In the game of volleyball, setting is a critical skill that can give teams the advantage in the match. It is important for players to understand the proper stances and techniques to use when setting the ball.

In addition, setter dumping is an effective way to mix up offensive rhythm and deceive opponents.

To help players develop their setting skills, this article provides thirteen tips and four bonus drills. These tips and drills can be used to help players become better setters and become an offensive threat to their opponents.

Setting Stances and Positions

The most common setting position is standing approximately one arm’s length away from the net on the front right side of the court in an athletic and down and ready stance. Consistency in setting position and demanding the ball is important, as is avoiding backpedaling and using crossover steps to move efficiently.

Squaring up to target and facing the location to which the ball is being sent is essential for a successful set. The ball should be taken above the forehead for a balanced and controlled set. Hands should remain down until reaching the ball, then be brought up and extended before the ball arrives. Flexible, yet firm hands should be used with a triangle open space, and the pads of the fingers should be used, not the palms, to volley the ball.

Wrist should be flicked outward to the sides while setting and legs should be used to generate power. Weighted balls may be used to practice power and accuracy.

Setting Techniques

Proper technique is essential for successful setting. This includes consistency in positioning and demanding the ball, avoiding backpedaling for control, balance, and power, and using crossover steps to move efficiently.

Further techniques to consider include:

  • Positioning and Targeting:

  • Stand about one arm’s length away from the net in setting position

  • Setting location is typically the front right side of the court

  • Square up to target and face the location you are sending the ball

  • Contacting the Ball:

  • Take the ball above forehead for balanced and controlled sets

  • Move with hands down until reaching the ball

  • Get hands up and extended before the ball arrives

  • Keep hands flexible, but firm, with a triangle open space

  • Use pads of fingers, not palms, to volley the ball

  • Flick wrists out to the sides while setting

  • Use legs to generate power

  • Communication:

  • Be consistent in setting position and demanding the ball

  • Maintain good communication with teammates

  • Anticipate movement and positioning of hitters

  • Develop consistent rhythm and timing with sets

  • Vary speed and height of sets to keep defense guessing

  • Stay focused and engaged throughout the game

Setter Dumping

Dumping the ball can add pressure to the opposing team and is a good option when the ball is passed too high or close to the net. Opponents typically respect jump sets, so mixing up the offensive rhythm with a dump can be beneficial. Keeping hands in the setter position until the last moment is important and the dumping hand should be turned to face the desired direction. Contacting the ball above if possible and snapping the wrist is critical for successful dumps. The motion should be smooth and fast, with no upward trajectory. Dumping with the right hand can also be effective.
Opponents Respect Jump Sets
Mix Up Offensive Rhythm Dump
Keep Hands in Setter Position Until Last Moment
Dumping Hand Turn to Desired Direction
Contact Above if Possible Snap Wrist
Smooth & Fast Motion No Upward Trajectory
Right Hand Dump Can be Effective