A volleyball coach in a Facebook group presented the following scenario/query:

I’m running a camp next week for 3 days from 9-3pm with a 1 hour lunch break in the middle but it’s all for setters. The first half is setters only and the second half I have hitters coming in to work on hitting off the setters. I expect to have a very mixed bag of setter talent. I have a little list of things I think is important to teach at the camp but I want to make sure I’m not missing anything and regret not touching on it later.

The first thing that needs to come into the planning here is expectations. When you do a positional clinic like this, the players expect a lot of technical training. You need to give that to them. That doesn’t mean all you do is technique work, but it needs to feature strongly.

That said, 5 hours on-court in a 6 hour block is a lot. It is definitely worth mixing in some mental work along the way. This both lets you talk with them about important stuff, but it also lets you slow the pace and/or give them some breaks from the physical stuff.

Having hitters in the second session pushes you toward making that a fully – or nearly fully – on-court session. At the same time, you probably want the kids to be pretty fresh for that session. This will help with the accuracy and consistency of the sets in that session. No doubt the hitters will thank you for that. 🙂

With these considerations in mind, I would probably start with technical training for maybe the first 90 minutes – depending how long you’re planning for it to last. Fortunately, having different levels isn’t that hard to work around. You can have different kids working on different element within the same exercise. I’d then talk about decision-making for 30 minutes or so leading into the lunch break. That both gives you a chance talk about a very important part of the setting role, and it gives the kids a bit longer of a physical break.

What I do in the afternoon depends on the level(s) of the setters. If I know it in advance, I can plan things out to work on certain areas of development. If not, I would use the morning session to assess them to that end. There are lots of potential options. No matter what, though, I want to reinforce both the technical and decision-making stuff I focused on in the morning.

That’s key. Have your technical and tactical cues and be consistent with them throughout the day. Make sure those kids take them home with them. If you don’t, it’s just another day in the gym.

See also How do you train setters?

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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.

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