Oregon State assistant coach Emily Hiza, who also coaches many different age groups in club volleyball, gives us a comprehensive overview here on how to teach setting.
While a juniors player demonstrates each aspect of setting, Hiza walks us through the skill from A to Z, starting with hand-positioning and then moving on to footwork, contact point and follow-through.
One of the coolest things about Hiza's explanations is they take into account the realities that young players deal with when attempting to master this tough skill. For instance, she addresses the challenge of teaching young players who are setting a big ball with small hands and delicate fingers.
One other thing: The drills she suggests here don't require a full team. All of them can be done at home with a ball and either one or two people.
To teach good setting technique, your first priority with a young player should be to develop their touch on the ball.
As Oregon State assistant coach Emily Hiza explains here, setters should work on consistently taking the ball right on their foreheads and touching it with all 10 fingers. Other keys:
- Wrapping the fingers around the ball
- Holding the elbows wide for leverage
In this video, Emily has a young setter demonstrate a great way to practice the front set. This drill can be done anywhere. All you need is a ball and a partner.
In this section of her series on teaching young players the fundamentals of setting, Emily Hiza focuses on footwork.
As her juniors player demonstrates, Hiza explains the steps required to efficiently move to different points on the court in preparation for setting.
This part of Emily's video clinic on training a young setter deals with hand-positioning, which is key to delivering consistently well-located sets.
The drill that Emily and her juniors player shows us here involves holding a cone on the forehead and catching a tennis ball. It's fun, and it's a good way to practice feet to the ball, square shoulders and good setting balance.
The final progression of the fundamentals of setting is taking a live pass and setting it to a location. Emily Hiza explains here how young players can deal with the unpredictability of balls that come off a passer's platform.
One specific challenge she mentions is overcoming "Flintstone feet." As you probably know (or can guess), good setters do not have Flintstone feet.
Setters get plenty of reps at practice, but if they want to be great, they can never touch the ball too much. With that in mind, Hiza suggests several drills here that can be done at home.
To wrap up her video setting clinic, Emily addresses the question of when a coach should begin letting young players tackle the more challenging training aspects of setting such as training with live hitters and reading what's going on across the net.