On my trip around Europe in August and September there’s a consistent thing that I’ve seen. Actually, I saw it on my prior travels as well.

That’s non-setters working on setting.

When I say this I don’t just mean working on out-of-system play. Many coaches do that sort of thing. That, though, generally just means whoever the designated secondary setter takes the second ball. For example, you hit the first ball to the setter, so the libero sets.

While I’ve seen teams work on that too, it isn’t the kind of training I’m talking about here. What I mean is that EVERYONE works on making good sets.

We’re talking high ball sets to the pins, of course. Not running the offense.

It’s a skill every player should have. As I talked about in my communication discussion, there are times when it makes sense for someone other than the setter to step in an set, above and beyond setter-out situations. You see it happen quite frequently in professional and international level matches.

This only works if all players have the skills, though.

“Yeah, but those are highly skilled players,” you might be thinking.

Of course they are. But they train those skills. With very few exceptions, I saw these players working on some kind of high ball setting every day.

So when you see a professional player set a nice hittable high ball, know that it’s because they work on it all the time. Are you doing that with your team?

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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 "Non-Setter Setting: Are you working on it?"

    • Kelly Daniels

      I really wish more coaches understand the value of someone else taking the 2nd ball where the setter has to chase it down only to pass set the ball. I get all kinds of looks from others not familiar with the closest person overhead set the ball when out of system. Our Freshmen Coach says that’s what she wants. In our discussion I mentioned when I coached her we you were trained to take the 2nd ball and set if it comes to you. She agreed, but her college coaches said it’s better that the setter take the second ball because it’ll make them lazy. I said, this is a team sport and we’ll all are here to help each other. She again agreed, but she feels with her slow setters, they’ll get use to not going for the ball. My response, your team, I’ll support your decision.

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