Going over hitting approach steps at every practice is a good way to build muscle memory in young players who are still developing their footwork skills.
Here, Cary Wendell Wallin, a former AVCA Player of the Year from Stanford who is now the Director of Player Development at 949 Athletics in Orange County, California, demonstrates a simple footwork drill with some of her 10-year-olds. Among her teaching techniques is having players clap their hands to get the rhythm of the footwork.
For younger players, Cary prefers to teach the 3-step approach rather than the 4-step. One reason: Sets at that level of the game aren’t usually very high, so it's harder to take 4 steps and get to the ball. A second reason: As players progress throughout their career, there are times when they’ll use a 3-step approach even if their standard approach is 4 steps. For instance, a middle hitter who wants to get airborne quickly.
As Cary points out, practicing approach footwork doesn’t have to be done at practice. You can do it on your way to the dinner table, before you brush your teeth, in the backyard on a homework break, etc. Lots of possibilities. The point is just to do it. A lot!