of a better word)–we’re going to have you hit off a setter rather than a toss–or have to hit an out-of-system ball rather than a perfect one; we’re going to put live blockers on the other side rather than an empty net.
  • Punishment: Hit it in the net–>burpees.  Hit it out of bounds–>sprints.  All sorts of errors–reset a counting drill ‘back to zero’

Do these examples help?  I hope so.

For me, I try not to use punishment much.  I save it for special occasions–>discipline issues.  My athletes know that if they get punished, they have screwed up in a large way.  This adds to its effectiveness–if we use the exact same stimulus over and over, it’s possible for it to lose effectiveness.  Eventually Pavlov’s dogs realized, “Hey, the bell doesn’t mean steak after all.”

This isn’t in-depth by any means.  Some of it is taking short-cuts to make sure of the high points.  I haven’t even gotten in to the types of punishment (also referred to as positive and negative–which is MOST unhelpful) or extinction.  I’ve also missed one other key thing when it comes to athletes.

They are people–and you have to be aware of their own motivations.  When you try as a coach to impose conditioning on an athlete, you may be messing up their own intrinisic motivations.  Michael Jordan didn’t need to be pushed by the Chicago Bulls to greatness for instance.  The personalities of your athletes has to be kept in mind.  That’s a HUGE challenge–because 15 athletes are going to have 15 different things motivating them and 15 different ‘best’ ways of motivating them..

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Rules for playing ‘my’ game…

…kinda like 10 rules for dating my daughter, right? Anyways, please consider hitting the ‘FOLLOW’ button.  If you like things like this, you’re welcome to contribute to my retirement fund by purchasing my book…and for under $5….

Also important–nothing below is really directly related to volleyball.  It’s advice for managing players and personalities–and helping young people become great adults.

1: Do it right every time. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Be dependable, be consistent. Don’t be afraid to do new things when asked—simply give 100% at everything you do. People not playing (coaches, fans, etc) notice when players are not giving 100% . As you grow older, it will become more and more obvious who is and isn’t giving 100%. Make people go ‘WOW!’ when they watch you hustle!

2: Speed brings victory.  Hustle on the court in games, in practice.  Hustle to shag balls and the other ‘grunt work’ and the hustle becomes automatic.  You’ll play quicker—more balls in play, more chances to hit.  More hits, more points—more victories.

3: You don’t have to think ‘outside the box’ (shh….I know my blog’s title).  Just be focused on what’s going on ‘in the box!’  During practice and matches, keep your mind on volleyball.  Don’t dwell on why you are mad at Betty and don’t wonder if Jane’s comment was an insult or not. You shouldn’t be worried about Tina talking to your boyfriend. You HAVE to focus on volleyball. Teams that focus win. Teams that bring in irrelevant stuff from ‘outside the box’ lose.

4: Respect your teammates and coaches.  Don’t talk behind a teammate’s back. If you have something to say—good or bad—make sure you are willing to say it to their face or remain silent.  Consider your words before saying something and consider going out of your way to say something if it is positive.

5:  Ask questions!  I will regularly ask you for opinions. It doesn’t mean that what you suggest is what we’ll do, but feedback is ABSOLUTELY important. The reverse is also true—if you have questions, ask. The cliché is true for the most part….there are no stupid questions.

6: Be mellow.  Communicate.  Listen.  Don’t allow for misunderstandings between you and someone else. Don’t turn someone away when they need to talk with you—listen and reflect on what they have to say. If this exists both ways, communication WILL be effective.  Your teammates are your friends.  Always remember that.

7: Keep in mind the big picture.  Remember that there is more going on than one day in practice, one match. No one on the team will play every point.  Starters may change, injuries can happen. The big picture is about growing up. It’s about commitment and work ethic and learning what leads to success.  This is important for the next four, five, or six decades. It’s about your education. Don’t get caught up in petty squabbles, you will be miserable, make others miserable, and you will miss out on everything that will make this season part of a wonderful portrait when you look back years from now.

8: If you saw a little old lady with a flat tire on the highway and no one around, you’d stop and help, or at least wait with them until the Highway Patrol arrived. You wouldn’t think twice about this. You don’t ignore them. You’d certainly stop if the person was your friend.  So why not do this in our gym.  If there is a problem, stop and help fix it. The three big parts of this are:

  • Empathize.  Can you understand the other person’s situation or are you caught up in ‘me, me, me’?
  • If you make a mistake, it’s okay to admit it.  Apologize, then strive not to repeat the mistake.
  • You MUST risk being taken advantage of by others for the sake of the team and the team’s goals.  Help someone get better even if they could be promoted over you, accept responsibility even if you risk temporarily being unpopular.

