The BODM Line

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Welcome to the FAQ page. As you will see questions cover the system,
coaching philosophy and general information. I welcome any and all questions.
Click the link below to add yours:

Ok, so, um...

What does "BODM Line" mean?

I call my system "Block Oriented Defense Method" and my base defense a "Block Oriented Defense." So BODM Line is a play on "bottom line". I think of the bottom line of team defense as not just one formation or the other (like rotate or counter rotate or perimeter) but rather a system that creates each of those formations plus a lot of others all at the appropriate times.

What do you mean "the appropriate times"?

When they match what the bad guys on the other side of the net are doing.

"BLOCK Oriented Defense." My 14's team is so small and they don't know how to block. So what good will this do ME?

I have two thoughts on that. First, "block Oriented" means we get our reference points for defense from the block, be it triple, double, single, or no block. You do not need a huge drooling block to use the system.

Second, if you're not teaching them to block "because they are too small" then you are teaching them something slightly less than volleyball. At some point they will need to learn the whole game. I'd rather they make adjustments at that point rather than start a whole new learning curve. They will need to know how to play in all situations. You might be surprised at what they can do and how well they can do it when you treat them as though they can from the very beginning.

What does "the level of play may limit the system but the system will never limit the level of play" mean?

The best example is on offense...A coach won't teach his team to hit quicks, and his outside hitters are only allowed one kind of set - say a high outside. So his system is limiting their level of play. On the other hand, if a coach teaches his kids many different sets and combinations but they are not confident enough to use all the different choices, then the level of play is limiting the system, while allowing room for improvement. The system that limits play will also hold the team's advancement back.

Defensively The BODM Line will never limit the level of play. As your team gets better (and the offenses they face get better) the defense will get better with them. There will be some adjustments for sure, but they will NOT need to learn "a whole new defense" when the situation changes.

I was at a coaches camp at CSU Stan in northern CA several years ago for team defense. I really liked what I got from it. Was that you?

Well I hope it was me since you liked it. I did do a couple of 'team defense for coaches' clinics in conjuction with training the college team and working summer camps at CSU Stan.

What do you mean by "coaching after the fact"?

That refers to statements like "that was your ball" or "you should have been there". Two problems with statements like that. First, your players are probably smart enough to know it was their ball and they should have been there. Second, that is not information they can use to "be there" the next time the ball comes over the net. I think of statements like that as more of a "critique" when what the player needs is "how to" for the next time. Example: Your setter misses a dig down the line. Saying "yeah that was your ball" is a critique. Saying "play defense first. Don't release to set until you KNOW she's not hitting toward you" is something she can use next time.

Why should I do your system rather than what's in all those other books out there? Those books are written by coaches of powerful college teams and national teams.

Realize each coach writes and teaches what has been successful for him (or her) in his situation. Those powerful college coaches have their pick of the hundred best athletes in the country each year. Though I have been privileged to work with some of those athletes (and, trust me, the BODM Line is VERY effective with those players), most of the time I work with everyone else. I want to go in with a group of 14 year olds and teach them to play solid consistent defense as well as 16 year olds, high school varsity teams and so on. So ask yourself when you are previewing those different books if what they cover will be applicable to your athletes and their level of play, and will it be immediately usable. I KNOW The BODM Line will be.

And I encourage you to read everything available. Only you know what your team needs. And you will get good stuff from every one of those books.

But all those other books out there, they must be good, aren't they?

I didn't say they weren't good, but I do think they are limited. Want proof? Virtually everyone out there has access to all those same books. And they all go to the same camps and clinics. So why aren't there more really great defensive teams? Why does that coach in club say "we had great defense last year, but this year they just don't get it". Why does it take a whole season or even several seasons for a program to develop a solid defense? Why does a college program generally depend on the juniors and seniors (except for the occasional "great athlete") for the best defense? They all get the same training and information, but still must wait for the player's instincts to kick in for defense to really get good.

Could it be that something is missing in the "conventional" training they all get?

