Most coaches have a variety of Setter Drills that are designed to teach the proper technique or fundamentals of setting. Great skill, however, is only one aspect of being a great setter. Setters must also be great decision makers. They need to be able to read the defense and make the appropriate set.
In the video clip below Ray Bello, assistant volleyball coach at Fordham University, demonstrates a progression of Setter Drills that he utilizes to to train his setters to read the defense and make the appropriate set.
He begins with a series of Setter Drills that are designed to help train the setter to take her eyes away from the ball and then find it again. He progresses from what he calls eye work, to actually reading the movement of the middle blocker and making the appropriate decision in order to create a single block.
This clip is from a presentation that Coach Bello made at a recent Glazier Volleyball Clinic in which he details many Setter Drills designed to teach technique and decision making. For more information about gaining access to his entire presentation, as well as hundreds of other clinic presentations and Premium Content, click the link Glazier Clinic Vault
Setter Drill Progression
1. Rock Paper Scissors
Have two setters face each other and set the ball to each other. After each player sets the ball, they will hold up a hand and signal Rock, Paper or Scissors. The other set must look for the hand signal and call out what she sees. She then takes her eyes of the hand and finds the ball so that she can set it. After setting the ball, she will also signal Rock, Paper or Scissors for her partner.
2. Rock Paper Scissors Progression- Turn and Look
Have a player stand behind one of the setters (you could put a player behind each). The player behind the setter will signal Rock, Paper or Scissors while the ball is in the air. The setter receiving the ball must turn away from the ball and see the signal. She must make a verbal call of the signal she got and then turn back and find the ball and set it to her partner.
3. Rock Paper Scissors at the net
The drill set up is essentially the same as the second drill. The difference is now you place the setter at the net and the player signaling rock paper or scissors is on the other side of the net ( she is simulating the middle that the setter must read). The ball is passed to the setter who must take a peak across the net and read the signal (rock, paper or scissors). If she reads rock she sets outside. If she reads paper she sets back. If she reads scissors she dumps.
4. Creating the Single Block
In this drill the setter will receive the ball set it to herself once before reading the middle blocker and setting opposite. In this progression the middle blocker will now move one direction or the other, the setter must read and set opposite.
5. Creating the Single Block Progression
Have the setter make the read and set the ball on her first touch. You can also have the setter move in from their serve receive position to set the ball rather than being stationary.
The video has sound so please make sure that your sound is turned on and click the play arrow to see it.