People don’t like to sit around. For example, I have spent time with people who will, by choice, drive kilometres out of their way to avoid standing for a few seconds at traffic lights, even if that added time to their journey. Apparently this is a well known phenomenon known as ‘idleness aversion’. And it goes beyond occasionally driving around in circles. Research shows ‘many purported goals that people pursue may be merely justifications to keep themselves busy’.
This need for people to be busy is something that seems to arise in volleyball as well. For players, how often do players in the learning phase (and too often later) automatically move before they should. Receivers take two steps forwards as the server contacts the ball. Setters take a step towards the receiver before he touches the ball. Spikers always, always, always start their approach too soon. I have thought for a long time that is was something ingrained that made it difficult for players to just wait. It seems I might have been right.
For coaches there also seems to be some version of this. In coaching, ‘activity’ often comes in the form of shouting or in practical terms calling timeouts and making substitutions. It seems to me that many coaches, and journalists and managers and fans for that matter, think that the quality of coaching is directly related to the number of interventions a coach makes. So added to the internal idleness aversion, there is external pressure to seem active. Which brings me to my point… given that information, is using all of the your substitutions and timeouts actually archconservatism and therefore by extension, is the most aggressive form of coaching doing nothing?
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