CEV Champions League has just finished with the victory of the great Polish ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle. What lies behind their success? What does it mean for Polish volleyball? And how are volleyball teams and players making use of sports data? Michał Biernacki, Head of Volleyball at STATSCORE, answers our questions!
– How important is the use of sports data in volleyball?
– The use of sports data and analytics is essential and is growing increasingly popular all the time. And it’s not just the managers and training staff of pro teams who are using the data. Volleyball fans are more and more often looking for broader scopes of data than just the scores. They are interested in more extensive and visually attractive sources of match statistics related to specific teams, as well as given players.
– What are the key metrics and stats that fans and managers are looking at?
– For fans, the key data is related to the points won by their favorite players and teams, and the ways in which these points are scored, such as attacks, blocks, or aces. Coaches and members of training staff are, of course, looking for more detailed data in order to prepare tactics and plans for their upcoming matches. The data is used to help them neutralize their rivals’ strongest attributes and find weaker points in their play. Statistics and data are also implemented in the everyday processes of becoming a stronger player or a better team. The numbers that are being collected help them find out which elements of their performance can and should be improved.
– What is the secret behind ZAKSA’s European success?
– Their success lies in teamwork. ZAKSA’s players often repeat that they don’t have any world-famous volleyball stars. Yet, thanks to their commitment, determination and tenacity, they were able to beat very strong opponents with much larger budgets. Subsequent victories over Lube and Zenit, which took place under dramatic circumstances, only gave ZAKSA greater confidence. They certainly deserved to win the Champions League!
– What will be the effects of this victory for Polish volleyball?
– The victory in the Champions League is a success for which Polish volleyball clubs had been waiting for 43 years. It’s a historic feat. Up until now, the Polish league was often called the League of World Champions. From now on, we can say we have both the League of World Champions and the Champions League Winners. I hope that this tremendous victory will boost Polish volleyball and inspire Polish teams in their fight for further successes, and in particular for the gold medal at the Olympics.
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