Russell Brock (00:00:00):
Part of the component that would need to be part of the equation would be fun.
Mark Burik (00:00:03):
How do you make me have fun?
Russell Brock (00:00:05):
We spend a little bit of time, particularly initially just doing some fun games. You know, don't drop the baby where one person is holding a ball and the other person is not. So you're playing volleyball. The person who's contacting the ball has to get rid of the ball. They're holding while the surf was coming to me, I'd have to flip it to you. You would catch it. I pass to you. You would flip it to me while you go into set. And then I'd flip it back to you when I attack and the other, side's doing the same thing
Mark Burik (00:00:33):
To the better at beach volleyball podcast. My name is Mark Burik and here at better at beach, we talk about do and teach everything that has to do with beach volleyball. So whether you're a player, a coach or somebody who just absolutely loves the sport, hopefully we have something for you. We run classes, lessons, clinics, camps, online courses, and online coaching. And we are also developing a coach's mastermind group, which we'll see if we can convince today's guest to get into and lead the way. But we also have seven day training vacations. And if you're watching this live right now, this is June 21st. We just released our first camp date for the fall. We are going to the postcard in, in St. Pete beach, Florida for seven days of training, volleyball, tournaments parties, hanging with pros and awesome coaches and new friends. So if you want to sign up for that right now, and you're watching live, there is one more day.
It looks like about 28 more hours of early bird pricing, where you could save money. So just head on a bid at beach.com/camps. If you want to check that out onto today's guest, we will read his bio and we'll see if you can guess by the time we get to the end of his laundry list of accomplishments here. So he set an NCAA record with 45 matches with 10 plus digs, ATC and graduated in exercise science. My brother, he was a standout athlete at the university of Southern California and led the program's all time record in digs telling 956, a record that stood for 10 years before joining the coaching staff at rice. He spent 11 years at Baytown Christian academy in Texas as the school's athletic director and operations manager prior to joining LSU, he spent eight seasons with the indoor volleyball program at rice university and served his volunteer coach from 2006 to 2008, before being promoted to assistant coach in 2009, he has helped six players to the CCS, a all freshman team for the entirety of his tenure.
LSSU Louisiana state university has been ranked inside the BCA top 10, and the tigers have earned 24 top 10 victories with him at the helm in each of his first three seasons as head coach. He has led LSU to the NCAA championship as one of the final eight teams in the nation at golf shores and national championships. And by 2020 Brock, we got his name. had built the Louisiana state university beach volleyball program into a national powerhouse. And the tigers carried a number two ranking into the season. And in his first four seasons as LSU head beach volleyball coach Russell Brock has led the tigers into national prominence. So without further, but do coach Brock Russell, thank you so much for joining us and teaching us and sharing your wisdom.
Russell Brock (00:03:48):
Uh, my pleasure. That's, that's pretty impressive. Bio. I think I learned a few things myself.
Mark Burik (00:03:54):
Well, you put it together. So there we go. Nice little pat on your own back there. Yeah. Love my defenders. So talk to me first about dig records at USC. Were you playing libero? Were you just a defensive specialist or did you have the easy job of like an opposite or a setter? Just picking up everybody's tips?
Russell Brock (00:04:14):
Yeah. So we gotta go way back. This is a historical conversation because there were no liberos whenever I played mm-hmm I genuinely think probably that would've been my calling. I mean, I was a six, three outside six rotation. My ability to stay on the floor, really, at least in the initial phases began because I was a great ball control player. And you know, you, there weren't many subs allowed, there was no libero. Like you couldn't make those adjustments. You had to have, you know, enough people on the floor who were primary passers. And typically, you know, me and one of the guy covered the floor and that was, you know, if people were cracking, jump surges, you might slide somebody in. But you know, I had half the floor, maybe two thirds, if I was feeling really good on one day and try to keep us in system. And that was my main role. And then when I was in the back row, I was trying to dig everything, anybody got past our blocker. So that was kind of the way it was. And, you know, it was out of, kind of out a necessity, just created some value by really investing in the ball control side of the things, because, you know, we had monsters. I mean, I was six, three and jumped well, had a good arm, but we had guys that were touching over 12 foot and
Mark Burik (00:05:24):
That's insane, you
Russell Brock (00:05:25):
Know, flying around and crushing balls. And we were playing against them too. I mean, it was, it was the heyday kind of a men's volleyball that was kind of coming into its own. And you had to look hard and hard and long for somebody that wasn't way over the net. So I had to create value within ball control.
Mark Burik (00:05:41):
I've heard conversations about people saying that the 6 2 6, 3, 6, 4 athlete in men's volleyball is on the verge of becoming extinct, or we will soon be eradicated as a six, two and a half who probably claimed six, four in college. , you know, I had these conversations with people and it came down to like, there's something about the tenacity of an athlete, no matter what size there are. We look at Steph Curry, who's, uh, six, three as well. And you would think, okay, well, there's no way he can stand up to six, eight of LeBron or the six, seven of Kobe, but he's doing it. So do you think that guys like us are in danger of becoming extinct in the men's game? And we could talk about indoor and beach too.
Russell Brock (00:06:28):
Yeah, I, I mean, absolutely. I think it's, that's a reality and I think what's more and more amazing and you bring over the, you know, kind of NBA crossover. I think that athletes within our sport and within the NBA sport are very complimentary. You're dealing with a lot of the same valuable aspects and obviously there's more money in the NBA or in volleyball or basketball on the national international stage. So, you know, the elite of the elitist of that kind of frame and that kind of athleticism are gonna shuffle towards that sport inherently, but like, we get kind of that next tier. And so as the NBA has gotten bigger and bigger, I think Steph could be towards the end of, because now you've got people like Luca, who's got a similar skill set, but he's significantly bigger, stronger, right. And that's only gonna con more and more athletes like that are only gonna continue to show up. So I would love to say that, you know, ability to still contribute is there, but I mean, you can already see it happening internationally indoor for sure. In volleyball and absolutely within, you know, within beach. I mean, it's just getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and, and there are some advantages to being bigger. Uh, particularly if you're playing against people who are that size, right?
Mark Burik (00:07:53):
Yeah. I think you gotta have somebody out there with some size, there are teams that are proven us wrong and you know, kind of the elephant in the room for you. Like I wanna talk about maybe Kristen Nu sure. Who, tiny little girl
Russell Brock (00:08:04):
Mark Burik (00:08:06):
And is destroying the us and is soon to just tear apart the world we think, and her partner, tear cloth, who for me is the first person that I've seen that knows exactly how to utilize height. You know, her cut shot is a cut, hit her high line is just hitting over people. And I see so many tall players, you know, they end up using these loops because they've seen all of maybe the guys like you and me like 6, 2, 6, 3, who hit over a block with some arc or hit a cut shot that had some spin and loop. And every time I see Taryn, I don't know, detonate a cut shot. , you know, I'm like, that is the epitome of the sport, but then, you know, you have Kristen, who, what is she? Five, six,
Russell Brock (00:08:56):
We'll give her five, six, we'll
Mark Burik (00:08:58):
Give her five, six on a college roster. Yeah. , she's trying to get recruited. So how do you explain her success and how dominant she's been at a small height when I get tons of players who are looking at me saying like, well, I'm just not tall enough. Sure. You know, I'm pointing to these athletes going, what are you talking about?
Russell Brock (00:09:17):
Yeah, no, I think that she definitely is post a child for keeping hope alive for the smaller players. For sure. And, you know, I think if it was easy, you know, if things didn't have to fall exactly in line, there'd be more players like her out there. I mean, she is very unique in her ability or I hand coordination her change of speed. Like even when we were, we have the ability over the course of her career to like, kind of have testing. So we're, we're looking at her metrics, which is reaction time, change of direction acceleration. And she correlates with vision one defensive backs and like, that's not normal for anybody. So there's a genetic component. Clearly she probably would admit that she got, maybe cheated a little bit on the height side of things, but she got cheated in no other way, shape or form in her ability to be an elite athlete.
And she's worked her butt off and she's had great training and she still still continues to improve. And I think that, you know, her, even when you watch her play and you see her ability to get a legitimate late look like that's incredibly unique. So it's not just like one or two things that allow her to overcome her height. It is a laundry list of things that make her super special. And that may be the most critical one that she can really on. Take off, get that last look and know where the defender is, know where the blocker is. And then to be able to have the eye hand, the training execution to execute the correct shot over and over and over and over, like, that's what makes her super special.
Mark Burik (00:10:59):
Do you think that she is still looking at the defense in her swing or is that decision coming upon takeoff? For me, I think my decision I've actually changed the way I do offenses. You know, I make a decision before the point starts and then I have some on and off switches. And that leads me to be a little bit more consistent instead of waiting and looking. I like to be a little bit more proactive. Hmm. Do you think that she's looking on takeoff or is she still peripherally seeing things while in the air?
Russell Brock (00:11:33):
Yep. And, and I did, it was interesting. I listened to your Billy Allen podcast. And I remember you talking about like kind of limiting your decisions. I thought that was a great kind of line of conversation. I think that, and you'd have to ask her specifically, and I haven't talked to her really directly lately, but I think she keeps her options pretty wide open. And I think that a lot of the information she gets is at takeoff. And then I think that she has incredible peripheral so that she can make adjustments, particularly it's, it's a little bit harder if you're looking at the second level, but the late block moves, she's gonna see that. So if it's a late pull or if it's a late dive, I think that that is she can perceive that and she can make adjustments on that.
Mark Burik (00:12:15):
So by second level, you mean the defense
Russell Brock (00:12:18):
Correct? The, so yeah, first layer being the blocker second layer, the deeper level being that defender.
