Olympic Legend Jackie Silva faces a coaching challenge with a Brazilian volleyball team | The Z Team


Cariocas, hey! (THE Z TEAM) Cariocas is a volleyball
team in trouble. And here in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil’s world famous City, that means big trouble, because
volleyball is a big deal here. These youngsters have
all the passion and talent that you would expect
when a potential playing career is just a few tournament
wins away. This week they’re competing
in a prestigious competition where they’re going to struggle
to win a game, let alone a trophy. We’re always the ‘also-rans’. I get frustrated. A lot of times
it just doesn’t happen for us. We end up getting
annoyed with one another because something didn’t work. We can be performing well in
the league, then for no good reason we start playing badly. When we’re under pressure
against a big opponent, we lose the plot. We get intimidated
too easily by the other team. Communication between the
players – that’s the hard part. The team clearly have issues and not all of them on the
court. Fortunately there’s someone
who’s only a short drive away and she’s never been
afraid to take on a challenge. A Rio native, Jackie Silva
first played for the national volleyball
team when she was just 14 years old and competed
at the 1980 and ’84 Olympics. A fiery split from the official
body in Brazil found her moving to beach volleyball in the USA. She excelled there and
recruited Sandra Pires as her partner, winning gold in 1996
at the first appearance of the discipline
in the Olympics. Hi, guys, we have this
important tournament this coming Sunday. We’re doing badly and
we’re only in fifth place. To help us to achieve our goal,
I’ve invited a friend of mine who is an Olympic gold
medallist to work with us. She’s my friend,
let me call her over, Jacqueline. Jackie! Jackie is a superstar
of Brazilian volleyball and her reputation
is built on hard work, so she wastes no time in
getting down to training. Guys, it is great, but let’s
speed up a little more. Jackie has noticed that the
team are shorter than average, a clear disadvantage
in volleyball. So she wants to make them
faster and more agile to compensate. They’re very strong
and very active and they move quickly
all the time. So the idea is that they
maintain their speed in attack. Jackie’s exercise is designed
to test the setter skills. This is the main playmaker
and they must anticipate where they need to move
to receive the ball, to best execute their set. The exercise also tests
their team-mates’ ability to accurately pass the
ball. You need a lot of setting. A short team needs
to be very fast. The ball shouldn’t fall, you should have
good hand movements. You need to do those
things really well. Tomorrow the plan
is to train on the beach. Tarcio and I have been
talking it through and we’ve decided to try
a different environment. To build a successful
team in a week, Jackie needs strong core
talent. And she soon spots it
in Cariocas’ impressive looking attacker. My name’s César,
I’m 20 years old and I play as an attacker
and a middle blocker. I’ve been working for a year
here at Jacaré Modas. I was doing odd jobs and Julio
saw me and said, “He’s a model”. And I was like, “OK.” I started playing volleyball in
2011 when I was about 13 or 14. My mum forced me to play,
she would say, “You either have to play
volleyball or basketball.” I started really enjoying it
when I began playing beach volleyball. There were lots of matches and I wanted to improve
more and more. I played beach volleyball,
indoor volleyball. Then as time passed
I couldn’t find a big club, so now I’m trying
secondary school again and I’m also taking a course
in business management. The word is out and everyone
wants to be part of the action. After all, it’s not every day
you have an Olympic champion
to work with. Volleyball is a six-a-side
sport. There’s a setter,
who controls the flow of play, two blockers, whose
job it is to defend shots from
the opponent’s hitters, and the three hitters
themselves, who try to smash
the ball beyond the reach of their
opponents, but also keep it within the court boundaries. Jackie is making the team
play volleyball in teams of two rather than the normal six. This improves their
accuracy and fitness as they must cover more ground. Indoors it seemed that
everything was too easy, but not here,
here there’s the sand element. On the beach you
need more resilience, when you go back
to the court you feel faster. Keep defending! Keep defending! Jackie hopes that
yesterday’s beach session can now be translated indoors. So, in this exercise Jackie
tasks the teams with working the ball around their
side before creating blocking opportunities for the opposing
team. Ooh, one, two, three, Cariocas,
hey! In volleyball the killer shot
is enabled by the setter, who spots a gap and sets the
ball for the hitter to complete the
spike. The only counter to
this is the block. One of the most important
things in volleyball is blocking. In indoor volleyball games, blocking is almost
