In building championship volleyball programs successful coaches do a great job of building the fundamental skill set of the players in their program.
This is a drill that you can add complexity to to help setters make good decisions, or make less complex to allow them to work on fundamentals and being precise with delivery of the volleyball.
Clearly developing setters in your program is key as often times it is the quality and quantity of your setters that will determine the offensive system that you employ. Below is a clip from an excellent set of videos available at the Art of Coaching Volleyball. In this clip Stanford Women’s Head Coach John Dunning demonstrates a simple yet effective drill to help you develop a setter.
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Coach Dunning calls this drill the Fan Drill. This drill allows the setter to practice both front and back sets while receiving passes from multiple angles. In the final progression of the drill a blocker is added. In this sequence the setter will receive passes from multiple angles as in the first part of the drill but the setter must now read the blocker. The blocker will choose a direction to move just prior to the set and then the setter must read and make the appropriate front or back set.
The drill can be modified to added passers and or hitters. This is not a complicated drill, yet an effective way to teach skills and practice reads for your young and developing setters.
We believe that it is important to teach all skills to all players. At an early age teach/train each player to play every position. It is very difficult to determine at age 9 what type of player someone will be when they are 16. You may think you know who the hitters will be, but its difficult to predict which players is going to get the six inch growth spurt. If you focus on just one or two setters at an early age, what if one of those players moves away or what if on of those players decides to focus on another sport. The best coaches develop a complete skill set for every player.