Mark Burik (00:12:24):
Okay. So she's probably getting a most of her information maybe from initially, and this is without talking to her and without, you know, providing a scouting report for anybody, sure the potential to look at the defense early and then feel a blocker move late. And I think you can usually rely on the fact that defender will do opposite of the blocker.
Russell Brock (00:12:47):
Mark Burik (00:12:47):
Usually, yeah. I think some smarter teams know that a double up a couple times a set is valuable.
Russell Brock (00:12:55):
Yep. Particularly if you, if you've unraveled where people are looking, like if you know, their initial inform or their most valuable information is from a block or a defender, then you can use that to your advantage on a double up. And the double up can absolutely be grew it for, you know, two, three points, a set once you've kind of determined what the, the biggest, um, kind of contributor is to unraveling the defense.
Mark Burik (00:13:20):
Hmm. Do you think it's more important to look at the blocker or the defender or is it just like, would you just teach me to say look at the whole field?
Russell Brock (00:13:29):
I, I think it honestly depends on how you wanna play the game. Okay. If you wanna shoot, which if I had to choose, I think you're gonna get the most bang for your buck. If you're able to determine where the defender is, if you're athletic enough to keep the blocker at the net, determine where the defender is and then use shots to your advantage, to make them at least move and try and get something great. And then shot quality is what begins to be kind of your ultimate ally. Uh, you can't just shoot the open space. You gotta shoot to the right space in the open space. So in that scenario, you
Mark Burik (00:14:01):
Need to know, unpack that for a second, uh, the right space in the open space. Yeah.
Russell Brock (00:14:06):
So if I've got a defender in, if I know for sure, I gotta defender in the angle, I gotta block her in the line. So everyone running one on me. Oh, shot overline. And part of it is shape that's the first equation, but location has to be the second part of the equation. So if you're tearing your shape can be flatter. If you loop a high line over a block that doesn't need to be looped. Now you're giving away your advantage. So now you've hit the correct shot, but you haven't hit the correct shape for who you are. And some people may have to retain that loop, but, um, you're just allowing the defender more time. So then the second part of the equation after shape is location. Well, if I hit the correct shape on my Highline to the correct side of the court, but it's off the sidelines, say it's six feet into the court, six feet from the corner, I've hit the correct shot.
Maybe even move the correct shape, but I've allowed a really great defender, a, a little bit more of an opportunity than if I were to hit that three feet by three feet from the corner with the same shape. Mm-hmm . So that's that, to me, all of that boiled down as a term, we like to call shot quality. So it's not just the decision, like decision making has to be on point, but the shot quality is kind of your safety blanket. Because even if you run a late, say you run a late four and I've hit a high line. If I hit an average high line, they're gonna be in great position to counter. If I hit great shot quality in my high line, now you're having to dig a ball that's in the back corner with great shape. And you're moving away from the net. Maybe you even have to lay out a little bit, like I've created an advantage, even if I don't make like the right decision, because you ran a great play on me. So the shot quality piece decision making and shot quality go hand in hand. But ultimately if I have great shot quality over and over, then I can get myself out of a jam at times, whenever the, the other team is just really great or they've, you know, I just made a wrong decision, but I hit a really, really good shot. Right.
Mark Burik (00:16:08):
And, and probably less likely to put yourself in a jam. I think early, um, you know, in my, all of my twenties, maybe, you know, I grew up east coast. So New York, you know, I had a couple summers in California, but in New York. So the quality wasn't necessarily great in terms of players, you know, I would get to the finals and I remember the first finals that I was in and I got my butt kicked, but I came out of that, not mad. It was one of the few losses that I came not angry because it was the first time that I had played that quality. And I was like, that's where I'm gonna be. That's what I need to do. But the first, all of my twenties, I would be able to look and then just hit that area, like you said, and that was enough to get the points and sure they would come back for a few points or, or dig me on a couple. But then somehow I would just, I guess, out athlete them. And I finally, I, I started realizing in qualifiers that hitting the correct decision is not enough. You need correct decision then, plus like you said, shot quality, speed, change of location occasionally in the correct decision. So it's not just over line or cut. Right. It's right. Like, can I do it on the way up? Should I do it on the way down? Does it have to be sharper more inside, more outside? And how are they arcing? Yeah.
Do you think that players find that naturally? Or is that something that they just need to be told over and over?
Russell Brock (00:17:42):
I think that it's not a natural progression and part of the equation is, and we have this conversation with younger players, like juniors all the time when you're doing clinics or camps, it's kind of the process you went through where you had your epiphany is like what you're doing right now. Just because it's successful. Isn't like the end goal. Like you, you can't rely on your ability to beat the, the people you're playing now to determine if you're doing what needs to be done. Like you constantly have to push, you constantly have to elevate. You constantly have to adapt and you have to look ahead to where you wanna be, not just try and be satisfied with where you are. I think that you people don't just come to that realization on your own. I think very often, particularly early on cuz early on, if you're successful and everybody's giving you a trophy, everybody's patting you on the back.
Like you're, whatever, all the accolades you can get, you're getting all the bids you can possibly get. And you're not really thinking about like, okay, how can I be better? Like what can I improve? And I think that's a lost art that has to be encouraged, trained, talked about pushed. And then, you know, then you have a chance maybe to make the improvements that you need to make before you need to make them. And that's the key for me is when we talk to kids, we're like, Hey, you wanna be, you wanna put yourself in position to be good at the things you don't need to be good at yet because you're gonna need to be able to be great at him. Or you won't be able to progress to where you want to go.
Mark Burik (00:19:17):
If we're talking to a, B or a guy in he's beating all of his buddies and he's, you know, finishing the finals and, and taking home his beach chair and his umbrella, you know, as a prize after each tournament, how does that person who doesn't maybe doesn't have a coach and doesn't have the competition in front of him and in his face. How does he know when a shot is good enough? Are there any like litmus tests that you have, or do you just always say, can you do it faster? Can you do it better? And then just see how far that peak is. You know, it, I'm trying to find something that somebody out there can use when they don't have the opportunity to play against high level players. So they don't have to learn those lessons.
Russell Brock (00:20:03):
Yeah. That's a great question because if you don't have an actual test, it's really hard to really quantify immuno know if, if your block's only getting wristed over the net and you only have to hit a ball six inches over the tape to, to be successful. The only way in practice is you can get somebody with a boogie board who's gonna, you know, give you a little bit better test, you know, and, and create some shape or, you know, maybe like limit the shots you can hit. So let 'em know, I'm not gonna go Highline. I'm only gonna score in the angle. Oh. And now you have a, a bigger challenge or maybe you put two defenders, maybe you put somebody defending line and angle with a block like in training. So now I, I can't just be decent and score. I've gotta be great.
And I think that once again, if you go back to the conversations that need to be had, it's not, how can I be good or how can I be, how can I win it's how can I be excellent? That's the bar that at some point you gotta decide, am I willing to work to be excellent because good enough is probably good enough. In many cases, that guy in Illinois, he can get a whole slew of chairs and umbrellas, but is that, and if that's his goal, then he doesn't need to be excellent. But if he wants to be excellent, then I think you've gotta be creative to push yourself into space that isn't easily found in that scenario. It's obviously way easier to find that in the beaches of California, if you're in a great training group, some in Austin or down in Florida and lots of places around the country, but if you don't have that, like it has to be within you that you want excellence. Otherwise you're just gonna be the big fish in the small pond.
Mark Burik (00:21:45):
So interesting that you said the put three defenders out there, you know, blocker and two defenders, because I actually did that for a number of trainings in my career. I was playing with Hudson Bates. Who's now the associate head coach at Ohio state university for their men's program and USA beach juniors, something or other my best friend, I should know. But that was something that we had to do because, you know, if you have two higher level athletes or some people who, you know, are trying to push themselves, but then everybody else's, let's say indoor players. So they really have no idea what the hell they're doing on defense. Right? How do we create a smaller court or necessity for a better shot? Yeah. And while it might seem unfair to put three defenders in, all right, well now you're probably looking at how would I approach the game if I just needed to hit every ball? And do I have that ability? I think that could be so valuable. Yeah. But don't you think that that ruins the decision process that a hitter would have to go through?
Russell Brock (00:22:50):
Yeah. I don't think that that can be your only training. Obviously. That's gonna be, you know, a test that's gonna push you into a space where you understand the value of the quality of the shot that has to be made. And you, maybe you do understand, okay, like, what am I capable if, if I have to pace balls, if, if there's no other option, like how do I figure out how to get that outside hand? Or how do I figure out how to tool high? Like all the tools maybe that indoor players are better at when they've got triple blocks in front of 'em like, can I carry that over to the beach side? Like, it's not maybe something you have to rely on, but at some point you're gonna get in a situation, the nature of our sport, where there's gonna be something you haven't seen before, they're gonna be something that's that you've gotta do differently than you're really comfortable doing.
And the people that have the most tools in their tool belts, whether or not they use 'em every single day, uh, every single match they're gonna have the best chance to be successful when those moments happen, where you face that six, 10 blocker for the very first time in your life. that's, this is different, you know, as opposed to, well, like what's normal. And I know what I can do in a normal situation, but have I done enough training that when something's abnormal, I can dig into my, you know, my tool chest and find something that could be productive in the situation.
Mark Burik (00:24:09):
You talk about running into a six, 10 guy. What advice would you give to a player who they experience a higher level for the first time? And they're in that match? You know, I, first time you play Phil, or first time you play Tarn, who's just over the net or, you know, a Brandy Wilkerson who's skying higher than any female out there probably right now. Yeah. And everything that you, or at least some bailout shots that you used to have now they're just closed down. How do you problem solve or keep your head when there's an athlete over there that is doing something that no one has done before to you and they're shutting it down.
