Volleyball Practice Drills
For Setters and Non-Setters

Discover some of the setting practice drills we do in Volleyball Voice Boot Camp classes and learn why we do them.  


The volleyball practice drills we do for setting in boot camp classes follow the same logic we use to do ALL six basic volleyball skills. 



We believe that players need to do ALOT of setting repetitions in a short amount of time in order to improve their technique. 

We've built out Boot Camp class reputation on our ability of having players touch 1000 - 2000 reps in one sixty minute or ninety minute session. 

We loosely follow the sequence of volleyball practice drills for setting taught in the USA Volleyball High Performance programs but then I add my own twist.

I've added on drills and elements learned during my professional volleyball player experience while in Italy. 


Volleyball Practice Drills:
My Coaching Philosophy


I believe that ALL players regardless of the position they play in, need to be good at performing all six basic volleyball skills.  

I've seen it happen repeatedly... a "libero" who knew how to hit in the front row was needed to play in a tournament as an outside hitter because the regular outside hitter got hurt or sick.

The "libero" who participated in spiking front row during volleyball practice drills was prepared to change her position and step into a different role which helped get the team out of a predicament.



This is why I have all of our advanced players, regardless of their position, do the following volleyball practice drills for setting. 


Partner Setting with Coach
Calling The Sets


All the players break into groups of two with partners and a ball. 

One player is on the ten foot line facing their partner on the end line. 

They begin overhand setting the ball until I call out the volleyball "set" they are to perform. 

The first call is usually - a "4" set back and forth.

The "4" is the high ball set setters set to the left front player. Both players set the "4" back and forth until I make the next call.  

Things I'm looking for:

  • The "4" is a high ball 8 - 10 feet in the air that has a distinct peak at the height of its flight - like an "A" which should happen midway between the two players.
  • This set, shaped like an "A", when done correctly should drop right on the head of the intended target/partner. 
  • Everyone on the team including middle blockers should all be able to set a "4".
  • The intended target should NOT have to move in order to set the next ball. This is target practice and partners should be working hard to make the same set, the same height on each and every contact. 
  • Our Boot Camp class standards are high so we expect the ball to travel the same distance and peak at the same height for each set performed by both partners.

Not only that, I don't make the next call until I see there's consistency in all the players performing the "4" set. 

The next call...

Without stopping the ball partners are required to listen to the next call and perform the next set...without letting the ball stop or drop between them. 


Set a "2" to yourself and a

"hut" to your partner. 


Each player sets a "two-ball" which is a ball set straight up and down 2 - 3 feet above the head of the setter...before setting a "hut".

A "hut" is an outside, second tempo set that's lower than the "4", has some arc and no peak which at its highest point is 4-5 feet above the net. 

After two minutes of doing these reps the next call would be...


Set a "1" to yourself and

a "Go" to your partner. 


These are first tempo sets, which means these are the fastest paced sets a hitter can hit.

The "one" goes to the middle blocker while the "go" is set outside to the left side hitter


Volleyball Practice Drills For Setting
The "Go" and the "One"


What's the "Go" set?

A fast set to zone 4 travels nearly 2 - 3 feet above the net with no arc or peak at a high speed then the "Hut" or the "Go".


What's the "One" set?

A quick set usually given to the middle blocker that's one foot above the top of the net, usually set in Zone 3. 


Set a "2" to yourself and

"side set a 4" to your partner. 


What's the "side" set?

Players make a quarter turn to their right or left before setting the ball over their shoulder to the intended target. 


What's the "4" set?

The "4" set is a high balll with a peak like an "A" which is set 8 - 10 feet in the air before dropping and landing on the targeted spot in Zone 4. 


Volleyball Practice Drills For Jump Setting


Here are more volleyball sets I've called.  


Set a "1" to yourself and

"jump set a 4" to your partner. 


What's the "jump" set?

When a player jumps to set a ball, completing the contact and release before landing. 


Here's a call I use to get back setting reps into our volleyball practice drills.


US Olympian Courtney Thompson back setting to her hitter.US Olympian Courtney Thompson back setting to her hitter.

Set a "4" to yourself and

"back set a 5" to your partner. 


A "5" set is a high ball set behind the head of the setter, usually 6 - 8 feet in the air delivered to Zone 2 for the right side player to hit. 

The key to the back set is quickly completing your half turn underneath the ball before setting it. 

Many players turn too slowly under the ball,  so the ball has already come down before they are in correct back setting position. 

This version of the coach's volleyball practice drills for setting allows you to 

  • quickly identify where the ball is going to come down
  • quietly getting to that spot and
  • completing a half turn so their back is to their target BEFORE the ball reaches their setting hands
  • Communication - this is a cooperative drill which means both partners need to work together to make this drill work. The partner who is setting absolutely needs to make a call to their partner who is backsetting. The back setter will not see their target but they can definitely hear them. When the non-setter makes a call like "right here" or "Yes" then the back setter should set to the voice. 

For players that are looking for new practice drills that you can do at home and in your spare time, or introduce during club or high school workouts you might want to learn a few of these yourself or share some of the ones above.

Understanding some of the setting volleyball drills we do in Boot Camp class may spark a few ideas about some practice repetitions you can do at home.


Thank you for visiting this page. I'd love to know which volleyball practice drills are your personal favorites.

Be sure to leave me a comment in the box below to let me know your thoughts. 

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Related Links:

Digging Drills Why We Do Them in Boot Camp Class

Essential Volleyball Setting Drills Taught By Five Pro Setter Specialists

Practice Drills For Setters and Nonsetters

Hitting Drills We Do To Beat The Block, Hit Deep Corners, Mix Up Shots and Spike For Points in Offense



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