July 28, 2014

Volleyball Setting Advice

Hi I love your website and I think it's so informational, I'm going to be a freshman in high school and am currently not playing club because I didn't make the one I tried out for , but I am now working with a nationally ranked club going to their open gyms and some of there practices along with private lessons. 

And I recently just started setting, I've also been told I have really good hands. My problem with setting is not get my feet to the ball fast enough (which is key) and being stopped. What are some things I can do to work on that. And is just starting to set now and not having a ton of experience going to lower my chances of making a club team where I'm working and a high school varsity team?

 Than you so much!


Thank you for the compliments about collegevolleyballcoach.com and glad it is a resource.

Setter is tough position; there is a difference between setting and being a setter.

As for your footwork, focus on not 'timing the ball'.  This means that when the ball gets to hands height, you are not also arriving at that point.  Focus on getting to the spot early and waiting; I call this beating the ball.  A large part of this ability will come with experience because you will begin to "see" the flight of the ball and better anticipate where to be.  Young or inexperienced setters are usually late to the ball, but will have much better timing/footwork as they mature.  For now, focus on beating the ball and stopping your feet whenever you set; drills, pepper, 3 on 3 or 6 on 6.

With regards to making a club team or your high school varsity team, that depends on how quickly you develop.  The two most important things that a good setter must do; 1) Set a ball that the hitters can attack for a kill, 2) Set the correct hitter in a given situation.

#1 is most important, because even if you make the tactical wrong choice, the hitter still has an opportunity to get a good swing on the ball.  If you choose the correct hitter in a situation, but the ball is low or 10 feet off the net, then that is not good.

As you are still developing, try to be consistent in your setting placement - Every set to the outside attack zones should be to the same spot no matter where you had to set the ball from.  Every set to the middle attackers should be the same, no matter where they are attacking the ball or where along the net you had to set the ball from.  Consistency is critical to gaining the trust of the hitters and the recognition of the coaches.

Good luck and keep setting!

Coach Matt

July 24, 2014

Boy's Club Volleyball and College Volleyball Recruiting

My son is going to be a Junior this coming year and is finishing up his 16's year as an outside hitter on our local club. This is his second year with this club and it's nice that it is close and run by a great group.  His team, unfortunately, is not very good.  They rarely make it beyond the bronze pool. He is by far the best player on the team.  I'm constantly being told how good he is by other parents and coaches from other teams.  He wants to play beyond high school but knows he won't get looked at by many schools being on this club.  The club has had some players go on to play D3 but not many.  

There is another club that will involve driving at least an hour for practices 2-3 times a week that he wants to play for next season.  That team has been together for at least 3 years and consistently challenges for tournament championships.  I'm worried that if he does try out and make that club he won't get the playing time needed over others that have been with the team even though he performs better than them.  He could be perceived as the "outsider".

So my question is do we stay with the local club team where he can shine but consistently get knocked out early of tournaments or do we go long distance and risk the playing time?  What questions would I ask of the new club to ensure that he will get the playing time that he needs?  



When considering club teams and how they impact a player's opportunity to move into college volleyball, families must focus on the training.  The reality is that talent creates opportunities.  If a volleyball player is good, and manages the recruiting process, then they will have the opportunities they seek.

Too many families think that by joining club super duper, that a Top 10 program will come knocking at their inbox because they are now with club super duper.  

As you consider your club situation, try to determine which club will develop your son's volleyball abilities and take playing time out of the equation.  Your question seems to be is it better to sit or play?  Your question should be, which club does the better job of developing player skill sets in practice and reinforcing those developed skill sets in competition.

Don't worry so much about playing time because with the use of technology, you can market and promote your son to collegiate programs.  College coaches understand when a good player is surrounded by not so good players, or they are new on a team with the long standing players staying on the court.  We are just looking for talent and if need be, we can handicap the other parameters to properly evaluate a player's talent.