The BODM Line makes team defense understandable, logical, and sensible for EVERYBODY and it does it RIGHT NOW. I can install a solid defense in three hours. And it just gets better from there. Remember: understandable, logical, and sensible also mean repeatable. That means they not only play good defense, but they do it consistently.

So what do you think is missing in the conventional way of teaching?

Most coaches say something like "go to your spot" or area or whatever. The ball hits the floor and the coach says "keep you feet moving" or "read the hitter". Both statements cause a problem for the player. If coach keeps telling them to "go to your spot" and reinforces it in practice and with statements like "you were out of position," then "keep your feet moving" is a contradiction. "Read the hitter" is a conflict because even the youngest players understand that if we all read the hitter correctly we all would end up in the same place. And that can't be right because they just got told to go the their spot and don't get caught out of position. Well, of course except for the player that is always "out of position" but digging a lot of balls. Ridiculous as it sounds though I've watched coaches yell at a player for "being out of position" right after making a great dig. Does it not occur to them that had she "been in position" she wouldn't have been in place to dig the ball!?!

So going to a spot comes from watching a successful team and trying to emulate what they did. Here's the catch: Going to the spot didn't make them successful. Something ELSE caused them to be successful, and the spot was PART of the success. Again, proof? Players are being taught to go to spots at practices every day, then they still struggle with team defense at game time.

The BODM Line provides that "something else" that causes the success. Consequently a team running The BODM Line will constantly be in motion, and their defense will match what the offense on the other side of the net is doing.

This sounds difficult. My team is a bunch of good athletes but no experience. How could they possibly do this?

If they are "weak" and it's because of "no experience" then you are waiting for their instincts to kick in for them to be successful. That works, but how long it will take (a full season? Two or three years? Remember those college teams?). The BODM Line works with and taps into those instincts giving players the tools to be successful right now. It also ties these "individual defense skills" directly into the team defense. And ultimately it is NOT difficult.

I looked through your manual and saw some good stuff, but it's still just a modified perimer/rotate. I already do that. So what?

You "looked through the manual" but did you actually read it? If you didn't then you saw pictures of situations without the context. The BODM Line is NOT about a "formation" defense. In the appropriate situation it will look like rotate. In another situation it will look like perimeter, and yet another will look like counter rotate. So you are making that judgement based on conventional thinking.

Yes I use a certain combination of the BODM Line concepts for my basic (and advanced) defense. You may use those concepts in a different combination for your defense. The BODM Line is about HOW TO GET TO THAT DEFENSE. And how to run it, adjust it, and troubleshoot it at all levels of play in all situations. So based on your comments that your girls "just don't get it" this year and that you have to "use something else for the 14's" you MAY do a modified perimeter/rotate. But no, you don't already do The BODM Line.

Geeze coach wasn't that kind of harsh...?

Well, we want coaches to have what Amber calls "aha moments" where they realize that there's a better way to teach defense and it can actually be fun. If a coach's ego is in the way of her having that moment, sometimes I get a little "in your face" about it. You saw the question she asked, but you didn't hear the rest of the conversation where she said her kids just don't get it, she's taught them everything, blah blah blah. She also said she teaches exactly the same thing so she doesn't understand why I have MY name for it rather than what she calls it. And oh-by-the-way it won't work for the young ones, so she does something different for them. For her, it's all about HER, not the kids. SHE did everything right, but her kids "just don't get it." So, harsh? Maybe a little. But if I can get her to open her mind a little, maybe she can benefit from something new here. And, most importantly, her kids will benefit.

I heard a coach in the Baltimore area say he used The BODM Line to train his offense. Everything I see here says defense. What's up with that?

One of the things I tell all the coaches I work with is exactly that - use The BODM Line to guide your offense. See, once the defense is in place, you will be able to set up virtually ANY situation you can think of and what the defense does in practice is the same as what will happen on game day. For example, the player in tip coverage in that situation can learn to run her attack from her tip coverage position. The setter will figure out who's available for what attack based on where the ball goes. Stuff like that. Even serve receive can be made a little easier when you apply the concepts in The BODM Line.

Gary L. Faris PO Box 2316 Longmont, CO 80502-2316

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