Our Staff has experience coaching gameplay from various other programs. We all agree that gameplay development for hitting and passing is hindered if we have athletes who are not ready to set, setting. The setter is compared to the quarterback on a football team. If they cannot set the ball up, then it is challenging to have proper gameplay. Our coaching staff can help control the game to build confidence when they pass and give more back row and front row hitting opportunities. Once we have athletes in the program for longer who show interest, we will have them start setting. We still teach the mechanics during practice, but many younger athletes cannot handle the pressure of setting in a game when they have only played for 2 months. Most of our athletes are new to the game, and that inexperience can make minor errors feel catastrophic. The first year of playing is difficult enough, and the first couple of games can make an athlete fall in love with or hate volleyball.
Volleyball is just as much a mental sport as a physical one. Here are two scenarios for you to consider.
Scenario 1: Pat, Sarah, and Heather have been playing for 2 months. Pat is passing, Sarah is setting, and Heather is hitting. If Pat gives a pass 10 feet away from Sarah, she may not/ cannot set it to Heather. Now Heather cannot practice hitting, and Pat thinks it is their fault because they “Are Not Passing Well.” Pat continues to make some errors and then one day decides that she is a lousy passer and never wants to do it again. Sarah thinks it is her fault and tells future coaches that she is not good at setting. Heather gets little to no hitting practice at a young age and may not have enough time to develop her mechanics when she is a bit older.
Scenario 2: Pat, Sarah, and Heather have been playing for 2 months. Pat is passing, A coach is setting, and Heather and Sarah are hitting. If Pat gives a pass 10 feet away from the setter (Coach), they can still set the ball up with control because they have more playing experience. Now the two hitters have a chance to hit because the set is high enough for them to do their approach and jump. Let us also think about how this change can help them mentally. Pat, passes the ball, and the coach can set most of the balls. Their confidence in passing increases because the play continued after they passed the ball. The hitters build confidence because they can practice hitting more often. Even though the scenario started the same, the athletes in Scenario 2 become confident and want to continue developing.