Russell Brock (00:24:51):
Yeah. I think that once again, when you end up with tools, because maybe you don't run, you don't move around very much. You don't use pace on your sets very much. You don't do things like that very much. And now you realize, well, I've gotta do something different. If you don't have enough ability to change, then you're probably gonna not be able to change the pathway that you're going down. But if you can adjust even, you know, you know, got to watch the AVP new Orleans and, you know, Brandy was there and she was incredibly impactful. So you start to see people, you know, maybe passing a little off center and going over on two, at least giving her that look where now she's gotta decide, like, where am I gonna go? Am I gonna, am I gonna hang in the middle? And then we're running tempo to a different place.
Well, if you've never even considered that possibility, there is zero chance. You're gonna be able to efficiently do it in the heat of the moment. So I think that's a part of the equation. The other part of the equation is you have to be mentally strong enough to accept that challenge and to be able to be clear minded enough to process, okay, what can we do? And part of it is personal confidence. Part, part of it is a partnership confidence like, Hey, like I need to help you. And when we have that conversation, you can't be offended that I'm trying to help you. Like, there's all kinds of things that come into play in those moments. And I would say there's probably not even a specific point. That is like the main point. I think you have to be able to have lots of different things in that moment because they don't happen very often not to great players. So to be able to prepare enough kind of avenues or outs, that you can try a few things and not lose your confidence. And I think that, that's the thing. Whenever I see players that I love watching getting in those moments is they're not afraid. Like they don't get rattled. Like they may be frustrated, but they are always gonna stay proactive in their ability to kind of solve this problem.
Mark Burik (00:26:56):
Do you think it's more valuable to be a problem solver thinker there or a warrior? Who's just like, I don't care what you're doing. I'm gonna do what I wanna do or is it, you know, the person who's more ready to change their style of past set, hit timing, et cetera.
Russell Brock (00:27:15):
Yeah. I think that you, once again, I don't know if there's a perfect example. I think there's a lot of fun when you have that warrior. Like, especially if they're facing a big block and they just come in and they're like not afraid. And you know, that was kind of how I played when I was in college. I was like, when I got a set, it was gonna end violently
Mark Burik (00:27:33):
Russell Brock (00:27:33):
It was either gonna be violently on your side of the net or violently on my side of the net. And I was totally fine with that.
Mark Burik (00:27:40):
Am I block me, but it's gonna hurt your hand and you're gonna get hyper extended elbow.
Russell Brock (00:27:44):
Absolutely. And I'm okay with that. Like, it's impressive when the ball hits the ground before me, I'm alright with that happening every once in a while. So I can respect that process. But I also think that, you know, there's a more cerebral approach where once again, you have to stay clear minded and maybe you're working that outside hand and it's not working. You've gotta be able to have plan B and you may have to have a plan C and you might have to have a plan D so, and each one of those plans would be a version of what you just mentioned. It may end up being the cerebral approach. It may be the warrior approach. It may end up being, you know, a technical approach. But I, I will say in every single scenario, you know, ball control has to be once again, going all the way back to what gave me an opportunity. You have to be able to stay in system because if you can't, then you're not gonna be able to try anything else. And it'll just get more and more frustrating. You just give away any advantage that you may have with the tools that you're using.
Mark Burik (00:28:41):
I just had like a 30 minute call with somebody who's been coaching indoor for 20 minutes and she's signing up for some of our programs because she, her high school needed a volunteer to take over the new beach volleyball programs. And so she's just kind of hunting down and she bought our, our practice plans and she might be signing up for our whole coaching program. But she said that her assistant coach got into the mindset where he's like, this is a totally new program. So they don't have volleyball players. It's not like a volleyball hungry town. And he's like, well, we got, we gotta work on hitting. They're not hitting hard enough. And she was like, I, you need to reframe your mind. like pass and set. And I even recommended, and I don't know if you would recommend this, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.
My libero in college, he went to, I think Midlothian high school, maybe in Virginia and their school was known for the first two weeks, maybe longer. They didn't spike a single ball. There was no jump and spike for two weeks. And so I actually gave that advice to her. I go, very honestly, if you can teach these girls to pass, set, dig, and move them standing and being able to see the court and have control of where they place the ball will be up to a certain level, significantly more valuable than their ability to jump and hit. Like they'll get more kills during that process than they would actually like trying to jump and putts that up. Of course, I think, yeah, there's a stop to that level. Sure. You know, like once you get to double a, at some point you're gonna have to jump, but would you give that advice to any high school or club coaches or do you believe in, in the whole part of training where it's every drill should be pass, set, jump and hit versus just pass and set consistently. Cuz pro spends so much time in triangle that it's like, we're not really playing whole points. So long question, but do you have thoughts on that?
Russell Brock (00:30:44):
Yeah, absolutely. And I would be definitely more in the vein of your philosophy and your suggestions, particularly with not as talented, like, because odds are, if you're at a level that's not as talented or not as polished, you're probably playing against similar people more often than not particularly in our sport where you can kind of tailor, you know, at the adult level or even at the junior level, you can tailor your competition to particular like you're playing open or you're playing levels. So it's not like you're gonna be completely out class by the people you're across the net from. And I think no matter at what level it can be, I think I can make a pretty strong argument for, and I say this all the time as well, regardless of the surface indoor beach, sand mud, snow grass, if you just simply broke it down to whoever serves in passes better, you could really correlate that to who's gonna win because the other skills are probably gonna be relatively comparable.
But the bigger component for me is if I stay in system, my setters are better like period. Like if I've got a great setter and an average setter and the average set is getting perfect passes and the great set is getting shoveled all over the gym. I think my average setter can probably do just as good a job, creating a hittable scenario. Then my grade setter who will probably be exhausted by the end of the day and may not be able to produce as good a result as far as a consistency of attack. So like spending it kind of goes back and I probably won't get it exactly right. But it is a fantastic little quote and I'm not sure it's even properly attributed, but you know, the old Abraham Lincoln thing, if I'm gonna spend, if I'm gonna chop down a tree, I'm gonna spend the first six of my eight hours sharpening my ax, like to me, the ball control is the ax sharpening. That's what makes every skill that we do, particularly on the offensive side, more achievable and with a higher rate of success. So it makes my hitters better. It makes my setters better. You know, it makes my communication better. It makes my conditioning better. Like the better that I can control that first touch, then the better I'm gonna be at whatever version of this game we're playing.
Mark Burik (00:33:04):
Have you been able to quantify that as a programmer or as a coach to say when we pass in X area, hitting percentage goes up or down?
Russell Brock (00:33:15):
Yeah. That would be an interesting study. I think part of the problem with our sport at the college level particularly is there's so much data that ha that's collected. It's really hard to compile it. And even if you can't compile it, then it's all different players playing against different people. So if you got one pair and you're getting every touch they've got, and there's some consistency to the interpretation, it's way more effective. I haven't ever seen that kind of correlation done, but we have, you know, I think this is the whole NCAA compliance thing. I think college programs in general yeah. Have targets that they're shooting for and the targets that they're shooting for from a side out percentage, first ball kill percentage pass percentage, you know, are gonna put them in a zone where they feel like, okay, if we can meet these parameters, then we're gonna be in a great position to be successful in the wind loss category because we have enough data to know, like these are some pretty solid, you know, points that we are gonna try and be successful with.
Mark Burik (00:34:23):
Russell Brock (00:34:25):
But if we could do that, I think that it would show what we're talking about. Like you could really find direct correlations between the passing statistics versus, and then what kind of the correlation to the success rate on wins, losses, sight outs, media kills all of those things.
Mark Burik (00:34:43):
For sure. I mean, we have those stats. We've had them for a long time for indoor, right. And
Russell Brock (00:34:47):
Mark Burik (00:34:48):
We know that front, middle, you can pretty much live and die by that, that front middle pass. And that's where your percentages go up. And I think it was re pretty who, when he's started making his shift to the beach, he's like, there's so many stats, there's so much personnel in indoor and we have these numbers that we can achieve and they just don't exist. This was, you know, six years ago, maybe five, six years ago. Sure. And he is like, but why don't they exist in beach? And so he started hiring a team literally to try to quantify, take all of these stats, quantify and say like, okay, where do we have to pass? Where's the best side out overall. Where's the best side out for us. And then I ended up getting to work with Jordan Chang, who is now Kelly Clay's husband and coach and USA, super coach. He loves stats. Yeah. Loves paying attention to them, them. And you know, it was able to show me that I was hitting literally 20% less in transition. And that was like, ouch. And they were all just coming from blocks and hitting errors. Sure. So I made a new rule for myself. No blocks, no hitting errors in transition. So if the ball's in the back half of the court, all right, I'm going to choose very safe areas. That's like immediately pad. My absolutely stats.
Russell Brock (00:36:04):
Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think an understanding, I think part of the issue is at the college level, because you can't necessarily get all the stats you need. It's understand having players understand how the stats work so that they know what an error does to themselves. You know what they know what an ACE does. If they get aced, what it does to their ability to be successful. So even if you can't like necessarily give them stacks of data that are what you were able to see that were able to influence your decision making. If you understand that when I dig a ball, my job is to not error. Like I wanna kill the ball, but I can't error like that. Can't be a part of the equation. Um, I've done all the hard work. My partner's doing hard work to get me in position and I can't let them off the hook. Worst case scenario. They've gotta get a dig. They've gotta transition. They've gotta come right back at me. Because when I give away that point, then like, I'm killing myself. Basically. This is, this is the bottom line. And even without a hitting percentage, even without knowing that 20%, if you understand the value and how it works, then you have a much better chance of, of, of not never airing because we, you wanna stay aggressive, but
Mark Burik (00:37:19):
Right. Yeah. You don't wanna speak to yourself in negatives, right? Yeah. You don't. I dug it just don't error. Just don't error.
