February 16, 2012

The Setter

Hi Coach,
I apologize if this has already been answered, but your last post got me thinking.  What's the difference between "running an offense" and just "setting an offense?"  As a setter myself, I know about things like establishing the middle early, setting the hot hitter, and looking for matchups, but I still feel like I'm missing something!  Can you help me out?
Thanks for your time,

Well you already mentioned a few things which non-setters never consider when they believe they can/will be setters.

Setting is a position which only gets better with age.  I knew more as a senior setter, than I ever did as a freshman setter, and I knew more my last year setting professionally, then I did as a senior.  It just takes time to know how to run an offense, when to ride the hot hitter, when to waste a set, when to chew on the team and when to give hugs, how to hold your composure when you just want to blow up.

Too many times I see club setters who are just sprinklers - They just rotate through all their hitters, like the sprinkler watering the lawn.  I shake my head when I see setters making simple bone head choices - Setting the weakest hitter at a critical time, running the same play too many times when it is not working, not targeting the weakest blocker, etc. 

A setter always needs to be intellectual - Too many VolleyFolks get fooled or fall in love with the fiery setter, the setter who shows big emotion.  These are flashy, but not the elite setters.  I remember a few NCAA Finals ago, Coach Rose at Penn State pulled out his All-American Senior Setter in the Championship match because she was not making good choices and was too emotional.  A setter is always thinking and thinking 2 or 3 steps ahead.  It is tougher in Rally Score than in Side out scoring - I was also a setter, and I would have hated to play in all rally score games because there is less time to manage a game as a setter.

Always be analytical of each game - Don't fall into the easy out; "we won, so no need to analyze" or "we lost because the passing/hitting was bad" - Think about who you set and when you set them, think about what your goal was during each rally or side out, think about how you would like to improve your offensive system.  During the start of the match you should be looking through the net to see who is a weakness on the block; tall blockers (make them move), small blockers (make them jump).

Just a few thoughts for you to ponder.


1 comment:

  1. We loved it when my daughter's last team played against a team with a sprinkler setter, because it made it so much easier for her to pile up her blocks. The matches that killed were when the other team recognized her teams biggest weakness (defensive positioning) and started dinking them to death. Things would quickly snowball when the poison pill players started their sniping at each other. Oh, were we glad when that club season ended. Too bad that happened after the great senior year her HS team.


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