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The Lo-Down: The Value of Video
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

The Lo-Down: The Value of Video

October 24, 2017

Believe it or not, film study isn’t just for football or basketball teams. Volleyball teams will spend a lot of time watching game tape as well, and today we’re going to review how Nebraska divvies up the duties, how much video teams are watching and what they’re looking for when they do.

At Nebraska players watch video three-to-five times a week. Occasionally that means multiple film sessions in a day as the Huskers most often review game tape at the start of the week to become familiar with the upcoming opponent and better understand the practice plan over the next few days. The team will then typically review the film the night before and day of the match just to make sure it is fresh in the players’ minds.

Some video sessions are position-specific at Nebraska with head coach John Cook watching with the outside and right-side hitters and setters, assistant coach Tyler Hlidebrand watching tape with the middles and assistant coach Kayla Banwarth reviewing film with the liberos and defensive specialists. Nebraska will watch a mix of video clips, some of the upcoming opponent and some video of its own play each week.

When scouting opponents the coaches and players are looking for many things, but there are three focus areas: the hitting tendencies of the opposing attackers, the serving tendencies for each player and where other teams were successful (hitting down the line, tipping to the donut, etc.).

When watching their own film, the Huskers are largely focused on technique. Attackers pay close attention to timing, arm swing and footwork. Video can help them see why they made an error or what made their attack successful.

Setters have a lot to look at on film. They will pay close attention to footwork and hand placement, but because the offense runs through them they have to make sure that their technique isn’t just correct but also consistent. Setters will also use video to see how deceptive they’re being in a match. How is their body positioned when they set to the front versus the back? Are they tipping the opponent off in any way? An opponent is looking for things like that so self-review is really important for setters.

Defenders watch film with a close focus on passing and positioning. They will review their own film to check their passing form, see if they’re stopped when playing defense (in position and ready to pass) and to make sure the defense was positioned correctly based on the block.

Coach Cook will also mix in some clips of some of the top players in the world when the Huskers are watching video. He believes that watching the best players at work can be a powerful way for younger players to pick up important techniques and see just how much is possible with elite execution.

Want more of The Lo-Down? Read all of Lauren's previous columns here.

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