Russell Brock (00:37:23):
Yeah. and you don't need, like the, the things that are crazy is like I sprawl and get a, dig. My partner lies out and gets a dig and I'm running to bump it over and I try and hit a bump cut. That's gonna score against the team. That's like re like just don't and you hit it in the net. Mm. You know, like, what's the point of that? Like, there's like, you have to understand like when you can be, and when you can't be aggressive and controlled, or when you just have to reboot and make them beat you, as opposed to just letting people off the
Mark Burik (00:37:53):
Hook. I think that's such a, a good point that most people I'd say just completely miss, you know, they go for kills when they're in very uncomfortable situations or they'll go for a crazy spot when the other team is super comfortable waiting for them. You know, I think one of my pet peeves as a coach, when I see other people playing is when people, especially on a men's net, I'll say like, uh, I might be a little bit more forgiving with it on a women's net, but on a men's net, when people will bump it over or try to hit a, a cut shot or a short shot when they're really off balance and in trouble. And yeah, it might pay off. But if that other team has any form of ball control, or even if they don't, now they have a small pass and an easy set, you know, you can argue that they can't get back behind half court. Maybe it'll ruin their approach, but if they're balanced and even if they have medium ball control, you've given them a chance to have easier ball control, as opposed to my magic button. Is that deep middle? Yeah. Like Chuck it deep middle, anytime you're in trouble, let them fight over it. First, let them freeze in the middle. And then they have to scramble and maybe rush to the set a little bit more.
Russell Brock (00:39:07):
Well. And if nothing else, it gives you an opportunity to get back in the court and get balanced, to give a, a great defensive look and these days, and even more like if you have decent ball control, you're not gonna see a set. The ball's gonna go up on one and it's coming over on two. So now you've jammed yourself up even more in trying to be in position to defend. And it just makes your life even more challenging.
Mark Burik (00:39:31):
That's a, another deeper thought, that's that next level like great coaches like yourself, can you see three steps down the road? You know? So I talked about maybe a good pass and a good set. That's two steps down the road, you're saying, but where are we gonna be on defense by the time that their team has recovered from that? Now we're still in scramble mode, just attempting to get back to position. Yeah. And yeah, your defense is then significantly worse.
Russell Brock (00:39:59):
Mark Burik (00:39:59):
Hey, what was the transition like coaching from going from indoor to coaching beach? How did you end up becoming a beach head coach when you were an indoor head coach for a long time? Yeah.
Russell Brock (00:40:09):
It's a pretty fun story. So kind of goes back. It kind of, the backstory is all the way back to USC. So when I was at USC, my setter was Steve Swick and when I was working at rice and we were out recruiting all the time, I'd always try and get back together. He actually, I got married before my senior year of college. And, um, what, yeah, so congrat I redshirted it was great. It was a great deal. I redshirted, Y had a fifth year and we were having trouble, my wife and I, or my girlfriend at the time she went to, to a nearby school and I was having trouble finding a roommate, Steve and I were, we had kind of, uh, some good options, but, but we needed another person. And so we got, I got engaged over Christmas and we were looking at the following summer, but in the course of us trying to unravel this roommate situation, we just decided to get married that summer. And so she could live with us. So she ended up, we got married a year early. So my fifth year we lived in an apartment with my setter, Steve. And so it was a really fun arrangement. Um, that's cool.
Mark Burik (00:41:13):
So that's the best. Yeah. I mean, you get married, you save on rent. It's brilliant.
Russell Brock (00:41:16):
Absolutely. . So when I was working at rice with the indoor program, Steve was working at LSU as a indoor assistant coach. And so whenever we got recruiting, we'd always hang out, had a great relationship, was always fun to see him got to know Fran Floyd, the head coach and Joe Wilson, who was the, the assistant coach at the time really well. So we became friends. And then whenever LSU decided we're gonna start a beach program, Fran reached out and said, Hey, I know you play beach, might trust you. I know you understand kind of the compliance and the whole athletic department kind of ability to, to function in that environment. And, and so that's, we wanna do it, right. We wanna start it out. Well, like not be in a jam as far as being able to, you know, stay outta trouble from all the important things. And so they asked me to come and run it. And that was kind of how I went from the indoor side to the beach side of NCAA coaching. And at the time, probably for maybe the 10 years before I made that switch, I played significantly more beach than I played indoor because you know, it's fun
Mark Burik (00:42:22):
Because it's better.
Russell Brock (00:42:24):
Mark Burik (00:42:25):
We won't say that out
Russell Brock (00:42:28):
That later, that was my progression, you know, really cut my teeth in college coaching on the indoor side of things, learned a ton and then use that knowledge. Um, and then kind of the beach experience to hopefully transition well into, into beach coaching at the college level.
Mark Burik (00:42:48):
So from indoor coaching to beach coaching, what was one thing that you absolutely had to throw out from indoor coaching that you originally thought was probably the same in beach? Was there anything that you can think of that you're like you were teaching for the first maybe year or two as, as coaching beach volleyball players, but you were like, man, I brought that from indoor and that is not applying here.
Russell Brock (00:43:12):
This may not be exact answer, but one of the things that stands out is I assumed that the sport, like the team environment would be comparable, but it wasn't nearly comparable. It was something that you really had to train, particularly for kids who were beach players at the junior level, because they got to pick their own partners. If it didn't go well, they just switch and go to a different partner. They really, at the time, weren't very many even club affiliations. So it was really a, like, it was a personal, it was almost an individual sport. So the great beach players who were coming into college, they might not have even played with their indoor teams for high school. They were devoted to the sport. And so now you bring them into an environment where not only do they not get to pick their partners and they have to work with other people, they have to rely on the coaches, but they also have to care about what all these other kids are doing, because that's, what's gonna rely on whether or not they're successful.
They could win every match and the team could still lose every match. And you wouldn't be like in a great place mentally. So I think to, for me, that was a big kind of learning moment that I realized we've really gotta invest in our understanding of how this plays out, because it, it can't just be like I'm successful because I won my match. It has to be a push into understanding that we all, I could lose every match and we could win a national championship as opposed to what everything up until that point was. If I don't win every match, I have zero chance for success. So it's just, uh, it was a really different environment. One that you don't deal within indoor volleyball because in indoor volleyball, everybody knows I can hit a thousand and we're gonna lose and I'm not gonna have fun. So that was probably the biggest thing that really was like an understanding of, okay, we gotta really make an investment in this space
Mark Burik (00:45:05):
For this same conversation that I had today. I think you're kind of brushing alongside of all of the questions that she gave to me. And, you know, all I can do is regurgitate pretty much what I hear from successful club directors and college coaches, because I don't have the club system. I have a coach club. I stay away from parents and bosses as much as I can.
Russell Brock (00:45:25):
Understandable. I respect that.
Mark Burik (00:45:29):
So for the high school coach out there who is now, she's got a wake up call, right. And she's like, yeah, he's right. How do I then promote a culture where people support each other, but still compete. And her specific problem was she's worrying a year in advance, how she's going to select partners. Hmm. So do you have any specific tips for creating that culture or just maybe a warning or a common mistake that you see club coaches or making that you just wish, man, you should have handled this with them before they got to me.
Russell Brock (00:46:05):
Yeah. I think that that's an unavoidable challenge of the sport. Particularly if you're coaching at the high school or college level, that may be controversial. But I think that for me, that's the, one of the hardest days of the year in our whole season is when you set the initial lineup because you work so hard to create a great culture and have this team that bonds well. And, and like you say, competes against each other, but roots for each other. But in the back of their mind, they're all they all wanna be in the lineup. They all wanna play a pivotal role. And so you're trying to build within them an understanding of their value as people, as part of the team, what they can bring to the table, how they are important. And as they becomes closer and closer, it becomes clearly evident that it's gonna be a struggle for a lot of them to retain that, understanding that their value isn't in the lineup, the value, because that's not what the world tells.
'em when that lineup gets released, you know, their parents are gonna ask 'em and this is for any coach at any level, the parents are gonna ask them, Hey, where are you? Like, how'd you do like who you playing with and where you playing. And that's indoor. It'd be like, Hey, you know, where are you starting in the lineup? Or, you know, like, what's your, what's your role? So it's when you're trying to encourage people to understand that that's a part of the equation, but it's not the most important part of the equation. It's challenging. So for that coach that's out there and is kind of sees that looming. That's a great understanding of how it could impact what, in my opinion is the most important thing. And that's the culture of your program because it will be influential. And so the time has to be spent building these players up and creating value in them where they understand who they are, is not where they are on the lineup.
Because if you don't intentionally invest in that conversation, then it'll immediately go there as soon as you release it. And it it's hard to get out from under it. It makes it really difficult, but it is not, you can't avoid it like it's gonna be there. So how can we be most intentional about creating the value outside of it so that when that does come, we survive it. And typically in my experience, it's the relationships within the team. The more that they've bonded, the more that they care about each other, the more they support each other, the more they've gone to battle with each other, as opposed to against each other. Then they have the ability to respect where they are and to still hope for greatness from individuals and from the team while still productively fighting to kind of break in and get those opportunities in a playing perspective.
Mark Burik (00:48:43):
If you had to form a team and team a is a nine out of 10 skill and a seven out of 10 chemistry, and then vice versa. So nine out of 10 chemistry, but a seven out of 10 skill, which one is your one team? And which one is your two team?
