It’s been a while since I updated my volleyball web site. Recently I formed another team for a regular park district league and I realized I can write a page about how to do scouting reports on opponent teams. I am sure a lot of people will be interested since this is the area not too many people can teach. So let me get right into the topic.
Who are they?
The first thing of doing a scouting report is to find the teams that you will be scouting on, and know their players. There are teams with mid-aged players, there are teams with young college kids. That very little thing would tell you something already. Mid-aged teams may mean they have been playing for a while, they maybe more experienced in handling net balls, drop shots, yet they may also mean that they are here just for fun. As for young teams, it may mean that they are inexperienced, yet it may also mean that they are full of energy, athletic, and you may not want to play long rally against them. How about a team with international players, players from all races? Well, you will have to read them one by one, see what they are good at, where are their weaknesses, how do I beat their defense, or even their offense?
If a team is playing 5-1(or 6-2, 4-2), and everyone of them seems to know their tasks. That tells me they are experienced, at least on their assigned positions. If you can find a player or two in this team that seem confused or other players are constantly reminding him/her what to do, you have found their weakest link. Hitting the ball to the confused player on their team will break their rhythm. If they are playing 5-1 or 6-2, there would be time that the setter is running from behind a player to the front row to set; the location where the setter is behind the player is where you want your players to serve to.
Looking at every player on the team and find out their habits. Does the setter like to tip? Does certain player do something special? Is there any player who do not like to move his/her feet or standing tall while receiving? Things like jump serves, great top spin spikes but low over the net, players defense high up, not playing deep, etc. are examples of things to look for.
Key Offensive Player
If you spot a key offensive play on the team, can your defense beat him? If you can, you may already have a strategy in mind, if not, what can you do to slow him down? The more you know about this player, the higher the chance you will have in beating him in the future. Get to know more about the key player and you should be able to find some pattern on this player. Some players like to hit cross, some like to avoid the blockers. Some like to hit the blockers hands, some like to tip when there are two blockers. Try to read them as much as you can and come up with a game plan to play against their hitters. If you can defend 50% the opponent’s hits, you may increase your chances of winning the match.
So now you know enough about your opponent team, what can you do to beat them? There are two ways to beat a team. One, play your best games. By playing your best games, win or lose, you have no regrets, you may even surprise yourself that you can play better than you think you can.
Two, make your opponent team play your game plan. This requires a game plan. For example, serve strong, and serve opponents weakness; pick their weakest passer to serve to, or serve your best serves to force errors, make the opponents play out-of-system. If the opponent team plays 5-1, then you focus your attack on their setter when he is in the back row. This way, you take out their quick offense in the middle, so you can focus on their OH and Opp.
I guess this is it for now, I will update this page when I think of something else.