Timing Is Everything (Part 3 of 3)

Athletes are like comedians. For both, timing is everything.

I played a number of different positions during my football years, but I was never a quarterback. I’ve always been amazed at the ability of quarterbacks to throw long passes to receivers that are moving. And moving very quickly! The timing has to be perfect, and the quarterbacks have to adjust their passes according to each particular receiver. A long pass may stay in the air for two seconds, and a wide receiver that’s running at full speed can cover 20 yards in two seconds. It takes perfect timing to get the ball to that receiver. And if the timing is off by just a little bit, it’ll be overthrown or underthrown, and possibly intercepted. I had the easy part, being a receiver. All I had to do was run my prescribed route; the quarterback bore the responsibility of getting the ball to me.

In volleyball, the responsibility for the timing of a high set lies with the hitter. The timing of an approach, jump, and hit are just as precise as a football pass pattern. The goal, of course, is to contact the ball at the highest point possible. That sounds simple enough, but if you watch young players trying to learn this for the first time, you can get a better sense of how difficult it is to do. And we experienced players have long forgotten just how difficult it really is.

[ Read the entire article on the Volleyball Magazine web site … ]

Dude, Where’s My Vertical? (Part 2 of 3)

I recently had a rude awakening: I (now) jump like a white man. I hope no one takes offense at that, but hey, Hollywood made a movie about it! Maybe I shouldn’t take this so hard. After all, I am a white man. But, I’ve always taken a certain pride … [Continue reading]

The Comeback Man (Part 1 of 3)

I retired from my illustrious volleyball career shortly after our first child was born. OK, “illustrious” is quite a stretch; I was really just a very avid amateur. My first step toward retirement was a couple years before that, in 1996, when I … [Continue reading]

Zen in Volleyball

Back in 1993, after playing competitive volleyball for 14 years, I took a year off from volleyball to pursue something I had always wanted to try: karate. I jumped in headfirst, all in, working out four times a week at our dojo, teaching kids’ … [Continue reading]

What If Nike Got Behind Volleyball?

I was just thinking: what if Nike got behind volleyball like it did for basketball? What might volleyball become here in the U.S.? Sure, volleyball is not basketball or football. I don't foresee families sitting around the TV on Thanksgiving watching … [Continue reading]

NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship Inequity

So much has been said over the past years and decades about the way the NCAA men's final four volleyball teams (the "Volley Four") are determined. There are some years when all four of those teams are ranked among the top eight teams in the country, … [Continue reading]