Russell Brock (00:49:01):
Oh man. If it was the six, it'd be harder, but tend to bump it to the seven. That might be a . I also think it personalities coming into play as well. Like there's as you know, because, and like, once again, this could be controversial, but like, I, I know that I played with guys on my team, um, who, before practice tried to choke me, like literally tried to choke me, but I could go to battle with him. And it would not be an issue mm-hmm like on the court, absolutely zero. Like, I hope he's the best. And he hopes I'm the best. And we are gonna celebrate, give each other high five. And maybe even afterwards, we could still have a little bit of beef, but when we're playing, it is zero issue. Definitely been there. That's the case necessarily for a lot of girls who play the sport. So I think once again, it could be controversial to make that statement, but I, I, and
Mark Burik (00:49:54):
A lot we're talking in giant generals, right? Like,
Russell Brock (00:49:57):
Correct, absolutely huge generals. You can find people that doesn't matter at all regardless of their gender, but for the, I think that for the most part, when you get, if those girls who are playing together like care for each other, love each other, like respect each other, like they're gonna get more out of each other and it would matter if there was some friction within them. So if I had to, without knowing personalities, I think you've gotta go. If it's that exact scenario, you almost have to go with the more athletic, you know, more capable pair if it's that close. But I tell you what the team with the chemistry is gonna make it much more of a battle than it should be. And they'll take 'em sometimes because that's a huge piece of the puzzle. It's an enormous win. And I know from a team perspective, you see it when you watch like programs, play programs that have that deep chemistry, they find ways to make life miserable on their opponents and to celebrate. And I think that's, once again, this is kind of a little side tangent, but success is kind of what you choose it to be. And when it's something bigger than a win on the scoreboard, you have a chance to kind of live in a more healthy space and be, and play with more freedom. If that kind of makes sense,
Mark Burik (00:51:21):
You know, and I think the chemistry team is going to have more longevity and more sustained. Let's just say fight. Yeah. You know, sustained presence to be there, to show up in the weight room. So maybe if they're seven out of 10 now in skill, because they've got the chemistry, the ability to show up cooperate, get along with each other, support each other, they're going to show up better, more frequently. So maybe their rate of improvement becomes higher than the current nine of 10, you know, may, maybe they're actually making those progressions a lot faster because of the ability
Russell Brock (00:51:55):
To show up and they want to work together. They actually look forward to not just investing in their own game, but to actually growing their chemistry as a pair. I think that's an advantage. That's a real advantage for
Mark Burik (00:52:10):
Sure. I'm gonna put you on the, on the hot seat here. Let's say, I'm gonna bring you into my club and coach, I just need one actionable thing today. I want you to take over my practice for 45 minutes and fix my chemistry. You know, you don't have to fix it completely. What's one action or drill, or I don't know, field trip that creates or builds chemistry.
Russell Brock (00:52:35):
I think part of the component that would need to be part of the equation would be fun. I think that we play a sport and the sport is a game at a more organized level. And if you aren't having fun while you're doing it, it's really hard to be who you need to be like to have the mind, the mentality, if it's work and you're grinding all the time. I think some people can embrace that, but way more across the board, there's gonna be the ability to make progress if you are having fun. And
Mark Burik (00:53:08):
So in this 45 minutes, how do you make me have fun?
Russell Brock (00:53:11):
I think we spend a little bit of time. Um, once again, depending upon the level we spend a little bit of time, particularly initially just doing some like fun games, like with the sport, obviously like we might do, you know, don't drop the baby where what's that if you play it kind of in a Queens format where one person is holding a ball and the other person is not. And so you're playing volleyball, like normal volleyball, but the person who's contacting the ball has to get rid of the ball they're holding. So if you and I were in a partnership and I had the ball and I got served while the server was coming to me, I'd have to flip it to you. You would catch it. I'd pass to you. You would flip it to me while you go into set. And then I'd flip it back to you when I attack and the other side's doing the same thing.
Do you have to use three touches if you want to maximize the challenge and the enjoyment or the kind of the comic relief from the coaching side of things then you absolutely make them use all three touches. But if they get into kind of like a competitive environment, then they can, because part of it's brain work, mm-hmm, , you know, you're trying to figure out how can I do this and how can I be most successful? So we will at time, or we won't, I have seen at times where you might ma like you might say, you have to have at least two contacts. Okay. So that there has to at least be a part of the equation where you have to get rid of the ball and make a touch and then get the ball back and get the ball back over the net, at least two.
So you might start the game we do. Or another thing that you could do would be like some type of alternate contact where you have to have an offhand third contact. So if you're right handed, you can only attack the ball over the net with your left hand and vice versa. So something that kind of creates a little levity, a little enjoyment, like people screwing up and not being absolutely offended, you know, that they messed up, but that their partner messed up. It's like, there's a lot of laughter something to loosen it up. And then you can also circle back around and say, look, your brain had to think in different ways and you need to te so it's productive, but it's fun. And then I think, you know, you let that springboard you maybe into a new space, but at the end of practice, I think something that's really productive and it takes some time to really, for people to get good at it.
But you can ask them pointed questions like, Hey, what was the best play you saw today about somebody else? Or you might ask them the person who's sitting next to you. What was the thing that most impressed you about their game today? I love that. So you create an atmosphere now where they're looking around at what's going on around them, as opposed to just completely engulfed in who they are and what their responsibilities are in a drill. You might say at the end of the drill, who is the best passer on this court or who is the best server. And so it not only puts them in a position where they have to look at other people and, and how successful they are and what they're doing. Great, but it also kind of ignites the fire that, Hey, I wanna be the person that's, that's the best passer on our court. So it, it is twofold. And I think that that's, you have to take the temperature of your group to know kind of what is more needed. But I, I think that those are two things that are really practical, fun, and then being able to recognize greatness around you, as opposed to just completely focusing on your own success.
Mark Burik (00:56:34):
I love the compliments, the end of a game or a match. I tried that I got to kind of assist slash to have a speaking role with a college team. And we did something like that. I said, you know, right now guys, like, who is the best hard driven ball Digger. And then there are a couple of different points, but some of the girls like, like me, like they , like, they clearly didn't think that their team had the same, like respect for a certain part of their game. Yeah. And it felt good for them to feel announced. And then it, it did create, like you said, some, some laughter some giggles. And then I also had them all scout each other. Mm. I said, who on your team has the best cut shot? Yeah. And you know, some, they picked somebody who wasn't even in the top five teams.
Hmm. And she was like, oh, what? They're like, yeah, it's nasty. you know? So it was fun. And it's fun because I think I took this from not that I've ever been in an acting class, but I've watched a TV series where the guy was in an acting class and they basically ask people to, they ask the class to categorize you in terms of a character. They say, without knowing them with like the little speech that you've known, what types of characters should she or he play. And what I loved about that was your outward projection. What, how other people see you? 99.9% of people never ask that. I know people who are like, I'm a great setter up. My setting's perfect. And my immediate response to that is always like mentally, how many people have told you that?
Russell Brock (00:58:12):
Mark Burik (00:58:13):
Like where is this either confidence coming from? I'm glad that you're confident, but is it to the point where you're not willing to work on this because you think it's so perfect. And who told you, you know, you need to be told that. So I think I like that kind of acting progression where you get to see what people think is a threat in you or what people think, you know, that they could pick on. Yeah. And because people stay inside themselves so much, they'll usually never develop that unless they have that really uncomfortable conversation. And they ask, I went through a process one time where I emailed, I think, seven or eight of my old partners. And I just wanted to, I said, what was the worst part about playing with me? Just like, give me like one detail thing. I don't want you to pull any punches and trust me, like, I know it wasn't easy.
So just tell me. And the funny part is I got a lot of information from that to fix myself. Not one of them asked me the same question back. So even if you open that sort of discomfort, vulnerability, that doesn't mean that it's automatically gonna come back, you know, and maybe they will will down the road. Maybe it's not important to them. Yeah. But I think it's definitely important to get, like you said, a, an outward view and to create a situation where people can have the opportunity to compliment you on something or speak to your game so that we stop listening so hard to the inner voice that might be saying wrong stuff, because that's not how other people actually see it.
Russell Brock (00:59:45):
Yeah. That's a huge fight at the next level is kind of silencing the voice that is hyper critical. Particularly when you're talking about groups of, you know, high performing elite, super successful, like it can get really counterproductive really quick. If you just leave people alone to their own thoughts, they need the outside voices, you know, and you know, sports psych is a huge battle front. I mean, it's probably one of the most important spaces that we're operating in right now at the, at the college level. And obviously at the professional level, you're gonna deal with the same thing. So anytime you can create vulnerability, you know, and truth and, and open conversation, like you're gonna have a chance to kind of head some of those challenges off maybe before you would, otherwise, if you just kind of lead people to their own thought process,
Mark Burik (01:00:39):
I wanna circle back to indoor to beach. And you said that the number one thing you had to work on was chemistry. Was there anything technical? So for cuz most I'd say most of our listeners currently are not part of college programs and, and don't have the hope of being in one, but what from indoor, what skill from indoor or concept from indoor, do you think that people make the mistake of bringing to beach too much?
Russell Brock (01:01:09):
I would say probably the whole offensive mindset, I think because there really is only one option. If you're playing indoor and that's to bring the pain and if you're really, really good at that, then you can be really successful at the indoor game. You don't need to be able to have a lot of variance. Like you have to be able to have range that's important. But as far as shape shape is a non-existent concept. Offensively, indoor tempo off your hand is there's a slight variance. But once again, you don't need, like if, if you can only hit the ball a hundred miles an hour, you won't need to do anything else. Like you could literally go through life and until your shoulder falls off, like you could, that's what you could do. Yeah. So I think that would be like the creativity offensively, like for indoor players transitioning, like when, until they start to understand how to create shape off their hand, how to create like change their arm speed, like all the things that you, you need to do to be able to create a huge variety of offensive attacks.
