July 10, 2012

Volleyball Setter Strategy

I currently play for one of the top clubs in my state on a 15's team
I get confused during a match because my club coach will tell me to set a hitter, but as I am releasing to the net and about to set the ball, I can read the other teams defense and I can see the blockers already set up and ready to double block the hitter my coach told me to set. 

Because I already picked up on the movement, I reverse the net and set the opposit hitter. After the play is over, I get yelled and taken out because I didn't set the set she wanted and I explain why I reversed the net and did what I did. I really respect my coach but I want to put up the best set to the hiiter who is hot and has the best chance at scoring. I do not want the coach thinking I am difficult or uncoachable.
I love your website and your wealth of knowledge and honesty.
Thank you,
Confused Setter

There is the old saying, Live to Fight another Day!  From a game management perspective, you are right.  From a coach management perspective, you are wrong.  

As a setter, you are the first person who must do what the coach tells you to do.  If the coach cannot trust you to do exactly what they say, then they will not have you on the court.  The setting position is too critical of a position, for the coach not to believe their setter will do what they say to do.

Your coach may have reasons far beyond the court for telling you to set a certain hitter - Maybe that hitter's parents have been chewing on the coach for a couple of weeks because they feel their daughter is not getting enough sets in matches.  Maybe the hitter is getting evaluated and the coach saw collegiate coaches on the court, and wanted to showcase that hitter in a certain situation.   Maybe the coach wants to see how this certain hitter responds in a pressure situation when the block and defense is stacked against her.

Or, maybe the coach believes the left side hitter is still a better statistical option against two blockers than the right side against one?

What I suggest you consider, is how do you manage your coach?

The bottom line is you need to do exactly what the coach says. Then, during a time out or in between games, let the coach know that you can see the block shifting early towards a certain hitter or let them know you think you can get a one on one situation by going with certain set.  Do what the coach says during the game, then communicate your observations during time outs/side changes about what you are seeing on the court.

Coach Matt Sonnichsen

Thank you so much for taking time to reply to me! I truly appreciate the advise you gave me and did find it very helpful to hear that from a strong coaches point of view. All of the information made sense to me and made me see the coaches side that I didn't see before. Also, if  you don't mind, I would like to keep in touch with you if other questions might arise. 

Thank you so so so much again!!!

Not-So-Confused Setter.

Glad to help and my email is always open!


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