On a rather surprisingly sunny Sunday the recently opened Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes hosted the third of the SVA Fast Track sessions. The theme of the day was the most interesting of all the fast tracks: it was about the setters’ ability to consistently perform towards the better of his/her talent regardless of competitive circumstances and pressure.
There was a lot of wisdom in the simplicity of the structure of the training. The progressions ran smoothly and the addition of cognitive layers made training more stimulating and enjoyable. What I always admire in Thomas Dowen’s deliveries is not just the excellent planning, it is the ability he has as a coach to allow the drills to do the talking, allowing actions to be repeated and understood without unnecessary interventions.
As the day unfolded, the setters were taught how to adjust their game plan according to the pressure of the game and were gently reminded that their setting strategy is their choice, giving them ownership.
It was hugely demanding for the participants as they followed the carefully chosen drills. It was challenging as they had to move, think and communicate simultaneously. It was rewarding as there was progress. The positive mental and physical attributes gained helped them cope with difficult situations. Keeping their balance and concentration for an extended period of time the participants persevered and competed well.
Witnessing young setters running unselfishly with all their heart, to the other side of the court to deliver a decent set was truly inspiring, and reminded me why I love volleyball so much. An antidote to modern individualism, the young setters at Glenrothes asserted the importance of a spirit of solidarity within the team. Where there is despair in the game, may the setter bring hope.
The coaches who attended actively participated, helped out and took part on drills and games. They were also taking notes and it felt that they got a lot from the day. The players worked hard and improved. The extra luxury of having a lot of coaches working with them contributed to having an excellent day
Many thanks and gratitude to Thomas Dowens and John Scrimgeour for their unconditional support to Scottish Volleyball and for teaching so many coaches how to teach their setters on this very successful series of Fast tracks.