The title of this post comes from a comment on Facebook. It was a response to my post Setter: Go for everything or call for help?

I honestly think this is the worst possible solution. Either you want the setter to take the ball – in which case they shouldn’t yell “Help” at all – or your want someone else to take the ball on a bad pass – in which case you don’t want the setter charging at them full speed.

Having a sprinting setter yelling “Help” just creates confusion.

As I noted in my to call the ball or not to call the ball post, players react to movement. If the setter is moving toward the ball, other players expect them to take it, so their first response is to back away. When they then hear “Help” it’s a contrary signal. Now they don’t know what to do. This is why we often see bad results from these kinds of situations – balls dropping or players getting in each other’s way leading to bad second contacts.

So it needs to be clear to everyone. Either the setter is going for it, or someone else is taking it. You can’t have both.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Men's & Women's Head Volleyball Coach at Medaille College, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy (formerly Charleston Academy). His previous experience includes the college and university level in the US and UK, professional coaching in Sweden, and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. Learn more on his bio page.

    1 Response to "Don’t stop running, even if you’re calling “help”"

    • Loren

      If someone else is in a better position to set the ball, the setter should use their name to indicate who they are giving the setting responsibility to in that moment. The setter has responsibility for every 2nd ball, but that doesn’t mean they are setting every 2nd ball. Yelling “help” means 5 people are wondering if they should set the ball. Saying a teammate’s name creates clarity, and reduces uncertainty.

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