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Volleyball Setter Training: Reading and Decision Making

Volleyball Setter Training: Reading and Decision Making

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Train your setter to take charge of your offense by helping them read the defense

  • Learn how to make every kind of set to run your offense effectively and manage errors at the same time
  • Teach your setter to read the middle blocker's movements to set to the right area and create better match-ups for your hitters
  • Learn to manipulate opposing blockers to give your hitters one-on-one situations

with Todd Dagenais,
University of Central Florida head coach,
former USC Assistant Head Coach; co-head coach of the 2016 Collegiate Women's National Team

Coach Todd Dagenais breaks down read progressions to help your setter understand and defeat opposing teams. He provides simple reads and straightforward drills to help train your setters to make good decisions.

The drills in this video work with the setter to look at the defense, specifically the middle blocker, and make the set that will yield the highest percentage kill. Many of the drills are progressive and work with the setter and middle blocker on the other side of the net. This forces the setter to make a defensive read before she sets the ball.

Additionally, Coach Dagenais explains how to keep things simple to create an offense your team can execute. He covers different topics, such as:

  • Out of system play
  • Making the right set
  • Disrupting the blocking
  • Offensive play calling
  • Manipulating and beating the block
  • How to give free and down balls

Coach Dagenais uses his University of Central Florida setters to demonstrate how the setter tracks the opposition. He then utilizes the rest of the team in drills to reinforce and expand on his strategies.

Setter Rules

Coach Dagenais provides simple rules for your setter and then provides progressive reads the setter can utilize to place their teammates in successful scoring opportunities. He explains what to do if the blockers are committing, fronting or reading, which will help your setter determine who should be set.

Drills to Make the Right Set

Coach Dagenais puts his philosophies into action. His players demonstrate seven drills, with progressions, that help setters understand how to make the right set. These drills include skills such as reading the blocker, reading multiple blockers, making multiple reads, setting from different locations on the court, and setter starting from different locations on the court. The Setter Read vs. Middle Blocker Movement Drill series teaches setters how to read the blocker by looking for subtle cues, as well as seeing movement or body positioning.

Disrupting Blocking

Learn how to mess with the timing of the block. Coach Dagenais demonstrates how to change the trajectory, location and tempo of the set, which will throw off blockers' timing. He also shows why and how to change the depth of the set on and off the net, which gives hitters a better chance to hit around the block

Offensive Calling Systems

Teach your team how to call the offensive plays throughout the match. Coach Dagenais demonstrates how the setter communicates with teammates to set up plays in three offensive calling systems:

  • First ball kill
  • Free ball/down ball
  • Defensive transition

These exercises provide examples of how the setter communicates with her team during plays and how she uses hand signals to pass along strategy to her teammates.

Manipulating the Block

You'll learn how to teach your setter to read what kind of blocking scheme the opponents are using. This will help your team decide which offense to run. Coach Dagenais explains what setters should look for in individual blockers and blocking schemes to make it easy for your offense to beat them.

Once the setter determines how to manipulate the block, they need to decide how to beat the block. Coach Dagenais covers four ways to beat the block including isolation, overload, crossing patterns and trick plays. He explains how to identify types of defense, how to look for the seams in the defense, and how to beat them.

Attacking Out of System

Communication is the key to running a great offense. It keeps the entire team on the same page and helps produce points. Coach Dagenais explains how to teach setters to call in-system and out of system plays to get the most out of the offense. He provides techniques to train your team to be aggressive when passes are out of system, including:

  • How tempo and trajectory are affected when playing out of system.
  • What setters need to look for and what options hitters have depending on the defense.
  • Examples of what a team's philosophies need to be when playing out of system.

Coach Dagenais provides straightforward guidance to help you train your setter to make good decisions and become a stronger leader.

87 minutes. 2016.