Tip by PJ Gildernew, Chaffey HS in Ontario, CA.
No matter where the server serves from, all passers must face the server (so two of the passers will always be angled and one passer will be straight on with server). If the passer, who is straight on is left or right, then the outside leg should be up so the hips are turned toward the setter target area and the ball only needs to be deflected in the right direction)…it makes the determination of who is getting the ball quicker and places the passer in line with the ball (whether you pass mid line or over one knee) the middle passer needs to be in charge of most communication simply saying “yours / mine” to one of the passers on the left or right of them. Practicing the angle of deflection or elevation of the platform is also very important as you want very little movement in the platform at point of contact with the serve since it has tons of energy already we DO NOT WANT TO ADD TO IT.
Other skills that need to be trained will be “reading” the server…just like “reading” an attacker the passers must “pick up” key information about servers before they actually have to pass the ball in relationship to arm speed at ball contact, type of serve, etc, the other skill that must be trained is how to move the feet/platform as the serve is on its way and still maintain balance (shuffle steps).
I generally like my passers to be closer to the 10 ft line as they seem to be able to not only shuffle quicker back to the end line but control the ball better going back or sideways rather than running forward for the short ball. Last Communication should always take place before the ball crosses the net.