I mean, that doesn't even get into poke versus open hand tip and all of those things where you start to kind of get. But I think that's probably the biggest challenge, challenges like to kind of deprogram the offensive side of things where I know like I'm just gonna come in, I'm gonna blow something up and that's not always the right decision. And if you can't, it becomes even more problematic when you can't like create the shots that are necessary for our game. Even if you're a great swinger, you're gonna face big blocks. You're gonna face really talented defenders. And if you have a very limited arsenal, you're not gonna win. I mean, it's just not possible unless you're way bigger than the people on the other side of the net, which doesn't happen most of the time. So I think that that's probably the thing that takes a little convincing and it takes time. Like it really takes time for people that aren't don't have any background in the beach game. Sure.
Mark Burik (01:03:25):
It's interesting. Cuz I, sometimes my advice runs counter to that and it's funny when you post as many things as we post, um, and people don't look at the body of work. It's like, listen, I can make a post and send it out to 50,000 people. And it might be talking to one athlete who had one little problem and this is how we fixed it. Meanwhile, on the same court, three minutes later, I talked to another athlete and told her to do the exact opposite to bring them like both from their ends of the spectrum into the middle. But when we talk about indoor to beach, a lot of times I'm telling people like, Hey, don't try to be too Bey. Yeah. You know, if you had a great swing and a great approach, all right. Fix your approach and fix your timing and whatever you have to do to get your sand legs.
But I see so many bangers and you know, we're talking about like Tarn cloth who has a, a hit cut shot and you come out here and you're six, seven. And now all of a sudden you're like hitting these loopy cut shots and high arcing high lines. I think a lot about Robbie page who's seven one and his cut shot had upward trajectory. Meanwhile, he's contacting, you know, his hand is above the top of the antenna. And so he sent it higher than the top of the antenna. And I was like, you're imagining the beach game from the standpoint of looking at all of the 6, 2, 6, 3 guys. And that's who you modeled yourself after. Yeah. So I think some people try to come to the beach and they get too beachy. Yeah. And they forget like, Hey, you're a strong, powerful, jumpy, hard hitting athlete. Yeah. Maybe utilize some of that.
Russell Brock (01:05:02):
Yeah. No, I, I completely agree with that. And once again, it depends on the athlete you're dealing with. If it's somebody like that, then obviously you want them to explore the angles now that they can create, you know, you want them to explore the way that they can use it because you only got one blocker and you only got one defender. So now let's figure out where that pace is most appropriately applied as opposed to, you know, just going high seam every time. Cause once again, you have to have creativity or we're gonna figure out what you do and we're gonna defend it. Even if you're enormous, we're gonna be able to adjust our game to it. And I will, this is just kind of cuz I know she'll appreciate it. Taryn's last name is so she will be delighted if,
Mark Burik (01:05:49):
If I get her name right once. Got it. All Taryn, cloth. You guys heard it. that's right. That's right. People have been saying my name wrong for 36 years now. yes.
Russell Brock (01:06:01):
There are some tougher ones out there.
Mark Burik (01:06:03):
Yeah. Okay. So from indoor to beach, what is one thing that people need to carry with them that they should be bringing like me saying like, Hey, you know, be an athlete or, or bring what you have. What is one thing that you didn't think would apply to the beach that, you know, after a few years like, oh, we should just do that. Like we do it in indoor.
Russell Brock (01:06:24):
Yeah. I think from a training perspective and this goes back to one of the first things we talked about. If you're a primary passer, indoor, you're getting thousands of reps, thousands, everybody on the beach is a primary passer. And yet we rarely even begin to approach just purely serve, receive technical touches to that volume. And it's more important I think generally.
Mark Burik (01:06:51):
Okay. Okay. Yeah. I'm gonna say like that's my every day yeah.
Russell Brock (01:06:55):
And I do think the people who are successful know that they have to invest in that way. But if you're talking about, if we're talking to juniors players, clubs, you know, high schools that are doing that, I think way more often like kids show up and they wanna play, cuz sport is so fun to play, but everything about their existence is compromised because they can't handle that first touch, particularly when they're too young to do some of the other things that take more strength and, and maybe more training, but you won't advance as fast as you can until you can handle the first ball over the net. So it always frustrates me once again, not for the elite of the elite, but for the ones who are growing into the sport, that they're not willing to invest the types of reps that you see generally indoor at those same levels when you come to the beach side of the game because they, I just don't know why it just doesn't carry the value. And it's more important.
Mark Burik (01:07:51):
If you had five minutes for a warmup, would you choose a physical body warmup? Would you choose pepper or would you choose surf pass?
Russell Brock (01:08:01):
I could only do one of the three.
Mark Burik (01:08:03):
Yep. Yeah. Five minutes.
Russell Brock (01:08:05):
I would probably do the surf pass because it gives you the most facets of real game, like experience. So you can, can still get your first touch. You obviously still get setting, you still get attacking, you have a net in play. You get a feel even for the conditions that you're gonna be competing in which you may not really get a full understanding of, you know, how the sand's gonna react or how the winds on this particular day is gonna react. If you're in a more confined space or you're not doing full full movements or you're not doing volleyball movements. So because of those re I think all are valuable. I would hope that we'd have time to do all three. But if we didn't, I would probably do like the all encompassing, because I think that there's lots of factors that, that you need to know from experience before you actually get into that competition.
Mark Burik (01:08:55):
What do you think about, uh, John me? I'm not gonna ask what you think about John me. He's a great guy. I'll say that he's kind of known for hating pepper. you know, he, he like wishes that everyone would completely do away with it. Sure. And I remember when he was playing and we were practicing against each other that he would drop balls at the service line and just start surfing. You know, there was no like pepper, no back and forth or anything, he would just start serving and he would ask people to serve over the net at him. That was a Syrian. That's what he's, maybe he's using it at LMU, but is there a place for pepper in your program? How important is it? How much do you do it?
Russell Brock (01:09:28):
Yeah. Once again, I'll speak generally. I for sure will talk to John about the next I see him. Cause it sounds like it'd be a really fun conversation. I tend to think that there is some productivity in pepper, but it's about how you do it. Once again, pet peeve, people that go through pepper, cuz everybody uses it except for John. And when those reps are wasted reps, then yeah, it's a waste of time. Like if all it does is kind of get your heart rate up and maybe make your arm be a little bit loose, then it's a waste of time. But if you and I are pepper in and I have the ability to say, Hey, like I really need to work on my high right outside. Can you attack some balls at me in that direction? Or I really need to work on my open overhead, like within pepper or maybe, you know, so there's all kinds of pepper variations, right?
That if I'm being productive, like if every single day, if I have trouble going to my left and extending and playing one arm, dig to my left mm-hmm . But every single day and in pepper, I work on that. There's zero chance at the end of two months that I'm not gonna be significantly better if I use that five to 10 minute pepper session to intentionally work on that touch and you can pick and choose and you can, it can knock stuff off your list that, yeah, it's not real world like in game touches, but there is zero chance. I'm not gonna be better at that specific skill I think. And you could go down the list of things that you can start to influence. Like if I really wanna work on getting my late look a practical way to do it is look down before I attack and pepper and get back to the ball and see if I can get my hand on it. See if I can control it. Have my partner, show me a number after they set me with their hand so that I have to look at it and call it and then make a contact. Like I think if you use it, productively pepper is a fantastic tool. Not the best tool. I don't think you should only pepper, but like you can legitimately get better. It's great for posture work. It's great for technique. I think it's, if you do it right, it can be challenging physically. You know, there are, if you do
Mark Burik (01:11:38):
It right, if you do it right, it's gotta be the most important, like
Russell Brock (01:11:40):
That's the, you have to be intentional and you have to do it right. Because otherwise it is, it is a waste of time for sure. And probably 90% of the time, most of the time you see pepper, it's a waste of time
Mark Burik (01:11:52):
Hundred. I hope that that becomes a sound point. Uh, sound bite. no, because it is right when you see people standing there and then I was the jerk in college, you know, I made things always harder or the hardest level that I could for everybody when coach gave us an assignment, um, like my mind went, Hmm, how can I make this more difficult? You know? So I challenge people. I would hit at their head and you know, I'd hit out to the side of them and then people get pissed when you ruin their pepper flow.
Russell Brock (01:12:24):
Mark Burik (01:12:25):
They're pissed. And in my mind, I go, don't you think you should be awake enough right now to be able to get that or to dig a ball that is above your belly button for the first time. Like, you're not gonna ask the other team to hit on you, but they're like, no, I'm just warming up. I go, don't you think this is an important part of warming up, like adding a little bit of range. I'm not going crazy here. I'm not punting a ball, a hundred yards and telling you to sprint after it. I'm just saying, can you drop a knee while we're peppering? And can you handle a ball at your shoulder? There has to be an, an agreement with that, but I'm I a hundred percent agree with you 90 I'll I'll bump that up. 99% of the time. I see people peppering. It's a waste. Yeah. When you're just sleep, you can do it unconsciously. You don't sweat. You're not outta breath. You haven't, if you finish a pepper session and there you're still glistening clean and oily and there's not a speck of sand on you. That was officially a waste of
Russell Brock (01:13:26):
Mark Burik (01:13:27):
No, that's my take on it.
Russell Brock (01:13:29):
I completely agree. but you should need a break after your pepper.
Mark Burik (01:13:35):
Russell Brock (01:13:35):
if you do it well.
Mark Burik (01:13:37):
Yes, absolutely. Do you have any absolute favorite drills that you love to use or you think of just very important for a Junior's coach, a club director. That should be a staple.
