We often hear from coaches that their setter can't speed the ball in position 4, that the high ball is not "high" enough and behind-ball is not fast enough. So what can we do to improve the setter ball's speed?
Thinking about it, we can imagine that we have the same problem with jump, that is not able to express his best jump potential. First of all, he would need to improve his strength-skills (muscle-building: also when we speak about fingers' ex-tensors, it's important to give some strength skills) and then he will need to work on the effective contractile speed of muscles, the same like in jump with weights.
Going back to "setting", often it happens the same thing. Medical ball use is a very spread habit but often it doesn't guarantee the best results because it doesn't allow to improve the strength that we will use for our technical gesture. So, to improve the strength, often people use medical balls so heavy that they will just ruin the articulation of wrist or elbow because of the overload.
Considering all these things, we offered to our setter some exercises useful both for front and back setting.
Setting simulation with elastic resistance:
By using a special harness, the player will have to perform some simulation of the setting "push", paying big attention to the hands' position on the ball. This kind of exercise can be very helpful also to improve fingers' sensibility and the correct hands' position on the ball during the push-moment. The setter must do 6-10 repetitions feeling a little of fatigue but without modifying the posture and the position of her elbows and hands: it must be the closest possible to the one that she usually has on the court.
Ball setting on the wall with medical (ballasted) ball:
After working with the elastic, the player will do 6-8 repetitions with the ballasted ball on the wall, in order to go back discharge a more dynamic work. This exercise was included because, according to the feedback we got from the player during the trials, the player sensibility changed so much after the exercise with the elastic that setting with the normal ball didn't work so well and she couldn't express the best in her technical gesture. So this exercise is kind of a approach phase to the last part, which will be made with a normal ball.
Setting with the maximum push:
The player can do a range of set, on the wall, on the court, or better on the court with specific "target", so that she can be immediately sensitized at the maximum push during the "set", without making variation to her technical approach. We can say that we noticed significant improvement in the pushing phase, especially after having included the exercise with the medical ball. Working just with the first and the third exercise is not enough: try it and you will see.