Mes: septiembre 2018

How to Defend Against a Dink in Volleyball

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So you want to know how to defend against a dink shot, or tip as it is commonly referred to these days. I’m going to look at it from the perspective of a coach trying to improve a team’s defending against these sorts of shots rather than from the view of an individual player. That said, I think you’ll find the bulk of what I have to say relates in both directions.

It starts with attitude

The first element of defending against off-speed attacks like tips and roll shots is to go into it with a commitment not to let those sorts of balls ever hit the floor. Obviously, it’s the general goal of your defense to keep the ball from landing on your side of the court. There’s a difference here, though. Defending against a hard hit ball is mainly about positioning, while digging a tip is about pursuit. In many ways, the former is passive and the latter is aggressive. It takes an attacking attitude to play good defense against off-speed balls.

Positional responsibility

After attitude comes positioning. The players with designated responsibility for tip coverage, if any, are determined by the type of defense a team employs. For example, a rotational defense in which the right back player moves up behind the block on an outside hitter attack means that right back defender is responsible for shots over the block and into the middle of the court. In a standard perimeter defense there is no specifically designated tip coverage player, so basically it is up to the player(s) closest to the ball to make the dig.

Expecting the shot

This is perhaps the most important part of being good at off-speed defense. Tips, roll shots, and the like tend to score more because defenders are surprised than because they are well-placed. A prime example of this is setter dumps scoring when in most teams’ base defense there are two players specifically placed to defend against the first or second ball coming over. If those players expect the setter to dump they will often make a rather easy play on the ball. If not, they are caught flat-footed and the ball drops – a source of many a coach’s grey hairs.

Moving through the ball

As noted above, defense against an off-speed shot is often about pursuit. A player must move to the ball to make the play on it. In many instances the player has to run to get the ball and may not be able to be stopped in time to make a good play. In these cases they need to be able to execute a run-through dig to the favored target zone. This is something which requires training for less advanced players as the mechanics involved are a bit different than the normal more static dig or pass.

When done properly, with the right attitude and expectation, defending against a tip or other type of off-speed attack can look quite easy. Coach your volleyball players to have the right attitude, expectations, and mechanics and you will frustrate the opposing attackers to no end!

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How to Time Your Jump When Trying to Block in Volleyball

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Blocking in volleyball is at once the simplest skill to execute and the hardest one to do well. Timing the block correctly is part of that. This article will look at that timing aspect. This article will provide some advice on how to improve your timing to make you a more effective blocker.

Timing off the hitter’s jump

The single biggest determining factor in timing a volleyball block is matching your jump with the jump of the hitter. This doesn’t mean you need to jump at the exact same time as the hitter, but you won’t be too far off from that. Keeping this in mind may help with another facet of blocking which is making sure that your last bit of focus is properly on the hitter, not on the ball (subject for a separate article). It will also keep you from jumping when the hitter doesn’t actually jump (bad set, etc.).

Distance off the net

While the biggest timing factor is the hitter’s jump, you need to adjust your block jump based on how far off the net the hitter will be attacking the ball. The further back, the more you must wait to account for the longer time it will take for the ball to reach you. A back row attack, for example, requires a bit of a delay in your jump compared to a ball set tight to the net.

Speed of the hitter’s arm swing

The final little adjustment to timing comes by accounting for how hard the hitter attacks the ball. This is just like adjusting for the hitter’s distance off the net. An attacker with a fast arm swing will get the ball to you quicker than a player with a slow one. As a result, you have to delay a bit for the latter and jump a bit earlier for the former. If you can catch the hitter setting up an off-speed shot, that could also factor into your block timing (or your decision to go up at all).

Commit vs. Read

The jump, distance, and arm swing timing factors are going to be the same whether you are commit blocking (going up with a hitter without waiting to see if they are getting set) or reading blocking (waiting for the set). If you are commit blocking you still have to time your block based on the hitter’s jump, how near the net they are, and the speed of their swing.

Timing isn’t the only factor in good blocking, as getting up right on time won’t do you much good if you’re in the wrong spot. If you can combineproper timing together with proper positioning and blocking mechanics, though, you can put up a very nice block.

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How to Play Fantasy Football – What is the Difference Between Head to Head and Rotisserie Leagues?

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One of the first questions that comes up to new fantasy players is how to play fantasy football head-to-head and rotisserie leagues. Here’s some of the basics so you can make an informed decision on what is the right league for you.

In fantasy football leagues, head-to-head leagues are when you go up against a different opponent in your league every week. The manager of the team who earns the most points at the end of the week wins. Then the following week your points get reset and you do it all over again. Your league commissioner decides what grouping of total points are used for tiebreakers between two or even three teams.

When you play head-to-head match-ups the experience is really is more of a simulation of the actual NFL experience. What I mean by this is on any given game day any team could pull off an upset. This makes it a lot more enjoyable because you go from a week to week basis and you don’t have to wait till nearly the end of the season for the excitement to really kick in.

At the end of the season, each team’s win-loss record determines if that team goes into the fantasy football championship. The top teams go into the playoffs in a head-to-head format. Just like in the real pro-football scenario. The team that wins the final playoff wins the season’s championship.

In a rotisserie league you don’t have head to head games each week. Instead your team’s points are accumulated over the entire regular NFL season. Whatever team has the most points at the end of the year is the winner for the season.