Russell Brock (01:13:49):
Yeah, I think I like to change drills a lot, so,
Mark Burik (01:13:54):
Oh, you're one of those
Russell Brock (01:13:55):
You don't get in a rut, there's obviously kind of variations that you would do. You know, I tend to lean towards kind of full spectrum drills so that you can work on lots of different things. There'll be a focus, but then you'll also be able to like cuz in a team setting and this is at any level you have to program to the overall team need. So what that means is you got 20 players, 18 of 'em need work on this. The two that don't need work on that as much. Like that's not, they need work on something else. More specifically, they have to be able to engage in that drill in a way that they can still be productive. They can still get better. They can still address some of the things. So the more skills you have within a drill, the more likely you are in a group setting to give people opportunities, to continue to grow their game while you're working on a specific focus.
So one of the drills that I really enjoy doing, and, and it's within the past, you know, six months or so that we've been one of the things I think is really valuable and probably UN less understood than it needs to be is within the sport of each volleyball. Particularly as you grow and you get into the sport, being able to create the shot that you need to hit as opposed to hitting the shot that the play leads you into. So if I'm a great cut shot, when the ball is inside and tight, then I hit my cut shot. When the ball is inside and tight, as opposed to when the ball's off and out now I'm terrible at hitting a cut and I won't do it because the set didn't lead me into that play. Mm-hmm okay. That limits your ability to be successful because it gives the defense a huge advantage because they know whenever the set happens, you're probably gonna go to your comfort chat and you'll do really well, but it takes some offensive pieces off the table.
Mm-hmm . So when we try and create, I like to try and create drills where you have to initiate with a certain shot and it's off service Eve it's in real time and you can't hit another shot and it might not be practical, but you've gotta figure out how to get it to that spot to start the drill. So it might be a drill overall, like we would do if I had some group that I happened to be coaching and, and we might do a drill, that would be like a queen based, but the initial contact might be a high line, but the blocker's gonna block line mm-hmm and the defensive team's gonna run a four. Okay. So the defender will run a four, the blocker's gonna block line and I have to pass that and hit a high line regardless of how the play unfolds.
I love those drills. Yeah. So now the grand scheme of things is I'm is the person who's in serve, receive is working on creating a good high line over a big block, right? That's the focus of the drill, but now I got defensive player. That's transitioning hopefully a, a great high line ball and having to transition out of it. I've got a blocker that's having to transition, set. Those are huge two key components of being great on defense. I'm taking away the decision making process. Like I know those things are, are really important. Sure. But there's all kinds of ways. So I've got a blocker who maybe hits great high lines, but now I'm getting them to max jump and shot, block, transition, and transition set over and over. So even if they snap high lines over the block with ease it within that drill, they're still having to focus and find ways to improve.
Even the, from the serving aspect, we're initiating with a real serve. I can work on my short serve. I can work on my line, serve. I can work on the deep loop serve. So we're always trying to push and create these drills. Anytime I'm in any setting with any group, we've got to create drills that are multifaceted with a focus, but also giving as many people opportunities to work on as many things as possible. So one like it's gotta be more important to be engaged than when I'm getting the rep in the drill that it's supposed to be working on. Some particular thing. Every piece of the puzzle has to be valuable. And when you're in a group setting like you inevitably, you have people out of the drill. Yeah. But you don't want, 'em be out of the drill mentally and physically until they absolutely are in the serve receive spot mm-hmm . Every piece of the puzzle has to have something where we can train and we can be better and we can fight for technique. And we can really invest in a way that allows us to improve until we even get to the point where we're the focus of the drill. Mm.
Mark Burik (01:18:31):
We do a similar drill. We do a lot of drill. It's kind of like that where, all right, this is the shot you need. Right. The first explanation that I have to do after the drill is, and I know that the defender is going to be cheating. Like
Russell Brock (01:18:44):
Mark Burik (01:18:45):
Right. You guys are not going for a kill here. You're going for the best version of your Highline. And I'm telling you, now it's gonna get dug. So don't tell anybody not to get cheats. Like you're not gonna get a reward from a great Highline. That's you just wrapping it out.
Russell Brock (01:18:58):
And even, you know, when you have the defensive side investing properly, like they're gonna understand that the longer I hold, like it can't score. Like they're, they can't let that ball score, but the longer I hold, the more I'm gonna get out of it, cuz I'm gonna test myself at the end of my range. And maybe I'm gonna have to dive and play it with my left hand, when I'm going into that, you know, the left side line shot, like there is an absolute, like ability to like engage in the drill to the extent that you want to be challenged on your own. So yeah, it'll get dug and from an awesome side, we gotta deal with that, but I'm still trying to hit the best shot I can. And as a defensive player, I'm trying to hold as long as I can. So I get the most out of that rep as opposed to going and stand in there and bumping it right when it hits me in the platform. So there's all kinds of ways to maximize our ability to improve, given a particular challenge. Some
Mark Burik (01:19:53):
Athletes will do that on their own. So we do Highline pepper and we did this for USA training, which is just a line. And after you hit, you become the blocker after you jump block and set, then you go to the back of the line and you just keep this high line going. But players started challenging themselves to wait so much that the goal of the drill was to keep going and get some transition sets. Right. So they kept waiting so long. The high lines were so quality that like we weren't getting any digs. And then Zeina, he was like, you guys have to dig some of
Russell Brock (01:20:27):
Mark Burik (01:20:27):
A little bit earlier so that we actually get some transition reps. Yeah. So we ended up making a drill where if you get touched on a Highline or if you get the ball killed on you, you had to, you know, five pushups or something like that. Right. And so like blockers are reaching as high as they can trying to swap like pushups.
Russell Brock (01:20:45):
Yeah, that's right. I love it. And it's practical too. Cuz like you're on a four the later you can leave, the more effective it's gonna be. So, you know, you're finding your personal tempo like
Mark Burik (01:20:57):
Russell Brock (01:20:57):
And you know, the players on the side of the net, you know, the blocker who's in front of you. So it's once again, like you get out of what you put into it, but there's opportunities whenever you create drills with lots of different things going on.
Mark Burik (01:21:10):
Well, we've gotten blown past our uh, one hour time constraint, but I wanna ask, uh, just, you know, a couple last questions, what's the future of LSU look like and the future of, of Russell bronc if you like to speak in the third person.
Russell Brock (01:21:26):
Sure. Yeah. I think that, you know, once again, in speaking in generalities, you know, I think if you're in this sport and you're at one of the better programs in the country, like your job is really to keep ticking off things that haven't been done yet. Hmm. And every year, you know, there's that opportunity and there are still some pretty big opportunities that are out there for us that, that we wanna keep fighting for. So that's the kind of general as a program that I think is probably as legal as I can be as far as trying to accomplish things we haven't accomplished yet. Okay. Personally for me, you know, when every season ends, you know, the question is what can I do better? You know, how can I improve, like understanding the game a little bit more, you know, being able to create an environment that's, you know, a little more, uh, conducive to those quality relationships.
So I have to understand my responsibility as a coach. And I think this is a great maybe message for the coaches that are out there watching. Like it's easy to get to the end of the year and understand what the players didn't do well that maybe compromised our ability to be great. It's a lot more productive for me to get to the end of the year as a coach and say what's in, within my control. That limited our ability to be great and to be able to have those tough internal conversations and be honest and figure out, okay, like I either need to know more. I need to be able to train more. I need to relate better. I need to, what are the things that can then help me help our players be more successful?
Mark Burik (01:22:58):
Do you have any go to books that you either recently read or you refer back to or podcasts or, or any programs or mentors that you lean on when you're looking? Cuz you know, you're at the top of the game, my NCAA beach volleyball. That's top of the food chain. Yeah. So where does somebody like you go for advice, help, open learning that we preach in, in our athletes?
Russell Brock (01:23:22):
Yep. I think that probably I would be maybe hypocritical to not say my first go to and basically what I kind of base my life around is gonna be the Bible. I think that, uh, you got to experience Katie a little bit and I love having her around. Yeah. She sharpens me and in great ways, but that's, I think that when you're talking about relationship, you're talking about culture, you're talking about leadership, you're talking about being a servant in all the positive ways. That's the very best template for all those things. So that's gonna be where I'm gonna resonate most and, and really rely on to kind of help problem solve and to some degree and to in the most important ways. But I also wanna read like the book we're reading the summer is Billy Allen's new one like that, that the inner night.
Yep. So the inner night we're gonna kind of read through that and try and help understand how we can maybe be a little bit better as a group. So I think that there's always something going on like that I'm not a big podcast listener, but I'll have to admit whenever we had the conversation, I started listening and I enjoyed it. So I'm gonna continue to do that. I think one of the things recently that's been great for me is, and you've mentioned it a few times is just getting involved with USA and on the coaching side of things. I mean getting to be around those coaches and to have conversations about volleyball, to have conversations about drills, to have conversations about technique. It's great because I think the wonderful thing about our sport is there are a lot of different ways to do it like successfully, you know, you can literally in every facet like early platform or late platform, I'm first touch, you know,
Mark Burik (01:24:58):
Right. That's that's like,
Russell Brock (01:25:01):
Am I gonna keep my offensively or am I gonna limit my choices? Like it's you could be on either end of the spectrum and be talking to people who are elite at what they do and incredibly successful. And they could literally tell you the exact opposite way to do the exact same skill. So I love that about our sport. I think it's a lot of fun to be involved in those conversations. And it's sometimes you gotta pinch yourself, you know, when you're sitting at the table and you're trying to develop a game plan and you end up just talking about, well, how do you run a three and how do you run a three? And just the nuance within the sport is great. So I think that that's probably for me, cuz I re only recently kind of started getting into that. It's been about last year and a half where I've started kind of doing some USA stuff and that has been invigorating mentally and just from a learning perspective to really, and also I will say, you know, having some of our players, our recent grads start to have some serious success internationally and domestically, just watching a lot more of cuz they're doing what we, you know, have tried to do to see it at the next level is fun because you see it in a different way at a dif on a different platform.
