Well, we got acquainted with the unique features of volleyball and now we want to talk about advanced and modern volleyball. Modern volleyball has three basic elements which are known as the VHP triangle (‘P’ for Perfection in skills, ‘V’ for words Velocity and Variety in the game and ‘H’ for Height of performance at the net). Being perfect is executing techniques is the base and most important element to reach high level in volleyball and without it is impossible to play modern volleyball, if we are very good technically now we have to add these two elements, if we are not so good in one them we must be better in the other one, top teams in the world are perfect in both of them but according to our situation we must find our way. For instance, Japan national team in addition of perfection in skills they are very good in playing fast and unpredictable, on the other hand Russian national team in addition of executing volleyball techniques with high quality, their height of performance at the net is very high And they are very powerful. Also there is some teams like France, Italy, Brazil or Poland that they are very good in all elements:
- Perfection in Skills
- Velocity and Variety (Creativity) of play
- Height of Performance at the Net and power
FIGURE 1.3 Pyramid of Modern Volleyball
- Perfection in Skills
When we talk about being perfect in skills, it should be noted that one of the most important issues is the consistency in the implementation techniques with high accuracy. Accuracy or being precise means being able to execute the techniques well and consistency means being able to continue with good quality in difficult situation. We should be able to maintain the quality of our performance physically -as the game progresses- and mentally -as the conditions become more stressful. Responsibility of each player is to improve the quality of the ball and makes it better. Therefore, the base of modern volleyball triangle is to be perfect in executing techniques and consistency in execution. Based on this excellence and constancy, we can establish the other two sides of the triangle and consequently achieve the peak of our performance. But without being excellent in skills we can’t do that.
FIGURE 1.4 Perfection in Skills
There are two sides in techniques, first of all each player must have good skills as a volleyball player in all fundamental techniques like overhand pass, underhand pass, defensive techniques and so on, secondly they must be perfect in specific skills related to their specific positions. So we need all round volleyball players with very good fundamental skills and specific volleyball player for each position with perfect specific skills.
- Velocity and Variety (creativity) of play
The next issue is to have velocity, variety, and creativity in the implementation of techniques. Velocity in hitting the ball in attack and serve, velocity in movement, and velocity in making decision are vital point. In addition, we should be unpredictable and have many various alternatives in offensive plans at each rotation. Also we should be able to increase speed in serving and attacking and have variety in their implementation at the same time. Setters must set the ball as fast as possible and at a suitable height. The attackers must hit the ball harder and have variety in attack.
FIGURE 1.5 Steps to achieve high Velocity in play
The servers must use different types of service and towards different directions and of course at high speed and sometimes short serve or hybrid serve. So the players must have good explosive power in upper body joints, especially in the hands and elbows. For instance, in World Championship 2022 normal speed of the ball in jump service in men was usually over 110 km/h and jump float serves usually over 60 km/h; and in attack speed of the ball often was over 100 km/h and even we saw a lot of serves over 120 km/h and attacks over 110 km/h. In women volleyball jump-float serve speed was normally over 60 km/h and in attack and jump serve it was normally over 90 km/h. On the other hand, the players must also have good consistency in the execution of techniques.
The speed of the game is greatly influenced by ball control, technique executions, trust and coordination between players. It can only be increased according to the performance capability. If we are not good enough at different volleyball techniques, we cannot be fast and we look hasty and full of mistakes and lose control of the game. The speed of play (the speed of service, set and attack) at high levels can determine the team’s success.
- Height of Performance at the Net
But the VHP triangle consists of another important side called the Height of performance at the net. It means how high we can hit the ball. At what height can we block over the net? And at what height can our setter set the ball? Therefore, in the training programs that we intend to develop the players, we need to focus on enhancing the height of attacks and increasing their explosive power in order to achieve a higher height. There is one important phrase about attack which may be able to say all of these points, “Hit harder, hit higher, hit smarter”. It means we should be able to hit the ball at a high height, and with high velocity and use good option to get point, and if it’s too difficult to get point, we should be more smart and patient and choose the option that make it difficult for the opponent to deal with it.