61. Timeouts: Effective communication Part 3

There is always something to be learned from the highest level of matches in the world. Let’s dive into the VNL Final match-up of Poland against Team USA.

61. Timeouts: Effective communication Part 3

⚡ What's inside this article?

The VNL Finals were a nice place to be. 10.000+ spectators, a great crowd, (playing in Poland never disappoints), 2 world class teams and what looks like a great organized event.

With VNL broadcasting we're also able to listen in on what the coaches of the best teams in the world are saying during their timeouts.

They aren't all equally comprehensible though.

But with some audio tuning, looking at the previous in-game actions, and rewinding the same piece of audio over and over (and over 🙃) again they do become an interesting source of knowledge.

The fully subtitled clip of every single TO from the VNL Final can be found at the bottom of this article.👍 (VB Members Only)

💡 What do we look for?

In our previous VNL time-out articles we put an importance on the 3 C's.

It's important during a timeout that a coach is...

  • Concise; time is very limited, use it wisely
  • Clear; fuzzy messaging destroys confidence
  • Considerate; 'putting yourself in the shoes of your players'

We are of course missing context on what was said during game prep, in the practice gym, in 1-on-1's and a 100 other things. 🙂

The clip is a look into what is going on during the TO's, not/never a critique on what was said, why and how.

Let's dive in.

Poland 🇵🇱 - Team USA🇺🇸  ➡️  3-1

To give more context to the timeouts, you 'could' first go through the stat sheet and the official VolleyballWorld highlights of the game.

Stat sheet:

Game highlights:


Coach Grbic for Poland does his timeouts in English.

On Team USA's side all coaches had their input (coach Speraw, Weber and Fuerbringer) but unfortunately due to improper mic placement not every TO was completely picked up.

Still a lot of value in these interactions though...