And that's been really productive just to kinda continue to, to dig into what we do and how we do
Mark Burik (01:26:23):
It. Have those players come back and told you anything that you're like, I remember when one of our players went to train with us national team and when he came back, our coach asked him, Hey, what are they teaching you that you can bring back to us? Yeah. Uh, have you had any conversation with those from your, from your former players that, that turned out to be really useful? Yeah.
Russell Brock (01:26:42):
Yeah. Unfortunately Tony Rodriguez tweaked her knee and so she's been back in town and she's working with our doctors and getting healthy and she'll be fine. But in the meantime, like she just hangs out like she'll come up and do rehab and come and hang out in the office. And we, and she's getting training from lots of different people out in California now. So once again, like we're talking about things that she's learning, like we know what she learned from us, but now we're talking about things that she's learning from other people and some of it she likes and some if she doesn't and so once again, it's just a growth process and anytime you can get involved with anybody who's learning, like what they have to say is really valuable. I, I wanna say, you know, John Hyden mentioned something that maybe in your opening clip about, you know how anytime you can hear something from somebody else, you know, it, maybe it's productive or maybe you just take it and you throw it out or maybe you kind of use it and tweak it.
So it's more applicable to you. So I think that that's a great mindset to have like we're, you can't go into a sport that is so fluid and be completely blocked off mentally that you're not willing to think. Maybe there's a better way and doesn't mean you have to change it, but you have to at least consider why people are doing it a certain way. Cuz maybe it can he even help with your technique. Like we're not gonna change our technique, but something that they're doing in a different way can help us understand why maybe we need to tweak our technique a little bit, but not change it.
Mark Burik (01:28:10):
Sure. Yeah. Or just hearing the way somebody defines that technique or an explanation of that and then reapplying it like, well, I'm not gonna do that. But if I take a little slice of that, maybe I can change the way I contact the ball. And it's strange when a different somebody else's path, when you can see it, it changes your path. You don't necessarily have to walk, you know, the same path that they, that they did. But when you hear about it and you listen to the things that they've learned, you're like, huh, maybe I could take a glance at that too, without necessarily going down that same way.
Russell Brock (01:28:42):
And you'd honestly, we we'd be foolish not to use other people's experiences because the more collective experience that you understand, then the better you're gonna be at, you know, decision making and processing. Cuz there's just more information mm-hmm
Mark Burik (01:29:00):
so it makes it world go round baby. That's
Russell Brock (01:29:02):
Mark Burik (01:29:03):
well can't thank you enough for the longest podcast we've ever run
Russell Brock (01:29:09):
Hey, so there you go. We checked another thing off that list.
Mark Burik (01:29:12):
That's right. We PR I appreciate that.
Russell Brock (01:29:15):
I appreciate the opportunity. It felt like it went pretty quickly. So it did,
Mark Burik (01:29:19):
It did and definitely, you know, way more to explore, but I don't know how many people have, uh, two hour drives where to volleyball tournaments,
Russell Brock (01:29:30):
It down for the published version. So
Mark Burik (01:29:32):
Yeah. Yeah. Is there any place that anybody should reach out to you specific social media or an email or just anything that you want them to pay attention to any new projects or anything like that?
Russell Brock (01:29:43):
Yeah, I got enough going on with what we've got going on. So I don't really, you know, invest too heavily in other areas. I mean my social media, I think all of them are at Russ LSU. I can't remember
Mark Burik (01:29:56):
We got it in the show notes so
Russell Brock (01:29:57):
They can yeah. Put it in the show notes. They're all the same. And you know, I, I know part of my job is I gotta stay at the speed on that stuff and, and I enjoy it. It's fun to kind of see what's going on and to have people, you know, reach out and, uh, get involved with anybody who you can. Who's old enough to actually interact with, um, ISCA limits that as well. Right. But other than that, I mean we try and get out and do clinics that clubs around the country and we love we're in the recruiting process. So, you know, you're always out there watching people play. And a lot of times you can't talk to anybody when you're out there, but it's fun to, to say hi and wave. And
Mark Burik (01:30:31):
What's the best way to reach out to you to get you for a clinic
Russell Brock (01:30:35):
Basically kind of going through clubs. So, cause the clubs will basically have, I don't know, John mentioned it that they're doing it as well, like where they'll have college coaches come out and they'll do kind of college coach clinic mm-hmm and that's kind of the loophole for NCAA because camps and clinics are all completely regulated. So whenever a club puts on a clinic and they open it up to anybody who wants to join, then coaches who go to those clinics and interact and, and train and, and help people. We also host camps on our campus. We usually do. We had a couple this summer and we usually have one in the fall. So I think the website there is tiger beach volleyball or tiger camps.org or something that maybe that'll be in the notes as well. Yeah um, but we do host camps on campus as well. And it's fun cuz we love our stadium and
Mark Burik (01:31:26):
Anybody. How cool would that be?
Russell Brock (01:31:27):
It's it's ridiculous.
Mark Burik (01:31:28):
Can I sign up? You got space for 36 year old. Hey
Russell Brock (01:31:31):
let me know. We'll figure it out.
Mark Burik (01:31:33):
That'd be awesome. Love to come to the campus, see what it looks like.
Russell Brock (01:31:36):
It's great. It's a lot of fun.
Mark Burik (01:31:38):
Cool. Well coach Brock Russ, I really, really appreciate your time. Thanks for your knowledge and, and for sharing it with all of us and yeah, I would love to have you on again, talk to you and then see you on the road and, and heck yeah. Maybe visit, visit LSU, have a, have a Gander.
Russell Brock (01:31:55):
Definitely. Let me know. I, I would. Absolutely. Anytime you need, you run out of people to chat with just gimme a buzz and we can catch up again
Mark Burik (01:32:02):
For sure. Sounds good to me. You're gonna be great. You said that
Russell Brock (01:32:05):
Mark Burik (01:32:07):
All right. You have a great day. I'll do my closing notes now, but uh, you're off the hook. Thank you so much. Hey,
Russell Brock (01:32:13):
You're welcome. Thank you.
Mark Burik (01:32:14):
All right. Have a good one guys. What a seriously. Awesome talk. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did things I got out of it, creating culture, you know, active people, talk about culture, so much things that we can do. How can we do it? Why it's important, but you know, so many of the answers that I guess I've gotten in my career are vague or say, you know, you really need to develop culture, okay. But I actually need a how you know? And I like some of the drills, the, I think some people call it maybe hot potato coach called it, drop the baby. That's a good one. And then we touched on being able to talk about vulnerability, what your players see you as and what your teammates see you as. And it's a difficult conversation to open up for yourself.
It's difficult conversation to maybe like expose yourself to criticism. But a lot of times it turns into exposing yourself to compliments and seeing what you do well. And sometimes it surprises you the things that you do well and it surprises you that people notice it. It takes a lot for people to reach out and be complimentary. But as coaches and as partners, volleyball players, as humans, if you guys can create opportunities for people, to be honest with you and use really good specific questions, not general, you know, when I ask my partners, Hey, what was the worst part about playing with me? I think that that's a better question than let's say, what was it like playing with me? You know, you had dive into something specific. And I, I think we got into some specifics during this episode and really, really got to learn about transitioning between indoor.
We touched a little bit on the technique, so I'm excited and I'd like to get some messages from you guys. If we should have Russell Brock back on the episode and what you want to, well, I know we're gonna have him back, but what you guys actually really want to hear from him. So shoot me some comments, DM, social media email, support it [email protected] and let's start framing some questions. I have questions that I use as kind of a guiding light to do these interviews. But I wanna know specifically what questions you guys want me to ask, what guests, and maybe I can start sharing with you a list of my upcoming guests so that you guys know who we're talking to. So you can ask them more. There is a good place for pepper and there is a bad place for pepper and it's all in how you treat it.
And you need, usually need an agreement from your partner to say, is it okay if I challenge you here, people get very onary about their pepper time. So if you wanna get better, if you want to get sweaty, there's a way to really improve your game through pepper. I think serve receive is going to be more valuable, but that's more valuable for serve. Receive. If you're the type of person who likes to pepper, but you get mad when somebody doesn't hit directly at your forearms so that you can easily control it. I'll tell you, you need to upgrade your defense. You should pepper unexpectedly all around. Just like the, the, the match is it's unexpected. You need to teach yourself how to react. So, uh, pepper, ugly pepper outta control. Make somebody dive, tap 'em into goggles. See if you can, you know, just not knock their sunglasses off, but misplace them a little bit on their face.
and I think your game will improve because of it. If you guys are here, live still and there are 14 of you just know the we early bird for the first week of camps. In October, October 30th, we have our first camp. Uh, it is not yet sold out, but we sold out almost half of it in 16 hours. So we had 26 spots out of 60 sold out in 16 hours and that will not be our most popular date. So that means that the upcoming camps, for sure you want to jump on. And if you want the chance at that, we do a tiered system where we release it to our complete player program members. Then we release it to our email list. Then we release it to social media and our website so that our alumni and the people that follow along, you know, they get first crack at. It would love to see you at one of those camps in Florida. And if you're looking for practice plans, online courses, or you just wanna chat we're here. So hope you guys have a great day. Hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did. And for sure, reach out if you have specific questions or anybody who you definitely think we should bring on, that's all from me guys, have a great day and I will see you on the.