choreographed. The step aside, the timing
between the players and the ball
has to be synchronised. You need a lot of training
and a lot of patience to block effectively. It’s a ballet, a dance
designed to fool the opponents. You see the ball,
won’t get to you, you don’t wait for the ball, so you have to be
in position before the ball. By the time Jackie
has seen enough improvement the sun has set and 24 hours
later they’re warming up for another training session at the beach. Cariocas have some
physically strong players, so Jackie has decided
to work on the jump serve. I think the team’s doing well. We’ve applied many of the
things we did in training on Tuesday on the beach,
to the court. Defence is better, our reading
of blocking has improved. By improving the blocking
reading and the defence, we can react and counterattack. That’s really good. Today we’ll play a different
game, four players against four
players. I noticed they’re a little
tired. It’s been a very intense week. We’re taking it easy
and we’ll focus on serves. Tarcio will start playing
and I’ll be joining in later. Today is Friday and everyone’s
tired from everything, not just the training. With so little time for the
team to come to grips with all the new techniques and
attitudes Jackie has introduced, she’s starting to worry
she might have pushed them just a little too far. Guys, I’m joining the game,
I’ll play at the back. But they won’t stand a chance
on Sunday if they aren’t 100% fit. So, let’s make
the most of the space here and try to do the jump serve. It’s going to be great
to practise that too. The serve is not a winning
shot, but it creates the momentum of the whole passage
of play. A well-placed, well-paced
serve will give the serving team an immediate advantage, on either the court or the
beach. I try to absorb
as much as possible and add it to my personal
repertoire to apply and adapt to other categories
I coach and to improve this unfortunate
position that we’re in now. We’re about to
find out how unfortunate their situation really
is, because time is up. Cariocas are
off to the tournament. The Under-21 All-Rio
Volleyball Championship is contested by six teams –
the bottom two are eliminated at the group stage
and the remaining four progress to the knockout competition. The rules
of volleyball are simple – don’t let the ball hit
the ground on your side of the court and you
have three hits before the ball has to go back over the net. If the ball hits the ground
on your opponent’s side you win the point. The first to 18 wins the set, best of three
sets wins the match. In the first game their
arch-rivals Acores are narrowly beaten after taking an early
lead. Jackie’s training already
paying off, but there’s still a long way to
go. But Cariocas are on a roll. Buoyed by their
victory they sweep aside both Wilson Santiago Mary
and, in the semifinal, Nucleo Bene de Volei to reach
their first ever final. At last a final
against, guess who… Acores – who have brushed aside
their early setback and are looking strong again. Acores yet again playing tough
and grabbing an early lead, but Cariocas, with some
confident rallies, soon pull ahead. One set up, one to go. But Acores have no intention of
giving up. Under pressure,
Cariocas are looking fragile. Are you afraid? He is afraid,
he’s moving backwards? They’re playing well,
but they need to play better on the front row. César is playing
the game of his life, holding together a team that
desperately needs to create something spectacular. Acores have rarely lost to
Cariocas and are playing with little or no
fear of their rivals. They draw level. Time for Cariocas
to make a stand. The game is so
finely balanced that either team could snatch the win. A massive effort pulls Cariocas
two points clear, but there’s no time to breathe,
the team digging deep to get within that
single point that will give them their
first ever championship. Now it’s match point. We’re 17 to 15,
it’s an important moment. We can do it. Cariocas have
won their first tournament, Jackie’s help
has truly turned this team around and they
can celebrate at last. We’d like to thank
her so much for everything. We have been
so overwhelmed by it all. We’ll definitely savour
this week as some of the best days of our lives,
thank you so much! It was very exciting, it was
great seeing them winning and it was an
incredible experience, even though it’s
hard to join a team that already has its own routine. But anyhow,
it was very good that they won and I’m even happier
that I got another gold medal. I’ll tell you one more thing. You go and believe
in your dreams, you have everything you
need to be a great player. Since winning
the Under-21s All-Rio Volleyball Championship, Cariocas have entered two
further tournaments, making the final on both occasions. The improvement in
the team has been astonishing and Cariocas
have reached heights they could never have
dreamed of before.

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