Don’t “Call for help”

Common phrases during volleyball play which I discourage athletes from using. 

“Call for help!”

When children are in playgrounds, they express a natural urge to climb up various objects and barriers. I observed that a lot of parents, upon seeing their child struggle, often lift them up onto ledge or whatever object that child is trying to traverse. But when she gets to the end, the child who didn’t struggle to get up can’t figure out how to get down. They simply raise their arms, expecting a nearby adult to lower them safely to the ground. I speculate that this translates into later life as “learned helplessness”.

In beach volleyball, be it quads or strangely even in doubles, hearing periodic exhortations of “help!” is not unusual. Players expected to take the setter role arrive at the net early expecting the ball to be delivered to them. And should the play be broken – they’re supposed to “call for help”. I hear parents tell their kids to do that, I hear coaches tell their athletes – and it percolates into adults that don’t trust setters to work on developing the skill to better the ball.

Relying on the call is the lower bar. Don’t ask for help – come on board expecting to give help.



1 Response

  1. John Forman says:

    I think setters yelling for help is part of a broader set of understandings which need to be developed regarding who takes a given ball. Like calling the ball in serve receive.

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