People often refer to volleyball as a technical game and the team with the best technical level is the team most likely to win. Others say that volleyball is physical game and the biggest team is the team most likely to win. I agree that you need to have a very good technical level and I agree that you need good size and athleticism. But as a rule I do not agree with either thesis. Simply put, the key to volleyball is interactions. Interactions are evident everywhere you look and they are (nearly always) decisive.
There are interactions between the players, between the coaches and between the players and coaches.
There are interactions between the three contacts on each side of the net.
There are interactions between the phases of play,the sideout phase to the point scoring phase, the offensive to the defensive to the offensive phases.
There are interactions between all of the above; the players, the contacts and the phases.
The ultimate potential of the team lies in optimising all of these interactions.
That is the game of volleyball.
The same principle applies to practice. Just as the interactions between different personal, technical and tactical elements determines the quality of game play, the interaction between different training elements determines the quality of the training program. As renowned conditioning coach Vern Gambetta says:
“In performance the essence is linkage and connections, not isolation. Therefore the training should reflect this and focus on muscle synergies and connections.”
The key to performance lies in the interactions. Isolating makes you feel better about yourself as a coach, but combining makes you better.