Training Young Setters

Patrick Corriveau is the founder of Big Bounce Beach Volleyball located in Ottawa. He was a setter at both the University of Manitoba and Ryerson University He currently is coaching the Fusion Ottawa 18U boys team.

By Patrick Corriveau:  The setter in volleyball is often compared to the quarterback in football.  With the responsibility for making all the decisions for offensive distribution, there is no position on the team that is more influential on the outcome of the game than the setter.

With all this responsibility, setters must make sure that their technical skills do not break down during a match, so that their focus can remain on tactics.  There is no secret formula to forming superior technical skills.  The only way a setter can ensure they have a stable volley is through a high number of repetitions on a daily basis.  A rule of thumb I tell my setters is they should volley the ball a minimum of 500 times every day. 

As a coach, I give each setter at least 250 reps during every practice throughout the season.  They are responsible for making up the extra volume on their own time.

In order to get 250 reps for the setters out of every practice there are a couple of drills I setup and use throughout a season.  I use the two following drills regularly for setter that are early in their development (grade 7 – 10).

  1. The first drill is one I encourage my setters to do at the start of every practice early in their development is one I did from grade 9 to 12 every day.  It is very simple, but effective.  Stand 1 meter away from a wall and choose a specific and small target to continuously volley the ball against.  The player can choose one of two goals: 50 total contacts, or the more challenging 25 consecutive contacts to the target.  Once the goal is hit for the first target, back up 2-3 meters and aim at a higher target, keeping the same goal options.
  2. The second drill I have my setters do focuses on their footwork in a very controlled situation 
  • I  stand in middle of the court
  • I toss the ball where I want the setter to move and set it to the target.  (close to the net)
  • The setter will complete 10 sets from each location (including home base) in sequence. 

They will always return to home base before executing the next rep; this allows focus on the footwork.  This is a quick and easy way to get 40 – 80 reps (can go through the sequence again and have a target behind).

I hope you find this helpful!

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