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The BODM Line Blog
Welcome to The BODM Line blog!

This blog is my online direct link to you. I intend to use it to comment, answer questions,
share new stuff from recent practices, or maybe just babble. I have no schedule in mind.

I also want to encourage you to e-mail me questions about The BODM Line. The FAQ page is based
on questions I've gotten face-to-face over the last couple of years. So if you want to know how this a
pplies to your team or your offense or whatever, ask!

By the way, I primarily work with female athletes. So I tend to use "she" and "her" in discussions unless I'm specifically talking about a men's team.  This doesn't mean The BODM Line applies any less to the male athlete. If you have specific questions about any differences there might be,  please ask!

I you want to respond to anything I say here, or have questions, or want to tell me I'm
full of crap,  e-mail me! I'll add it to the original post and respond!

Send me a question! Comment! Cheap shot!


Hey all, it's hard to miss the fact that I've not added to the blog in a while.
A  LONG while.
There are a three reasons for that. The animation project is one. It's
required an insane amount of time. That on top of the camps and clinics and practices. More on the animation project soon.
The second reason is that, well, each time I've sat down to write I get started and I
realize gee that sounds familiar because I've written it before. The blog has always
been about the philosophy behind the system and my philosophy hasn't changed.
The third reason is that I discovered my web provider has changed the way my site works and I can no longer post new blogs unless I cough up more money.
SO, that said...
I still believe every player at every level can learn to read, and ultimately they
will HAVE to whether we teach them or not.
I still believe that we make team defense unnecessarily difficult for our players.
I still believe every team out there is capable of good, no, GREAT team defense. If they're
not playing good defense it's because we're not teaching them. Unlike where
offense is limited when a team is small, defense holds no such limitation.
I still believe that over-all the team defense information out there is limited and inadequate. There is no reason that there can be two teams reasonably well matched physically and one can be heads and shoulders above the other in team defense. Both teams have access to the same books and camps and clinics as we all do. If the conventional  approach to team defense is effective, then
I still believe that The BODM Line is the most efficient, effective way there is to teach team defense. At any age, at any level of play.
So read on. I will not recycle old stuff and try to convince you it's
new stuff. If you have questions, send me an e-mail. It may take a day
but I will always answer.
Wow, that kinda sounded like a blog...

Archive Older

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Standardization: A program or a series of teams?...

Do you run a program or a series of teams? Do you have standard set calls, a standard set of key words and phrases throughout your program?

Whether a club or school program you will benefit from this idea. In general. your players and coaches benefit from consistency from year to year, team to team, and coach to coach.

It’s fairly easy to standardize offense as far as terminology and training go. Offense is mainly timing and repetition. The offensive system is a little more difficult. Differences in personnel as well as coaches’ preferences flavor each team. But even with those differences, standardization on set calls is easy to maintain. If in your system a “B” refers to the same set on every team, then a player who changes teams will not be lost when told to hit a “B” on the new team.

While this seems like just common sense you’d be surprised at how many clubs and coaches don’t subscribe to the idea. Whether it’s because of the way they learned the game, where they are from, or just plain ego, they insist on their way and no other way will do.

This is not all that hard to deal with where offense is concerned, but defense and floor game are a whole ‘nother matter.

Most defenses are based on formations. All concepts of formations generally agree that you must have a block, tip coverage, a defender in the left back, a defender in the right back, and a defender in the middle back. The different defenses put different players into each of those positions (the exception being the block).Those positions even change within the defense depending on where the set goes.

Your players have to remember that.

Every coach has their own interpretation of adjustments. Ask 5 coaches where tip coverage comes from in a perimeter defense and you’ll get 5 different answers.

When one defender isn’t very good at her position, many times the coach will make a team-wide change rather than simply make that one player better at her job. This is a direct result of her position not being standardized. If it’s not standardized, it’s not quantifible and repeatable.

Again, the players pay the price for this. They must remember every detail we give them, when to apply those details, and do it all on the fly while that big girl on the other side og the net is pounding the ball at their heads.

Sound ridiculous? Yeah, it kinda does, doesn’t it?

But it’s what we do.

In the basic BODM Line system the front row player must remember “I set the block, I close the block, or I cover tip”. The back row player must remember “I find my view, then dig-or-go”. Each concept clearly defined, clearly teachable, clearly repeatable. In all situations, at all levels of play.

How much better will each of your teams and all of your players be if they all had this same consistency?

Tue, December 15, 2009 | link

Monday, December 14, 2009

How is that easier!?!

A lot of coaches I talk to want to know just how can teaching a read defense be easier than memorizing a formation.

They can teach a formation easily in one practice. They can teach more than one formation in one practice.

Yes, you can teach that formation in one practice. And, yeah, it’s a lot easier for you. “You go there, you go there, and you go there.”

Making it work, however, is another thing entirely.

Does that formation create movement?

Does it clearly define your defenders’ roles in relation to one another and in relation to the action on the other side of the net?

How many things will you need to add for situations that come up?

