No More “Help” Please

When I went to play professionally in Spain, I learned a new form of aggressive communication between teammates to avoid any chance that the ball drops on the court. Waiting for the setter to yell, “HELP” causes hesitation and is too late for another teammate to make a good play to improve the ball’s location.

Hesitation on the volleyball court results in points for your opponents. So setters, please let your teammates know to call “MINE” if the ball is close to them. If your teammate has a better play on the ball, call out their name and yell, “Go!” But if you, as the setter, feel like you can make a better play on the ball, call “MINE” on that 2nd contact, and it’s your ball.

Let’s get rid of this word “HELP” all together on the court. Make aggressive “MINE” calls and understand who has the “right-of-way” if two people are calling “MINE”.

Who has the RIGHT-OF WAY if two players are calling “MINE”?

1st Contact Situations (the pass or dig):

Between a Libero and any other player? Libero
Between a Setter and any other player? Any other player
Between a front row player and back row player? Back row player
Between a Defensive Specialist and a back row hitter? Defensive Specialist

2nd Contact Situations (the set):

Between a Setter and any other player? The Setter
Between a Libero and any other player (other than the setter)? The Libero
Between a back row player and a front row player? Back Row Player

3rd Contact Situations (attack or the send-over):

Between a hitter moving backwards to hit or a hitter moving forward to hit? The Hitter moving forward
Between a hitter attacking the ball or another teammate passing the ball over the net? The Hitter Attacking
On a crazy ball, emergency send-over, the player facing the net or the person with her back toward the net? The player facing the net

These are typical situations. A coach can choose a certain player for a “right-of-way” call on a contact. For example, there may be an amazing player on your team that always gets the right away over another player because of power or ball control.

For all players, stay aggressive and call “MINE” if the ball is close to you and understand who has the “right-of-way” on each contact. This will eliminate the annoying hesitation that exists with the word “help”.

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