Now, let’s just think a minute about some of the crazy stuff that happens during a regular football season. Let’s say your team is having a pretty decent year, but you had one game where your quarterback threw a load of interceptions. This allowed your opposition to pound the heck out of your team and they won by a lot of points.

Well that single game could cost you the entire season. Remember, whoever has the most points at the end of the season wins the championship in rotisserie leagues. Wouldn’t it just bite that your team one every game, but that one game?

With a head-to-head league how you play your fantasy football team is a lot more like the real thing. That’s what I prefer to play and so have chosen an head-to-head fantasy football league.

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What You Need to Do to Perform a Successful Quick Set in Volleyball

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A well-run quick set in volleyball can do great things for a team’s morale and enthusiasm. Getting the play right, though, takes a few key elements.

A good pass

Put simply, you can’t run a quick set if you don’t have a good pass. What exactly constitutes a good pass depends on the players involved. For younger and/or less experienced teams good means just about perfect. The ball needs to be close to the net and very near the middle. As you move toward higher levels of play and more athletic players, the precision of the passes becomes less important as the players are better able to adjust and execute. That allows for passes somewhat off the net and away from the middle.

Timing

If the hitter isn’t up on time, no matter how good the pass is, the quick set won’t work. The most frequent cause of errors on the quick attack is the hitter not being up on time. The exact timing depends on factors such as the type of quick attack being used and the tempo of the offense (more advanced teams will tend to run faster quicks than lower level ones). This is something that can only really be developed through repetition – preferably in game-like situations.

A relaxed setter

Proper execution of a quick attack requires a setter who is will stand in and deliver the ball. This is something which takes time to develop as setters new to the quick attack are quite often scared – primarily of getting run over by the middle hitter it seems. Setting a quick attack, particularly the middle quick, is something hard to train with just the ball. This can actually be a good thing, though, because it forces the setter to get used to the proximity of the hitter and teaches them to trust that their teammate won’t run them over (probably). The confidence which develops from there will also help them relax with ball contact because aside from wanting to run away, new quick setters are very often seen to jab at the ball.

Situational and block awareness

The inclination of setters, particularly inexperienced ones, is to try to set the quick whenever they get a good pass. At lower levels of play this may work out just fine. As players advance, though, the blocking becomes better and more able to shut down the middle quick. Thus, the setter needs to be aware of the situation to know whether setting the quick is really the best thing to do, or whether to just use the quick attack option as a decoy. Experience will play a part in this, but it is also something the coach needs to help the setter learn.

If your team can put these four things together, they will be able to run effective quick attacks. It’s going to take a fair bit of practice to get it right, and perhaps even more encouragement to get them to take the risk in actual game situations. A little bit of success, though, will go a long way in making them eager to do what’s needed to pull it off regularly.

2018 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Early Round Strategy

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Today’s video is going to go over the mindset you need to have in the early rounds of your drafts. Fantasy football is very luck based. However, there is a reason that some people win more often than others. The draft strategy that you implement can make a huge difference. This video is going to go over the exact draft strategy that I use in the early rounds, and is a strategy that I recommend all of you use in the early rounds as well.

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4 Key Skills for Coaching Volleyball

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Volleyball coaching is primary a mental exercise. That said, however, there are a few physical skills which are quite handy to have. In fact, if you are looking to be an assistant or apprentice coach, these are virtual must-have skills.

Tossing

Quite a few volleyball drills and exercises are initiated with a toss. If you cannot accurately toss a ball then you will struggle to get the sort of consistency needed for your players to work on specific skills. If you’re in any doubt, watch what happens when your players do the tossing. Think of things like balls initiated to the setter for hitting warm-ups.You can toss either under-hand or over-hand (like a setting motion). Either is fine so long as you can consistently put the ball where you want it.

Underhand

It may seem like a fairly easy thing to do, but being consistent and accurate with an underhand ball takes a bit of practice. Anyone can pop a high loopy ball over the net and into the middle part of the court. What a coach needs to be able to do, however, is to be able to hit balls to all parts of the court and to do so at different tempos.

Topspin Hitting

Training defense, be it team or individual, requires accurately initiating an attacked ball. It could be from on the ground on the same side of the court or across the net by way of a down ball, or it could be over the net from on top of a box or chair. It could be strictly a defense drill, or it could be part of transition exercise (dig – transition – attack, for example). Regardless, you need to put the ball where you want – straight at, high/low, to one side or the other, in front – at a pace appropriate for the level of the player(s) in question.

Serving

While much of the time it makes sense to have players initiate balls in a drill with serve receive included, sometimes it behooves the coach to take that on themselves. In order to do so effectively, the ball needs to go where you want it to go much more often than not. Now obviously a float serve isn’t always going to end up exactly where you aimed it, but it should be pretty close. You also need to be able to vary the speed of the serves, and it helps to have enough of a repertoire at your disposal to replicate any kind of serve your opposition may throw at your team. That doesn’t mean you need to be able to rip a powerful jump serve yourself, but you should be able to come up with a way to simulate something close (hit topspin balls from a box midway into the court, for example).

If you are a volleyball coach without these four skills you are going to be very limited in what you can do with your team. If you’re a head coach you can get around any limitations you may have by bringing in an assistant coach to make up for the short-coming. If you’re aiming to be an assistant coach, however, you are in a disadvantaged position by lacking these abilities when it comes to finding work.

FPL WILDCARD ACTIVE | GAMEWEEK 5 | Fantasy Premier League 2018/19

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Better late than never right? I’ve activated my wildcard right at the last minute before gameweek 5 in FPL
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