Data-Driven: Using Volleyball Stats to Drive Success

We’re arming you with the tools you need to track your stats and set goals for your team this season. It’s all at your fingertips.

Data-Driven: Using Volleyball Stats to Drive Success

We’re arming you with the tools you need to track your stats and set goals for your team this season. It’s all at your fingertips.

Volleyball coaches know data. They comb through hundreds of stats after each match, trying to find parts of their game to improve. We arm coaches with the tools to utilize those stats to continue getting better with every breakdown.

Successful volleyball teams usually excel in two key areas - they win the serve-and-pass battles and limit their number of unforced errors. Let’s run through how you can use Hudl to track these stats and set goals.

Hitting Percentage

The most common question you often get from players after a match is, “Coach, how many kills did I have?” The real question they should be asking is, “Coach, what was my hitting percentage?”

Hitting percentage is calculated by taking the total amount of kills, subtracting the hitting errors, and dividing that number by the total number of attempts.

Why is it important to track? There are times during the match that the best thing to do is hit a controlled shot instead of just swinging for a kill. An example would be an out-of-system play with the set being low and off the net. If your team emphasizes kills over hitting percentage, players often feel they need to swing for a kill rather than keep the ball in play and trust their defense. This will often result in unforced errors and free points for the other team.

Each position should have a different hitting percentage goal based on the quality of sets they’re getting. Here is a breakdown of the goals we suggest:

  • Outside/Opposite Goal: .250
  • Middle Blockers Goal: .450
  • Team Goal: .300

All of this data is at your fingertips with our new reports. Navigate to your goals page and add a team hitting percentage goal for your team, then monitor your players’ individual hitting percentages on the reports page. All of that data is linked to video, so you can show your players exactly where they need to improve.

Passer Efficiency Rating = Passing #

Another important stat is your individual/team passing number. It’s used to rate a pass on a scale of 0-3. This system rates the quality of a pass based on the number of front row offensive opportunities available to the setter. Both the location and the height of the pass can affect the passing number. The goal is to have a high passing number with a 3.0 being optimal.

  • Rating Scale 0-3 Points
  • 0 points = Service Reception Error
  • 1 point = ability to set one hitter
  • 2 points = ability to set two hitters
  • 3 points = ability to set all three hitters

To improve your team’s passing number, it’s important to emphasize two things - eliminate service reception errors and focus on incremental improvements, turning one-point passes into 2s and 2s into 3s. Your passing number will directly affect your team’s side-out percentage, hitting percentage and chances of winning.

The Balance Between Serving Percentage and Serving Rating

Depending on your team’s skill level and strategy, you can focus on tracking your team’s serving percentage, serving receive rating or both.

Serving percentage measures your team’s ability to serve the ball in play. This is calculated by taking the number of serves in play, subtracting the serving errors, and dividing by total attempted serves. For developing teams, this is generally the stat you want your team to focus on first.  

Serving rating measures the quality of each serve based on the result of the opponent’s pass. The goal here is to have a low serving number. The rating scale goes from 0-4 points and looks like this:

  • 0 pts = Service Ace
  • 1 pt = Opponent setter has (1) attack option 
  • 2 pts = Opponent setter has (2) attack options 
  • 3 pts = Opponent setter has (3) attack options 
  • 4 pts = Service Error

Example 1:

  • 5 serves = 3,3,2,3,3 = 14 pts
  • 100% - Serving Percentage
  • 2.8 - Serving Efficiency Rating

Example 2:

  • 5 serves= 4,1,2,2,3 = 12 pts
  • 80% - Serving Percentage
  • 2.4 - Serving Efficiency Rating

Elite teams should focus on serving number and aim to get their opponent out of system. The quality of an opposing team’s passes often directly results in their ability to side-out. Limiting their hitting options by forcing one and two-point passes should increase your chances of winning more points. Here are two examples of five serves with their rating. As a coach, your challenge is to figure out a winning formula for your team. An optimal target for a high school team should be a serving percentage above 85 percent with a serving number below two.

goals screen
Navigate to the Goals tab on our Reports page and set a goal

These metrics should help you get started, but this certainly does not limit the stats you can track over the course of the season. Check out this tutorial for instructions on creating your own goal reports.

Interested in trying out Hudl for yourself? Check out all our features and sign up for a free trial.

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