Ohio Volleyball: Scouting and Technology Helps Ohio Stay Ahead of the Game

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Whenever you watch an Ohio volleyball practice or game, it is impossible to ignore the amount of preparation the Bobcats have for each match. Head Coach Deane Webb and his assistants use scouting to the maximum capacity to help gain an advantage on their opponents.

“For our entire coaching staff we spend around 60 to 70 hours a week doing scouting on our opponents and ourselves,” Webb said.

The attention to detail is apparent and with some new and improved technology applications to help volleyball coaches, Webb is able to watch more than he used to. Datavolley and Volleymetrics are the two main resources for breaking down themselves and their opponents. With this new technology, the efficiency for watching film has never been greater.

“We are able to know so much more about ourselves and our opponents and be much more efficient with our time,” Webb said. “Just today I spent less than three hours, but I watched multiple matches because of those programs,” Webb said.

These programs help the coaching staff devise up a scouting session with the team for 45 minutes every weekday. On Monday’s, the team typically watches over what happened in last week’s matches and then Tuesday through Thursday is prep for the upcoming opponents on the schedule.

“We use Datavolley for those sessions and the coaches can pick and choose what they want to see,” junior captain Lizzie Stephens said. “If they want to see for example outside hitters swings, they can type in a code and only show those exact plays.”

 Scouting might not be the most fun for the players, but the coaching staff keeps the players on their toes.

“After the sessions we give them a little quiz after every scouting session to see how they learned,” Webb said. “That quiz has been something that I believe helps retention of the knowledge that we review in there.”

Voicethread is another tool used by the coaching staff to help show them plays that they are involved in. Players are sent videos of just themselves in action, which makes the film study as efficient as possible.

“After a weekend we would get sent out swings or any other skill that we used sent to us to watch over,” Stephens said. “We are able to comment back to them and it creates good dialogue between the players and coaches.”

Players are able to set up times where they can go over their individual plays from the past weekend to talk in person, or the players can comment back through the app to let the coaches know they understand what is being asked of them.

One player in particular goes above and beyond what is asked for scouting purposes — Senior Stephanie Olman. Olman, a two-time academic All-MAC recognition and two-time MAC honor roll distinction not only goes above and beyond in the classroom, but also in preparation on the court.

Coach Webb consistently praises Olman’s work ethic in the film room, helping her improve her game, and Olman has always wanted to learn and see which areas she can improve upon.

“Ever since they introduced film on ourselves I jumped on board because I’m a visual learning and it helps,” Olman said. “I see the most amount of improvement after I watch film.”

Coach Webb and the rest of the staff have also been able to improve the scouting system, having more sessions and a bigger focus on preparation for the upcoming opponent.

“Last year we really amped up our film study, and every year I’m here we’re doing more scouting” Olman said.

 The Bobcats (9-14, 4-6) are back in action Thursday at Kent State and back at the Convo on Saturday against Eastern Michigan on Saturday.