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Marko Klok Interview: The Value of Analysis in Elite Volleyball


An accom­plished player in his own right, winning the 1995 European beach volleyball cham­pi­onships to add to his silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Marko Klok knows what it takes to perform at the top level. Now coaching the Dutch women’s national team and successful Swiss men’s club side Lindaren Volley Amriswil, we get the rundown on the power of game analysis in elite-level volleyball.


How Crucial Is Analysis to Elite-Level Volleyball?

“Yes, it's crucial as you use it before the game, but also in the moment,” said Klok. “You can always use it at any moment, and during the game, still things are happening and changing differently than you expect so that you have to adjust again and you need to direct information. For example, you want to know how is the reception or attack percentage from the other team, during the game. I want to have percentages from each set and moment played. It’s a contrast process of information that is available at every moment.”




The One Platform Solution

Once upon a time in the volleyball world, it took a huge amount of effort to procure game and scouting footage, but now in the modern era, it’s all available in one central online hub.


“Before I think you needed a lot of connections with other coaches or other contacts, so you could ask for video or scout files to be sent, or have to deal with scouts directly,” said Klok. “I also know different scouts in my teams from my playing days that I am still in touch with, who I can ask, but it’s complicated if you have to ask every time for every single game or single competition. So it's great that there are so many leagues presented on the Volleymetrics platform and I don't have to ask anybody unique for information when it is on the platform. Once you have contact with Volleymetrics as a club, you can use it as if almost the whole world is at your laptop.”


"Once you have contact with Volleymetrics as a club, you can use it as if almost the whole world is at your laptop."


The Value of Volleymetrics

As a coach for both a national side and a club side, coach Klok sees real value in using one video analysis solution for both roles.

“I use Volleymetrics and I use it double because for both teams as it means more data, more videos, more games,” said Klok. “Starting with my men’s team, as before every season you have to make a new team or at least find a few new players. During the season I also use the Volleymetrics platform to view different leagues and different games. The players with the Dutch women’s team play in a range of different leagues, so it's good to be able to follow them using Volleymetrics during the season.”

As well as this, during the season it’s absolutely crucial for opponent analysis. “Of course, during competition, we have all the information from other games that are played by our opponents,” said Klok. “It’s a possibility for us to get all the information we want without Volleymetrics, but that is a which is a challenge. Now you have it all on one platform and that makes it look so much easier and more efficient.”


Developing Your Players with Volleymetrics

At both club and national level, long term success is always going to depend on the continual improvement of player development, which is now being improved by the use of Volleymetrics as an analysis tool. “We started to use analysis in this way last season with the Dutch national team,” said Klok. “Our scout always records our practices and also does the scout work and then us as coaches can tag the player’s actions from these practices on Volleymetrics and they can watch it or at their own, or together with us. It's good to have daily the possibility to check players' situations, techniques, decisions, they make. So it’s not only useful during the games, but also especially for the preparation of the next game.


"I use Volleymetrics and I use it double because for both teams as it means more data, more videos, more games."


The serve and reception phase of play is extremely important in volleyball, a moment where strategic positioning must be made both on the offensive side of the court. This is a key area where Klok uses Volleymetrics to coach his teams.

“In the reception we use Volleymetrics a lot as the reception starts many times from our kind of system that you play with,” said Klok. And then you can take into account certain servers, jump, float or spin. Depending on the situation where the potential problems are questions we ask so they can be isolated and displayed to the players simply. For example, how we would receive the jumped float serve. This is not just about timing, it's about position, technique, it's about angles, it's about footwork that we can analyze. This is really helpful for many more basic skills, such as the setting, blocking and attacking.”




Opponent Analysis

When asked what his key objective is as a coach, Klok said is it “to prepare his players as good as possible for the expected and unexpected”. The best way to do that is to know your opposition through analysis.

“We want to know how the opponent plays and what our players can expect,” said Klok. “For example, which kind of services, how the server is running the attack. “You can see more and more through video to display the systems in which opponents will try to block defensive receptions. I don’t tell the players everything, but I need to know everything and then I can tell the players when necessary.

My main goal for every player is to make them better players individually and to improve their skillset and especially their ability to read the game. The more videos from practices and games you watch, the more you learn about the game. So that's our main goal, and then if I do this for every individual player, you can perform also as a better team and this starts with each individual to make them better and the best possible.”




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