Youth Volleyball: Super Setters
Once the basic volleyball set is mastered, there are four other setting drills that young players can easily practice at home, or on a school, grass or sand court. These drills create more game-like conditions for times when all the players are in motion and the ball may not arrive to the setter perfectly.
The Staying Alive Set
This scenario happens when a teammate dives out of bounds to save the ball and at least keeps the play alive. Stand a good deal away and toss the ball high, in the vicinity of the setter, without any notice. Have the setter practice calling for the ball, moving quickly to get beneath the ball, and making a very high set. Making a high set keeps the ball in flight long enough for a teammate to come into position and either score or keep the point going.
The One-Handed Low Set
Sometimes the volleyball comes at a setter low and quick, and there is not time or space to get into position beneath the ball with the standard two-hand set. Crouch low and toss the volleyball straight across to your young setter, to teach them to react quickly and get one hand quickly on the ball. The goal in this drill is to send the volleyball smoothly upward to another hitter positioned near the net.
Have the setter practice leaping and setting the volleyball at the same time. You may have to stand close and make a more accurate toss to allow for skill building around jumping and setting. A jump set is ideal because it moves the setter to the much ball sooner, allows for a quick hit and score by a teammate, and also creates a distraction for the opposing team to have the setter in the air instead of down on the court in a fixed position.
Set out of the Net
While having a volleyball net is ideal for this drill, you can use a wall and a slow toss to simulate what happens when an errant volleyball pass goes into the net. Experienced setters that anticipate where and how fast the ball will come out of the net can often make a quick bump set or one-handed set. The goal is to get the ball high enough for a hitter nearby to score a point. It's all about getting into position quickly, seeing the ball flight and then creating an opportunity for a teammate to score a point.