Manny Johnson: Blog 4 at 2008 HP Youth Holiday Camp

Jan. 21, 2009, 5:06 p.m. (ET)

Day 2 Session 3 12/27/08

We opened the session with a review of serving and passing while the setters worked on separate court on footwork and set location.  After the review we went into hitting we kept the keys simple and focused on keeping the ball in front of you hitting high and deep cross court.  We always want our hitters landing on 2 feet because we don't want any ACL tears. The other keys we focused on was hitting high and deep cross court, hitting everything, staying neutral and in balance.  We want all hitters to take 4 steps whenever possible; four steps allow the hitter to change direction and adjust to the set.

The other keys we wanted the hitters to focus on were related to footwork.  We want their approach to go from slow to fast and small to big.  After a couple minutes we went over arms we want to eliminate extraneous movements.  We want hitters to stay tall and get their arms up into a bow and arrow as efficiently as possible.  Arms should start down for the first  to steps then go back on the third step and come up on the fourth step using a double arm lift to get up in the air.

After another round of hitting we discussed torque and the importance of opening to the setter.  Hitters should take off with their belly pointing to the setter and land with their belly facing the net.  This allows them to use their core to generate power and helps prevent shoulder injuries. 

After hitting we worked on setting for non setters.  Players should have their body in an athletic position.  They should have ball shaped hands so they can get their hands up early and set a nice high ball.  After some partner and triangle setting we did a butterfly drill w/everyone setting the off a pass.  We threw in a couple doghouse games throughout the session to emphasize the points we were teaching about hitting.