Ball trajectory recognition in youth Volleyball

12/05/2023 |

What is the most important thing to develop in young players? Technique? Tactics? Physicality?

Do you, as a coach, also sometimes experience that the children can make a nice platform but somehow they still don’t get the ball right on their arms? Or that they are ready in a correct stance, but still the ball falls a meter in front of them on the ground and they don’t move towards the ball?

Ball Trajectory Recognition

VolleyballXL believes that from the very beginning of their volleyball career, children should be trained in ball handling skills, but the most important is ‘ball trajectory recognition’.

In all aspects of volleyball, ball trajectory recognition is necessary. Playing overhead does not occur in every action. Forearm ball passing is also not in every action. Blocking is only necessary if the opponent makes an attack and then also on your position. But ball trajectory recognition is always there. In your toss for the serve, in the set, in the attack, in the pass, in your block… ALWAYS.

Now we can bring in all the technical terms like space and time and proprioception, but the most important thing is that we as coaches learn to understand that training a good sense of and better insight into the ball trajectory is what will benefit the volleyball-playing child most in the future.

Moving to the Ball

You can have such a good platform, but if you don’t move to the ball in time, it goes wrong. You can have such a great hitting technique, but if you as an attacker do not properly see where the ball will end up at the best height for you, then you will still hit under the ball. You can be blessed as a setter with a nice overhead technique, but if you don’t timely see where the pass ends up, those set-ups will not be good. In short: Ball Trajectory Recognition.

Exercises Specifically for Ball Trajectory Recognition

Train this every training again with youth. VolleyballXL has a whole series of exercises online to make this a standard part of your training. Instead of playing tag, or running back and forth, create a warm-up with exercises to strengthen/improve ball trajectory recognition in combination with ball handling skills. A fun exercise for this is, for example, ball buddies or ball ball. If you are a member of VolleyballXL, you can filter on Ball Trajectory Recognition in the search filter. Not a member yet? Click here to become a member.

Remember: ball trajectory recognition, always!

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