We at Gold Medal Squared are lucky to have a wonderful group of coaches on our Advisory Staff.  One of the things we are working to do is bring you more of their thoughts and coaching experiences via this blog.

Like many of you, I’ve sat through the clinic session where we create a depth chart of athletes by position for a team we are drafting. The debate centers around who do we draft first. Those who’ve been to previous clinics begin with outside hitters. Some respond with a strong middle. Many begin their draft with a setter. I love those people.

Unfortunately, we know the significance and statistical importance of outsides. If you don’t, then I encourage you to attend a clinic next summer. Yet this season at Arizona State begins, like most, with a number of questions. One such question is: who’s going to set?  While we continue to evaluate this competition with our version of a cauldron, there is more information I need to help my setters and myself:

1 – Sideout Percentage: I want to know this by rotation and for each setter. My manager keeps this number in every competitive drill. Some drills lend themselves well to this eg. Wash Table. Others, you need to take this statistic with paper and pencil. On one whiteboard in my office (I have two whiteboards and need a third), I track the daily sideout percentage of my team and each setter.

2 – Convert Percentage: my manager also keeps this statistic and does so “low tech” with a clipboard, a chart and a pencil. This stat is also broken down by setter and by rotation. These two statistics provide me with a wealth of information on my team. The goal is to be 2% better. Sideout and Convert Percentage are great measurements of that goal.

3 – Setter/Hitter Relationship: our lone “high tech” measurement is looking at the relationship between my setter and who she set. These stats are used in evaluating setter location, difficultly in setting a certain set, biased distribution patterns and effectiveness of their decision making process. In combination with film, it’s a powerful teaching tool.

John Wooden is quoted as saying: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Because, there are no little things. I don’t want there to be anything I overlook in determining the outcome of our setting battle.

Jason Watson – Sun Devil Volleyball