Inspiring Beach Volleyball coaching workshop held in Jurmala

Sunday 5th of August 2018

Jurmala, Latvia, July 30, 2018. Next to the 2018 edition of the CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship, the city of Jurmala played host this past weekend to a Beach Volleyball coaching clinic as well. It was the third such course organised by the CEV after previous workshops held in Brno (CZE) and Baden (AUT) in conjunction with the 2016 U18 and 2017 U22 European Championships, respectively. A large number of coaches attending #EuroBeachVolleyU22 in Latvia’s most popular seaside resort as well as from National Federations with no teams participating in the tournament attended the course with lectures given by Martin Plessl and Menzo Tanis. 

The main goal of the clinic was to help and inspire Beach Volleyball coaches from all over Europe while growing their knowledge of the game and improving the quality of their work, especially when assisting younger players in the developing stage of their careers.
On Saturday, Martin Plessl opened the programme of the course with a lesson on ‘Scouting – High-level game analysis’. Plessl has been working as a professional scoutman for the Austrian Volleyball Federation since 2011 to support their elite Beach Volleyball team Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, thus travelling with them around the globe to all FIVB World Tour events, the 2016 Rio Olympics and the World Championships 2017 in Vienna. This is where the Austrian stars won a historic silver medal in front of their home crowd.

Martin Plessl (AUT) addressing the audience at the coaching workshop held in Jurmala 

“It is important to attend such workshops, so that professional coaches can improve their knowledge of the game. Beach Volleyball has developed a lot in the last few years – the game is progressing and we need to adapt. We need to do more, to do our part of ‘research’ in order to find out where to attack and improve,” Plessl said after addressing the audience. “This is the most important thing – to identify that little thing that could be used to change the way things are developing in a game; that little small weak point, where exactly to attack. Beach Volleyball is extremely dynamic and competitive, so we must be fast in reacting and adjusting to things. I like to do such kind of workshops – I like to share my knowledge with others – I am a teacher by profession, so this is something that I am very much keen on doing. The only difference is that in such workshops I share my knowledge with adult people, thus moving one level higher.”

On Sunday, Menzo Tanis delivered the second lecture, this time with a focus on statistics in elite Beach Volleyball. Tanis is a graduate from the Faculty of Sports at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HVA) and has been working as a performance analyst for the Dutch Volleyball Federation for more than a decade. His scouting and analyses have provided valuable support to many elite Beach Volleyball teams, such as three-time European champions Richard Schuil/Reinder Nummerdor, 2012 European champions Sanne Keizer/Marleen van Iersel, 2013 world champions and 2016 Olympic bronze medal winners Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen to name only a few. 

Tanis was at the side of Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst as this team won silver at the 2015 Worlds, and he has some experience with younger players as well, as he worked with Joy Stubbe and Nika Daalderop when the two Dutch girls claimed gold at the 2015 edition of the U20 European Championship.

Menzo Tanis (NED) discussing the use of statistics and videos in elite Beach Volleyball 

“Beach Volleyball is a very challenging and entertaining top sport. It is a very physical game in the sand, but mentally tough too. I have been working in Beach Volleyball for about 12 years and many things have changed – when I started, Brazilians and the US were dominating the game. Now European teams are among the top ones. Beach Volleyball has grown a lot in the past decade in Europe, and it has been drawing a lot more attention than it did in the past,” Tanis said. “There are more and more tournaments. Since the sport has developed a lot, we need to find small points, little details to help our teams; with Beach Volleyball developing, the level of professionalism is developing as well. Such workshops are important from that point of view – I hope I was able to inspire other coaches, so at least they know what is happening in Beach Volleyball, how we work with statistics and videos.”

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