How to Set a Volleyball
Setter Training Tips

How to set a volleyball. 

Goal of Setting

Before you learn how to set, think about what you are trying to do. The goal of setting is to be able to send the ball to a teammate using overhead finger action. 

Hand setting is used for setting a teammate so they can hit. For setting a teammate, the goal is to set the ball in such a way that makes it easier for the teammate to spike the ball. 

The other time you use hand setting is for when you hand set the ball as an attack. This would be taking the ball overhead and using finger action on the ball to send the ball over the net to the opponent. In this situation, you are trying to score by placing the ball into the opponents court.

What's important for setting is being accurate with placing the ball. So, if you are setting the ball to a teammate, you want to be accurate with where you place your set. If you are attacking by using a hand setting motion, you want to be accurate with where you attack the ball to the opponents court. 

The other thing to be focused on is setting the ball legally. There are rules for how you contact the ball. The ball cannot be caught or thrown. Consider the rules for setting. When you set the ball, you don't want to hold on to the ball. It's the referees judgement to determine if you catch the ball. If the referee were to judge you as catching the ball, the referee would blow the whistle and make the signal for illegal contact. The opponent would get a point and your team would lose the ball. 

It's also illegal to double contact the ball. Double contact is when you contact the ball multiple times. When setting, if the ball hit's the fingers multiple times, then this will likely be whistled a double contact. For the first team contact, the ball can be doubled. For the second and third team contacts, the ball can't be legally double contacted. It's the referees judgment that determines whether the ball was illegally contacted by a player. 

It's best to learn the skills that will help you avoid being called for illegal contacts. Also, by having developed setting skills, you will be able to set the ball more accurately and consistently to your teammates. 

How to Set a Volleyball

To become good at setting a volleyball, you need to practice the technique. The following are some tips for quickly learning how to set a volleyball. 

  • Create a symmetrical hand position. It's best to contact the ball evenly on both hands. If you contact the ball more on one hand than the other, you are more likely to put spin on the ball. When you set, you don't want to create spin. Focus on taking spin off the ball and set the ball without creating spin. 
  • Get the hands high and keep them high. Contact the ball with the arms comfortably extended high. Take the ball in high and keep the ball high when you set. Focus on not bringing the ball down really low. This is a common mistake for beginners. If you bring the ball in low, the set will be slower and it will be difficult to set the ball higher to the hitter.
  • Maintain the hand position throughout the setting motion. You want a consistent hand setting motion. Maintain the hand position to help prevent you from double contacting the ball. This will also help you control the ball. 
  • Contact all fingers on the ball. Get all your fingers on the ball so you can control the ball better. 
  • Focus on fast hands. You want to create fast hands so you can set the ball fast and set the ball far. The faster you can set the ball the easier it will be to set the ball accurately.
  • Minimize your elbow bend. You don't want to bend the elbows a lot. If you have a lot of elbow bend then you will be holding onto to the ball. The longer you have the ball in your hands the better chance there is of something going wrong. If held too long, the referee will call a lift on the setter for holding onto the ball.
  • Set to yourself, to a wall, or to a partner for 5 minutes every day. If you practice just 5 minutes a day, you will improve your setting skills fast. Focus on good technique. You want perfect reps. 
  • Learn the footwork for setting. You won't be able to set if you can't get in position. Learn the footwork for getting in position quickly. Practice taking a lot of steps to get in the position to set. Work on improving your range to the ball.
  • Set a ball that's being passed. Especially if you are training to be a setter, you need to set a ball that's being passed by a teammate. You need to learn to read your teammates passing. Watch your teammates move to the ball. Watch how they are passing. Read and anticipate where the ball is being passed. Getting to the correct position to set is critical. By reading the passer and moving the feet efficiently, you will be able to get in position to set faster. 

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How to Hand Set Volleyball Setting Explained