9: Do you appreciate your teammates? Have you told them that directly? Or are they left wondering what you are thinking as you whisper to someone else? Never, ever, discount the value of positive comments to teammates.  You may find your comment comes at the prefect moment to help a downcast teammate—you may never know you helped or that help was necessary

10: This is the tough one. Tattoo this somewhere on your body (not really):KNOW YOURSELF. On top of that, make sure others see the real you. If your teammates know you struggle with confidence on your hitting, they will be more likely to offer encouragement. If you are having relationship issues, if they know, they will be less likely to make jokes and avoid unintentional hurt, leading to drama and poisoned personal relationships.

Proper Serve-Receive (The Director’s Cut)

So…I don’t buy the accuracy of the 0-3 scale for evaluating serve-receive.  I’m confident that at a global level going 0-1-4-5 is more accurate (though that can vary by individual team).  In any event, that all gets discussed here.  If you haven’t read it or don’t remember it, I’ll wait. 

Okay, glad you’re back.

I changed how I keep my stats starting with 2017 so that I no longer listed just total passes and an average.  I started keeping a more detailed breakdown–numbers of each sort of passes, that sort of stuff.  That means I’ve got two seasons worth of data that I can look at and see what we see.    **As always, I have no idea what the conclusion of this is going to be; we may find at the end that my ideas are 150% bass-ackwards.

For 2017, I had four players pass 100+ balls.  In my opinion, the ‘eye test’, in order of passing ability, I’d go: BK, MB, SA, and ED.  What do we get if we put those passers to the numbers test:

                0-1-2-3
BK            2.26
MB           2.02
SA            2.19
ED           2.03

Well, not quite what I expected from memory.  MB’s number’s lower than I’d have thought possible–and it wasn’t like she had a long cold streak or something in the middle of the season to cause that, so does it change with the alternate scale?

                0-1-4-5
BK             3.75
MB            3.75
SA              3.69
ED             3.49

I’m a bit surprised at the changes.   Honestly, I thought BK was clearly better in serve-receive than MB.  This has them as equal.  I ‘knew’ MB was significantly better than ED, but a 0-3 scale didn’t back that up.  Breaking it down with the alternative scale, the difference is obvious.  …so my ‘eye test’ was correct comparing those two.  MB comes out better than expected.  The distance (to me) between MB and SA wasn’t great and the 1/4/5 bears that out–whereas 0-3 suggests SA is way better.

So how about 2018?  We had five players pass 100+ balls.

Eye Test order, best to worst: TM, MB, ED, TT, and BK  (one caveat–watching, I always felt like TT was feast-or-famine, so you could easily have had her #2 or #5 or in between)

                0-1-2-3          
TM            2.11
MB            2.09
ED            2.07
TT            1.99
BK            2.06

Well, once again, a little shock.  I didn’t realize TT was under 2.  Digging a little bit (sit around 10 minutes while I do a little extra number crunching, then come back to read more), TT’s percentage of getting aced is not much higher than any one else’s.  What’s lower is her percentage of perfect passes.  I wonder now what that means for the next chart….

0-1-4-5
TM               3.58
MB               3.56
ED                3.46
TT                3.89
BK                3.52

Holy frickin’ cow…I had no idea that TT would jump to become the best of the five.  I checked the Excel formula, then did the math by hand.  Wow.  The numbers are so different.  I’m wondering now if I should’ve paid more attention to the numbers rather than using them to inform my ‘eye test’ (or my assistant’s eye for that matter).  Basically, everything she got to, the setter had multiple options–the key to scoring.  Nothing perfect, but everything decent.

The ‘eye test’ missed on 2018 TT and ED though in fairness, the 2018 overall numbers are close in both systems (except for 2018 TT).  The 0-3 system missed on most of 2017 and was completely off on TT for 2018.

I don’t think that’s enough to prove 0-3 is less effective…but it’s enough that you should consider alternatives like the 0-1-4-5.  It’s possible my numbers are off–or that we need a sliding scale because HS is radically different than college (or international).  Don’t hesitate to put comments on here with your numbers, etc.  The objective is to improve coaching, improve the game!

 

NJCAA Seedings, updated to include 2018

I’ve paid attention to seeds for the past few years….basically since 2012.  Every year, coaches complain about seedings–who they have to play, whether they should have been ranked higher, etc.  This goes on in every sport and every college level.  –If a coach isn’t complaining, s/he isn’t happy, right??

I revisited this since it’s basketball March Madness.  Everyone worries about seedings and ‘the committee’…but what about us other people and our organization?

