Cobras Volleyball: ‘Talking’ Success
Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:09
There is an age old saying that states "Silence is Golden." This may be true in many places, but not in the world of women's volleyball. As the Cobras will tell you, silence could be your team's undoing. Great communication is very much the secret to their success.
During practice, the sights and sounds may come as a bit of a surprise. To someone without background knowledge of the game and its nuances, it appears that the room is full of pointless chatter. This could not be further from the truth. The Cobras have a set of words and phrases that they communicate to each other that signals what play to make on the ball, a code of sorts.
No one exemplifies this talent better than the team's sophomores. Nechelle Veal, Devin Houser, and Melanie Moore have all experienced the triumphs of the Parkland team just a year earlier. There are all aware of the bearing great communication has on the team's ability to compete on a national scale. "(Communication) is a part of volleyball," said Moore. "No communication, no wins." The Cobras have jumped out to a 14-3-0 record and #8 ranking in the National Poll. A wide array of talent and belief in the coaching staff has produced what looks to be another highly successful season for the women's volleyball team. Along with that, is the reiteration of talking on the court. "It's a lot," says Veal of the importance of communication during the game. "If we don't talk and are excited we lose, simple as that. Communication is important along with our intensity."
Effectively communicating is not necessarily an ability that everyone is born with. There may be circumstances where an individual is a bit of a loner, possibly home schooled, or a multitude of other factors where person to person interaction was not possible. Those facts present a challenge to the coaching staff where communication skills need to be developed a bit.
Head coach Cliff Hastings, along with assistant coaches Ron Hoppe and Heather Horn, have done a great job bringing along their players ability to interact amongst each other. "We have drills," said Houser. "They reinforce talking and being excited. Talking is huge." The coaching staff is very adamant about communication. There is constant conversation during practices between the coaches and the players.
Practice is where players hone their skills. The actual game is where these skills are put on display. It is important to take exercise in the training room very serious. The players must also give their all during different drills and techniques that the coaching staff emphasizes. All of this for the purposes of performing to the highest level in the game. Great communication is equally important in this equation. It stems back to one concept that the entire club has adopted. "Great communication keeps the team solid as a unit," said Houser. Every member of the team believes in the idea of the team as one. Veal reinforces that point. "(Communication) keeps everyone involved. It also builds chemistry." Engagement and chemistry are two key elements that will prove to be very valuable in the push towards a national championship.
Interaction amongst teammates reaches beyond the volleyball court. "We communicate very well outside of practice," said Moore of her fellow volleyball players. The coaching staff's attention to the importance of players talking to each other on the court essentially has influenced the players to talk off the court. In effect, the coaches have not only bolstered the talents of their players, but helped developed a social skill which could become very useful. This is a perfect example of how sports can lead beyond the forum of athletic competition and is something the entire Parkland Cobra athletic program can be proud of.
The women's volleyball ball team is gearing up for a stretch of home games this weekend. This includes the Parkland Tournament that will be held from September 23 - 25. Be sure root for your Cobras during the upcoming tournament and other games as they continue their quest for a championship.