Monday, March 27, 2006

A New Volleyball Season

The 2006 Ridgecrest city volleyball season started tonight. Our first practice was tonight and our first game is on Thursday. That is one of the things I really dislike about they way they run this league. I get a single one hour practice before our first game. In that one hour I have to find and meet my players. Go over the rules and directions for the new season, hand out schedules and their tee shirts. Then I have to evaluate the players and get them playing on the court. We have to develop some sort of offensive strategy. All in one hour.

Division 2 where I'm coaching for the first time this year is the 13 - 17 year olds. I assumed that these girls being more experienced would not need a lot of time with the basics. So I jumped right into working on an offensive strategy. I think it was a mistake. I'm hoping that they are just a little rusty. Their serving was way off. Most of them struggled to try and serve three good serves in a row. Their passing was spotty at best. I do have two players with some high school experience so they may form a good basis to build the team around.

However I do have a problem. I wanted to get these girls (and one boy) playing at least a 4-2 offense. Maybe even a 6-2 if they turn out to be good enough hitters. But as I was leaving tonight I overheard one of the other coaches who also runs the league telling her team that the city requires equal playing time for all players on the team so they would not be able to run a set offense because the setters don't rotate out and therefore would get more court time. My solution would be to have a different pair of setters for each game. But past experience has shown that the league administrators would probably not go for that. They insist that this is a recreation league, not a competitive one. Then they go out of their way to make sure you aren't allowed to be competitive.

The contridiction comes in that they run the league like a competitive league not a rec league. They are really sticklers for the most insignificant rules. They expect the players to behave just like players in a competitve league. But they do not allow us to coach them to be competitive. Additionally they plan a post season tournament. But they have already set the pairings for the tournament. So we're suppossed to try and prepare them to win the tournament, but not teach them to play volleyball in a competitive way.

Oh well I should have about 15 minutes before our first game. I hope I can get them into a rotation that they can play a plain old center sets style of volleyball. I will let them do this for the first week or two and then see if I can get them into a more organized offensive strategy.

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