Training like an opera

01/31/2024 |

Think about how parents teach their child new words: they stretch out the sound and put extra emphasis, they exaggerate. There’s a good reason for that. Because through exaggeration, you learn to understand where the boundaries lie. So, if you want to teach your players something new, lay it on thick.

In practice

If you, as a coach, want a player to adopt a low defensive stance, have them touch the side of your shoes just before the attacker strikes.
If you want the attacker, before jumping, to bring his or her arms far behind the body? Have your player clap behind the back at the right moment. If you want the setter to follow through with the sets, ask them to do this in an exaggerated manner.

Using attributes

You can also use attributes to exaggerate a movement. Exaggerate ball trajectory recognition with an exercise like ‘hoop up’. Want them to play the ball overhead from a low stance? Exaggerate this by doing the exercise ‘Through a ringlet’, for example.

In short, don’t do things by halves! You can always dial it back later. First, lay it on really thick theatrically, so you feel how far you can go and then work on refining the precision.

Train like an opera or operetta, so to speak.

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