Video: An AVA practice session - notice the players keep focused on the rally...not the rain.
Attention is HUGE in volleyball...not so much in basketball and other possession sports. But in volleyball and other rebound sports (tennis), if you don't have attention your touch is over and done with in .2 seconds. How many times have you heard a coach say, "Pay Attention"!
Playing beach volleyball is difficult because of all the challenges to overcome (compared to traditional indoor vb). There's so many things that can move your attention from the game: there's only 2 players a team; the sun makes it tough to look at the ball clearly; the wind moves it around like a buzzing bee; and the sand makes you move like my grandpa walking through mud. To cope and succeed with all these challenges, one must build up muscular strength AND internal strength....aka, focus, attention, will power, etc.
Attention is a function found in your neo-cortex -- the front and newest part of the brain. This part of our brain separates us from the primates. It's job is will power: Holding attention where i want...despite the presence of noises, smells, notions, etc. The brain is built to have a super spastic attention (like A.D.D.) so that we can move our focus around quickly, noticing lots of life threatening stuff (tigers in the bushes, bad food smells, etc). So when this neocortex came along in our evolution, we were able to hold our focus for longer amounts of time (example seen in tool building). This is kinda funny to me b/c the human attention span is shrinking and now less than a gold fish (reference article). But there is a saving grace....attention is a skill. And all skills can be improved with repetitions and feedback. Side note: the best way to improve your attention is to sit still and not move for as long as you can (Meditating).
So, the next time you're playing on the court, notice how strong your attention is (or isn't). I know my attention has a hard time with wind....soooo frustrating! Notice distractions that steal your attention. Some of my favorite distractions are:
Keep your focus especially when there's lots of reasons not to. With practice and lots of beach volleyball, your attention can grow stronger.
A closer look at the Chinese Diving team's recent success inspired a change in practice structure. Read the article below & watch a bit of the video to see how the Chinese structure their training so that old & young train side by side.
While AVA has always encouraged kids to "play up" in tourneys, it's clear we can do more training together. Summer Club 2015 will be our first attempt: Age groups will overlap by 30 minutes.
Aside from the hotbed of talent coming out of the Chinese Diving program, there are other principles reinforce an inclusive practice environment:
10 SURPRISING TRUTHS ABOUT THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL TALENT HOTBED, by Rett Larson
1. WE MIX AGES LIKE CRAZY: The juniors aren’t all lumped together like they are in most systems — instead, three-time Gold medalists train with top 10-year-olds. Each diving coach might be responsible for five athletes – three Olympic veterans and two juniors. The juniors get to mirror the elites all day, from training to eating to bedtimes. It also creates a sense of humility in the juniors, who have likely dominated in their provinces since they were six years old.
2. WE SPEND MOST OF OUR TIME WORKING ON SUPER-BASIC DIVES: The Chinese have a higher training volume than the rest of the world – often more than 100 dives per day. But many of those dives are very basic. The first ten dives of the day might all be starting with your butt on the edge of the platform and falling into a simple dive. That’s it — and that’s the point.
3. WE APPLAUD SPECTACULAR FAILURES: For the past decade China has won almost every competition by doing simple dives very, very well. Their technical proficiency is incredible because they practice longer and harder than any other country. But, they also know that they have to push themselves and innovate. You’ll see in the video a male diver attempting to be the first human to do four flips from the 10-meter board starting from a handstand. He doesn’t make it — spectacularly. What you don’t see is the ovation he gets from the rest of the team after his failed attempt.
Click here to read the full blog article.
Long time AVA mascot, Buddy, passed away this week. Buddy was always a sucker for a butt scratch, lunch box scraps and a nap. He had so many uncles & aunties that gave him love over the years. Thanks to all who fed, ran & pet him. As a memorial to Buddy, a Lychee tree has been planted at the facility.
Curious which of your friends are playing beach volleyball this summer?....see below
(for the current list, visit the summer club page)
as of May 19
Ian Roth, 15
Noah Jarrett, 17
CJ Ozee, 14
Amy Ozee, 16
Demari Gonzales, 14
Emma Pilotin, 17
Danielle Brown, 17
Nicole Fatheree, 15
Kaden Moore, 14
Kiana Hyman, 15
Trenton Steele, 15
KJ Aschoff, 12
Jesse Coralle, 11
Madeline Sylvester, 12
JJ Aschoff, 9
AJ Aschoff, 11
Tia Devereux, 11
Pearl Grace, 11
Kaiea Kalahiki, 12
Olivia DuBach, 11
Isabel Bennett, 14
Malia Bennett, 12
Erica Pilotin, 15
Phoebe Fickbohm, 17
Keolani Hill, 15
Megan Bouthillier, 13
Mei Welch-Bernasek, 11
Meilina Sniffen, 13