As part of the coach development program, another series of Fast Track sessions themed on ‘developing the setter’ was scheduled once again this year. There is a twin goal for these sessions, one to work with junior setters to enhance their abilities, another to work with coaches to show how this can be achieved.
The first of this seasons sessions took place at Wishaw on Saturday 17th with Thomas Dowens leading the proceedings. The theme for the day was ‘Moving and Thinking’, two things that every setter needs to be able to do and, hopefully, done at the same time.
16 junior players (and a couple of older gents) took to the court to be put through their paces by Thomas. Benefiting from this too were seven coaches who had travelled from as far as Oban, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. As the day progressed the discussions that the eight coaches had about what was happening was integral to their learning. Throughout the day the theme of Moving and Thinking was clear. From the beginning of the warmup, with the players moving, remembering and performing sequences of body movements, to the end of the day additional layers of thinking were placed on the players in ever increasingly complex situations.
The emphasis on remembering sequences of movements was developed to ensure the players were better equipped to create time to link successfully with the passer, target the left side hitting channel with their bodies positioned to move through the ball to create a stable set for the outside hitter.
As the day progressed the tactical options presented (thinking required) depending on the quality of the ball in was explored, while still maintaining the correct sequence to always allow a stable set for the left side.
The session finished in a transition game context at game speed, putting into practice everything that had been learned, with varying degrees of success. What was clear was that everyone made progress throughout the day and had plenty to take away with their coaches to work on back at their clubs.
For me, two things stood out, the first seeing senior national team players working just as hard as the younger players on all of the drills, showing a brilliant example of application to our future stars, the second discussing with the other coaches the various topics that arose throughout the day.
Roll on Fast Track 2 and 3 in January and February.
Nuvoc Volleyball Club