November 24, 2014

Setter or Hitter in Club Volleyball?

My 13 year old daughter has played one year of club volleyball and 7th grade Junior high. Her strongest position is setter and has received compliments from other coaches about her setting skills. Her weakest position is hitter. She recently was accepted into a more elite club and has been practicing for a few weeks. I guess this is the time when the coaches evaluate and make their teams. 

The coaches told her that she would not be setter but a hitter. My daughter is frustrated and confused by this decision. Do you have any idea why they wouldn't put her on a team as a setter?

Thanks, P.B.

Without seeing your daughter's skills first hand, and those of her team mates, I cannot accurately speak to the decision made by the club coaches.

But, experience has taught me a few things about youth players and teams:

- As your daughter is only in 7th grade and has just one year of club, the difference between her "strongest position" of setting and "weakest position" of hitting may not be as large as you feel.

-  Being new to the club, the coaches may not have yet seen her complete ability as a setter and the coming months can bring a positional change.

- Coaches assemble their teams like putting together the pieces of the puzzle to make the best possible picture.  They have to look at the strength and weaknesses of each player, and determine what position to place that player so the team can achieve the highest level of success.  

-  To this end, the coaches must feel that your daughter can better impact the success of the team by being a hitter rather than a setter.  

This is a positive development because it will increase her all around abilities and at a young age, this is a very good thing.  As she continues to play, and wishes to focus on setting on older age group teams, her experience being a hitter will only enhance her setting abilities.

In closing, please remember that she is just in 7th grade, and has years of volleyball ahead of her - The most important focus at this age is developing skill sets; who knows exactly what her high school (and maybe collegiate position) will be.  By developing all around skills, and gaining valuable experience playing different positions, your daughter will be well suited to excel as she matures!

Coach Sonnichsen

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