I want you to think on this.

A coach in my Facebook Group posed the following:

Question …. I heard something that made me scratch my head. Not in my program but in a club team.The setter isn’t allowed to call the ball she is just supposed to get the second ball. Has anyone else done this? Pls help me wrap my brain around it. I do not agree with it.

Not surprisingly, most of the replies were along the lines of…

The setter only says something if they need to call “Help” because they can’t get the ball. Otherwise, the assumption is they will take it, so there’s no need to call.

There were a couple saying they want their setters to call the ball, but they were a decided minority.

Now, change the situation to serve receive. How many of those very same coaches do you think would say the passer should call the ball?

And yet, everyone on the court should know whose ball it is, just like everyone on the court should know who’s taking 2nd ball. Consider that contradiction, and perhaps read To call the ball or not to call the ball, that is the question.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

    1 Response to "A communication contradiction"


      I don’t know if this fits this conversation, but it is associated.
      Setters should take the 2nd ball within reason. If the ball is shanked toward the endline or left sideline and possibly the right sideline, setters chases the ball down, the only thing s/he can do is pass set the ball. Usually backward as she facing away from the court.
      I do not comprehend when way out of system the ‘Setter must get 2nd contact’ concept. If another backrow athlete can get to the ball they may have an ability to overhead pass the ball toward a pin attacker.
      I’ve learned from watching the older adult athletes at US Open that they play as a team. Setters do not chase the ball down. Someone calls off the setter. This is what I train on my teams.
      Teamwork is about helping out each other. Only one athlete getting the 2nd contact doesn’t seem to fit the teamwork concept. Just my opinion.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.