I was short on kids at volleyball practice today so I got to play middle for about 20 minutes. I've never, ever played the position (could have something to do with being 5'8" in shoes).
I learned all kinds of things. First off I noticed how best to track the incoming serve. I watch a lot of middles kind of ignore the ball since it goes over their head, and then they're not prepared. Truth is, I think it's pretty easy. You get the general direction before it even crosses the net (including whether or not it'll be short), and once you've keyed into that, you can look back and see who will receive it. Just about the time you turn around the ball has been passed and your attention shifts to the setter, and hopefully you're running plays. It's really exhilarating!
Being in the middle of everything, I also have a much better feel for how they work together that you just can't see from the sides. Among other things, I found that my setter is a much stronger personality that I thought. My two quiet swing hitters are also very complimentary to everyone, if not the loudest about it.
It was a neat peek into what goes on. I wish I could play with them some more, but you know, it's not about me!