How many “adjustments” will you have to make over the season?

Do you ultimately find yourself saying things like “when SHE hits, go HERE” or “when THIS happens, go THERE”...? How many combinations do you think your players can remember?

This is what happens when we try to make one formation cover all the possibilities on the court. Or two. Or three. There are literally thousands of positions the ball, the attacker, and the block can be in.

That means thousands of matching formations for the floor defenders, and no real way to know ahead of time which one to use.

A read defense, when properly taught, is not BASED on a formation, but rather CREATES the defensive formation appropriate to the situation. Since it’s creating the formation dynamically, on the fly, it creates the movement we want to see in our defenders.

The positions our defenders are in as the attacker is contacting the ball is our “defensive formation” and that will be different at EVERY CONTACT OF THE BALL. Then they go to actually play the ball, which changes the formation yet again.

Properly taught means including the location read (concept 1, “where to go on the court”)), the interpretive read (concept 2, “is the attacker hitting toward me or not”), and what to do about it (concept 3). To be a little more picky about it, you have three back-row positions and each position is different, so that’s technically 9 concepts.

9 pieces easily taught to a team in a single session. Primary Read (location read) for left, middle and right. Read the hitter (is she hitting at me or not) and what do I do about it in either case (Dig-or-Go) for left, middle and right.

Trouble shooting boils down to three questions. Did the defender make her Primary Read (location)? Did she read the hitter correctly? Was she in Dig-or-Go?

Which sounds easier to you?

Now, is this meant to be an absolute? That my way is the ONLY way?


You can approach team defense through formations. It works. My point is that it's not the easiest way, the most efficient way, and it certainly isn't most fun way.

You want to have fun. You want to have success, and you want it to happen sooner rather than later.

The BODM Line is a pretty good alternative.

Mon, December 14, 2009 | link

Friday, December 11, 2009

The gloves come off...

A club coach’s question: “I’ve got a very inexperienced 16s team. They are athletic as all get out. But they just don’t have volleyball experience. How can I teach them The BODM Line? There’s too much going on for them to handle that on top of teaching them to set and attack, let alone just getting their ball control to a reasonable level. I know they need to read sooner or later, but that's just too much. No way. Maybe later in the season.”

You’ve got it backwards. That’s exactly the reason you should WANT to start them with The BODM Line.

The biggest challenge to ball control is not knowing where to go on the court. Not knowing how to read gets in the way of knowing where to go the court, and not knowing where to go on the court gets in the way of ball control.

No ball control gets in the way of successful offense.

Successful ball control leading to successful attacking is, by definition, successful team defense.

Successful team defense comes from reading.

Reading is in two parts: the location read, then reading the attacker.

The BODM Line breaks the location read down into 5 understandable, repeatable concepts.

The BODM Line breaks reading the attacker down to into 3 understandable, repeatable concepts.

So if A equals B and B equals C, then the key to truly successful offense is The BODM Line.

And you want to leave it until “later in the season”.

Fri, December 11, 2009 | link

Friday, December 4, 2009

A question regarding “What do you Remember?”

Got a question from Jesse in Texas about the last blog:

“Ok I get what you are saying about what my players remember from training. But I’m not too clear on where you’re going with the coaches’ version of it. What does it have to do with the defensive system you teach?”

Ok, good question. The coaches’ version isn’t quite the same as the players’ version. The coach's trap is falling back on "what I DIDN'T have to do".

Most coaches remember best the most successful teams they’ve had. The most extreme version would be the D-1 top-level coaches. Great level of competition, high level of play.

I’ve talked to a couple of these coaches. They generally come at me with the same theme. “Why should I listen to you when I won two national championships ten years ago? It worked for me then, why should I change it?”

Well, you won your last championship ten years ago. You haven’t won one since.

What’s different? If you are teaching the same things you did then the other difference must be the level of competition or level of your players.

Very specifically in regard to team defense, the instinct and talent level of those players made up for what you weren’t teaching them. If you are like 90% of the coaches I see you remember something like “I ran a modified rotate/man-up. They learned the formations and that’s what worked.”

Pressed further that coach will likely say something like “geez they were so good. They could move, they could read, they never let a ball get to the floor, they were fearless. All I had to do was tell ‘em where to go and they did the rest. The kids today, well, they just don’t get it”...


Their instincts kicked in and “they did the rest”.
“The rest” is what to look for, where to look for it, and what to do when you see it. Reading. What The BODM Line is all about.

You can remember “They could move, they could read, they never let a ball get to the floor, they were fearless. All I had to do was tell ‘em where to go and they did the rest” in which case you now depend on your level of recruiting for continued success. a coach, you can remember the things that you taught them them made them successful. The things that made their defense work. When you do that, those things become repeatable, and you will have a higher level of success with every group you coach.

If you aren’t sure what those things are, well, maybe that’s why you came to this site in the first place.

That’s The BODM Line.

Fri, December 4, 2009 | link

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Great team defense is based on

What you look for and where you look for it!!

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