Be A Setter In Volleyball

Volleyball Setting Tips

So You Want To Be A Setter...

When I  teach players how to be a setter in volleyball I always like

to start with the lower body.

Specifically, I'll start with the feet and then I work my way up the body,

basically breaking up the setting skill by body part.

This way, when you are by yourself and practicing how to set a

volleyball and you don’t have a coach, you can check your own form

and technique to see if you're performing this skill correctly.

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photo by Luomen

When setting a ball alot of people think that the most important thing

to focus on is the upper body. I always start coaching the setting

skill by focusing on the feet first.

Sure, you set the volleyball with your hands but, if you can’t get to the

ball and if you don't have your body correctly positioned underneath

the ball first, then it won’t matter what you do with your hands because

you won’t be able to set the ball.

The Ready Position For Setting A Volleyball

When you’re in the ready position, it means that your feet should be

planted shoulder width apart so you are in a balanced position able to

move forwards, backwards or to either side quickly.

I’m right-handed so I was taught to have my right foot a few inches in

front of my left foot.

Even if you’re left handed then you want to have your right foot

slightly in front of the left and you should have both knees bent


This lower body position is key to being a great setter in volleyball

because it helps you maintain your balance, so that you can run

to get to any ball.

Your Midsection And Core

This is what I tell my younger girls, for the correct positioning of their

midsection, when you want to be a setter in volleyball, you

should imagine having a stick that has been inserted in your

back where your spine is.

This stick starts from the top of your neck and ends just at your tail

bone and it keeps you from being able to twist your body or bend over

at the waist.

To set the volleyball, once you have positioned yourself

underneath it, you can only squat up and down, like you do

when you sit down in a chair.

With your hands above your head,

  • you can only use your legs to squat down to sit in the chair and 
  • then you use your legs to lift your body out of the squat, just like you do when you get out of the chair, straightening your legs to stand up to contact the ball .

Your Arms:
What To Do As A Setter In Volleyball

The ready position for your arms when you want to be a setter in

volleyball is similar to when you run.

Your arms start at your sides slightly bent at your elbows in a 90 degree


When the ball comes within arm's length above your head, let’s

say two to three feet above it, you want to quickly bring both arms up in

front of you and as your arms come up, bring them closer together.

As A Setter In Volleyball Your Hands Should...

Your goal is to have

This way your hands create a cradle where the ball will settle into when

you contact it above your forehead.

This cradle that you’ve formed is what you use to accompany or lift the

ball back into the air towards your intended target.

One key to remember is that as your arms move back up to the sky with

the ball cradled in your hands you want to keep your hands in the shape

of a triangle for as long as you can. This way you have control of the ball.

Just to double check, the correct hand position when you're a

setter in volleyball is for both of your palms to be turned up to

the sky, which should form that cradle which fits perfectly

around the ball.

Both of your index fingers and thumbs of each hand are not touching

each other but are very close as they form the shape of a loose triangle

which you should place like a window right at the top of your forehead

where your hairline is.

Now in your next volleyball practice, focus on using the correct

technique, body positioning and timing while you do your reps

so that you become a great volleyball setter.

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Volleyball Setting Tips

Setting In Volleyball

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