What is Setting in Volleyball
3 Skills to Master

What is setting in volleyball?

Setting is the act of sending the ball to a teammate in such a way that gives the teammate a good chance to attack the ball. 

Setting can be done with overhead finger action on the ball (a handset) or by using the forearms (a bump set). 

What is Setting in Volleyball - Learning to Set

It can take a lot of practice to become good at setting. To hand set the ball correctly, you need to get in position to take the ball overhead. The ball comes down into the hands and you must contact the ball a certain way to control the ball. Proper technique will help you be a consistent and accurate setter and also help prevent an illegal hit. 

Basically, when hand setting, the ball must contact the fingers evenly so there aren't multiple contacts on the fingers. Also, the ball can't be caught or thrown. 

Bump setting is generally easier for beginners. The bump set is basically a forearm pass to a teammate. 

What this video to learn about the 4 common characteristics of great setters.

Technique for Hand Setting - Master 3 Skills

These are the 3 main skills you need to focus on to become a great setter. 

  1. Positioning. To be a great setter, you need to be good at getting into the correct position to set. And you need to know what good position is. The position for hand setting is having the hands high. Get the hands high and keep the hands in the shape of the ball.  
  2. Setting Motion. The setting motion needs to be consistent. The position of the hands at pre-contact, during contact, and after contact should all be the same. If you can maintain a consistent hand setting motion then you will be more accurate and consistent with your sets. You are also more likely not double contact the ball. 
  3. Anticipation. Anticipation is the most important skill. If you can't anticipate correctly, then you can't get into the correct position to set. You must get good at reading your teammates. You need to watch your teammates and get good at anticipating where they are going to pass the ball. If you don't anticipate well, then you won't be good at getting to where you need to be to set. The better you anticipate, the better you will be at adjusting your feet to get in position. 

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3 Setting Skills You Must Master

How to Set with More Power

The key to setting the ball further is to increase the speed of your hands. 

Set the ball faster and you will generate more power. 

You want to get the ball in and out of the hands faster. 

The faster you set, the further you will set the ball. 

Elbow bend will slow down your sets!

3 Tips to setting the ball further...

1. Keep the hands high. If you can keep the hands high, you will set higher. 

2. Minimize elbow bend. If you can avoid bending the elbows, then you will set the ball faster because the ball will get into and out of your hands faster. 

Practice setting the ball to the wall. Keep the hands high. Focus on the hands and wrists. Don't move the arms. This will train you to get the ball in and out of the hands fast. 

3. Turn into the ball as you set. You can generate a lot of power by rotating the upper body as you are setting the ball. When possible, get to the net and face the passer. Be facing the incoming ball and as the ball is about to arrive, turn quickly to the right. Make this quick "right turn" as you set the ball. This is for all sets - setting the ball outside, middle, and back. You may be surprised that by making this quick right turn, you will actually be able to back set the ball further!

4 Steps to Mastering Setting

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Setter Training Tips How to Master Setting a Volleyball

5 Exercises to Increase Setting Power

Obviously, you can also focus on strength training exercises to help you become stronger for setting. Here are 5 exercises to help increase upper body strength and power for volleyball setters.

1. Medicine Ball Throws. Chest passes, overhead passes, rotational throws, and overhead slams are all good power exercises to help you increase more power for setting.
2. Push ups.
3. Pull ups. 
4. Overhead presses. Overhead presses will help the setter be stronger at overhead actions such as setting and serving.
5. Handwalks. Handwalks increase upper body strength. 

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Setter Training and How to Set a Volleyball With More Power

Setter Footwork - What is Setting in Volleyball

Footwork is a big part of becoming a successful setter. You need to learn how to move efficiently to quickly get in the correct position to set. Many players ignore footwork and just focus on getting to the ball quickly. Don't make this mistake! You need to learn how to get in position efficiently. You can easily become quicker just by becoming a more efficient setter. You do this by developing consistent footwork.

Watch the video here for more on how to develop consistent setter footwork.