Co-adaptation of ball reception to the serve constrains outcomes in elite competitive volleyball

  • Ana Paulo, Keith Davids, Duarte Araújo
  • International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, August 2017, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1747954117722727

Expert co-adaptation of ball reception to the serve in Volleyball

What is it about?

In volleyball, serve-reception efficacy relates to winning the match. This work contributed to the understanding of how a serve-reception becomes effective. We found that in serve-reception mastering different types of pass - the overhand, the underhand-lateral, and the underhand-frontal pass, gives expert teams a competitive edge.

Why is it important?

In expert-level competitions the differences in performance leading to winning and loosing can be very small. The present work contributes to the view that human behaviour is situated. In a expert volleyball context we showed that extent ability to adapt to the task's demands (by the selection of different types of pass) gave teams a competitive edge. The use of passes described in the coaching literature as last-resources increased significantly the team's chances to win the final set of the match (i.e., the match).


Dr Ana Paulo
Universite d'Orleans

I hope this article can be a contribution to the reflection that how we decide is context dependent. Hopefully it can contribute to practice by influencing performance analysts, coaches and performers to approach decision and action as a way to deal with the task demands and not as a prearranged solution.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Ana Paulo