30 June 2014

How to call a line

You are on the line at the start of the point with six teammates. You need to communicate your plan to them for this point.

What do you say?

How do you communicate it?

There are three important aspects to consider.

Being predictable (you want to have a routine that your teammates know).
Being clear (speaking loudly and authoritatively so your teammates know they have to listen)
Being efficient (each sentence is communicating one idea in a few words)

You know you're doing this well if no-one asks questions at the end, and no-one chimes in.

Here is a sample line call:
  1. We have 7. We're on D. (This gets people listening. If you're wrong someone will correct you on either item.)
  2. We're forcing backhand (The plan.)
  3. Fred is on 1, Jimmy is on 2, Tina is on 3, Jane is on 4, etc (Call the match ups from left to right, with their name first so they listen. Assign key defenders to key targets but don't worry about the three or four least important matchups too much)
  4. We're straight up to backhand (Repeat the plan since people may have forgotten the plan. There are good listeners and poor listeners on every team.)
  5. On offence, we're in a vertical stack (The plan for offence.)
  6. Let's really take away the under cuts (Emphasise what we want to focus on. This message can really set the tone so choose how you say it.)
  7. <wait> (This is the time for teammates to communicate - with you, with the sideline, with each other)
  8. We're forcing backhand, vertical on O (Repeat the plans once more)

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