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Second Contact by Julien Boucher
Sep 09, 2011
The Second Contact in Volleyball
It is mathematically impossible to win a set by scoring points uniquely through our service reception phase. Hence, the importance of a coherent counter-attack and the need for perfect execution after successfully defending the first attack.
At the international level, setting accuracy is exceptional. What I find impressive is the capacity of the other players (non-setters) to set accurately.
Here are a few tips for every level – novice or expert – for counter attack setting execution or training:
Place your partner in a good attacking position
The unique objective of a player who must set an attacking player – in 100% of the cases – is to place the attacker in ideal conditions for the attack thereby creating the chance to score. A common error with young players is that they simply want to touch the ball after a first defensive action.
Always favour front line attackers
Front line attackers should always be favoured, for two main reasons: a) because they don’t need to consider the attack line in their approach and b) because they have a much better angle of attack. The second priority seems to be for the attacker in position 1. In fact, with all the good teams, the ‘pipe’ is used as an offensive weapon – as is the quick set – and is used almost exclusively by setters. These sets are often quick balls that do not permit the opposing team to put up 3 or 2-man blocks.
Develop the ability to set with a volley or with an underhand pass
International calibre players – setters and others – can set well using a volley or an underhand pass. Less experienced players will only improve if their coaches drill the skills into the players during practice. One should note that this ability can in fact be developed over a minimal training period.
Coaches – have fun!
Determine the number of balls that your team defends in one set, then compare this to the number of balls that are truly ‘set’ to an attacker. Make the comparison to the number of times that the attacks actually scored. The numbers will likely be quite revealing.