THIS IS AN UPDATE.  MOST OF THIS BLOG DATES FROM NOVEMBER 2018.  FOR THE 2018 RESULTS, CHECK THE BOTTOM!  JIM

In any event, I coach in the NJCAA, the organization with most two-year colleges in the U.S.  None of our schools have the budgets of athletic departments like you find in the Big 12 or the SEC, so when it is time to do seedings and the NJCAA people get together, they’ve got an interesting dilemma, since teams aren’t always (actually, rarely) seen by most of the committee, many of the schools do not share common opponents, and because there is a mandate for geographic representation, you have teams that are weaker who need to be included.  Thus, we can expect the committee to fail pretty often, right?

So how do they do?  There are 16 teams, so the top 8 ought to advance.   Why not check the available record….

2015:
1st rd seeds advancing: 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,12    –7 of 8…not bad.
2nd rd advancing: 1,2,4,6   –3 of the top 4 seeds still alive
3rd rd advancing: 1,6  –for posterity, we were the 6-seed, and I was upset–thought we should have been top-4.  Reaching the title game proves that to me.
Champion: 1

2016:
1st rd seeds advancing: 1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10  –got the top 6, pretty good.
2nd rd advancing: 1,2,3,4  –perfect
3rd rd advancing: 1,3   –again, a case of how it should have been seeded, but things lined up regardless, because 2-3 would have simply flip-flopped seeds in any event.
Champion: 1

2017:
1st rd seeds advancing: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9  –7 of 8, and got the top 7
2nd rd seeds advancing: 1,2,3,4 –perfect
3rd rd seeds advancing: 1,3
Champion: 3    –But the seeding was correct as #3 played 5-set matches in ALL of the first three rounds and did not dominate anyone until the title game.

So basically, us coaches have no right to complain.  Y’know?

—————–

So, how’d 2018 go?

2018:
1st rd seeds advancing: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, 8 –perfect
2nd rd seeds advancing: 1,2,3,5  (5 beat 4 15-13 in the 5th set…)
3rd rd seeds advancing: 1,2
Champion: 1

So yet again–the NJCAA got it right.

The Story So Far… (31 VB blog links)

I’m a sucker for certain types of TV shows.  I liked the X-Files, so no surprise, I like what the creators did afterwards–> Supernatural.  Part of the shtick there is that every year in the first episode, they do a montage of ‘The Story So Far” set to good rock tunes…and they inevitably use Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” a bunch, too.  I thought of all this while figuring–I’ve been doing the blog about eight months now and have quite a few pieces on volleyball.  Rather than presuming people will go search for what they want, why not put all the links here?

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while–it helps out on this end if you click that “FOLLOW” button.  The government won’t track you or anything–but it gives me an idea how long people linger on articles and stuff and where I should let my wander for future writings.

Also, consider investing $4.99 in my book, Like Heck She Isn’t a Volleyball Player.  27 essays on coaching for less than a Starbucks kopi luwak latte or just a single McDonald’s trip.  It’s readable and nowhere near as obnoxious as I am in real life.

THE POLITICS OF VOLLEYBALL:
USAV HP and Me (too)
A Philosophical Conundrum regarding a 20-year Issue in Volleyball
The Big Difference between Men’s and Women’s Volleyball
‘Participation Trophies’ are a good thing
Bureaucracy will kill you…
A Pro VB League in the US should be Easy

CLUB AND SCHOOL BALL:
Offensive Systems
The Cost of Club
Travel Ball or High School?
A Bittersweet 15th Anniversary, 1/21
“Coaches” guiding young athletes / This is how you rant

NITTY-GRITTY STUFF:
Team Rules (adaptable to all sports)
A Game-Like Practice Plan

STUFF RELYING ON NUMBERS/RESEARCH:
The Folly of Blocking
The Importance of Streaking
They Call it a Streak, Part II
Re-arranging history to suit our own needs
A Proper Evaluation of Serve-Receive
Pass Quality and Hitting Efficiency
I Hate John Kessel (but not really)
NJCAA Tournament seeding
Doodlin’ with Deciding Set Data

COACHING PHILOSOPHY:
La Victoria trova cento padri…
Applying JFC Fuller’s Military Theory to Coaching

RELATABLE TO VOLLEYBALL:
Brady Anderson, steroids, small sample sizes, and the American Way

LESSONS I’VE LEARNED/STORY TIME:
Opening Day!
Don’t. Get. Cute.
Dance with the One who Brung Ya
One of my favorite volleyball memories
Anatomy of a Disaster (Mind of a Coach)
A History of Bad Behavior…