Volleyball Setting Drills at Home

Group of people playing volleyball at beach, elevated view

Setting in volleyball is a crucial part of running a successful offensive. In order for a setter to be comfortable and consistent, she must be willing to work hard not only in the gym but at home. There are several basic skills a setter can work on at home to improve.

Successful Setters

Successful setters must have good eye-hand coordination and a good feel or touch for the volleyball. To improve these skills at home, simply stand and set a volleyball straight up and down without letting it hit the ground. Once this drill becomes easier, you can set the ball forward and back and left and right, moving to stay with it.

Body Position in Setting Drills

Setters should start in a balanced position with feet shoulder width apart and right foot slightly in front of the left foot. According to the book "Coaching Volleyball," the setter's wrists should be "cocked so that the angle between the forearms and hands is 135 degrees or less." Bob Miller says in "The Volleyball Handbook" that "the player's index fingers should be spread 2 to 3 inches apart with the thumbs facing each other or back toward the setter." Ball contact should come above the forehead on the pads of the fingers. The ball should sink well into the hands for an instant and then be pushed out to the target. To practice this at home, stand 2 feet from a wall and check that your body position is correct. Next, hold a volleyball in your hands above the forehead and gently set the ball on the wall, using only the wrists to propel the ball.

Setting Progression

The focus of this drill is to set with the correct hand positions and to work on quicker and shorter releases.

The setter starts by setting the ball straight up and down, about 5 feet in the air. Without stopping, the setter then goes down to her knees, then sits and then lies without dropping the volleyball and continuing to set. After setting several balls while lying on her back, the setter works her way back to a standing position without losing control of the volleyball.

Basic Setting Drill

The focus of this drill is to make sure the setter is squarely behind the ball and makes smooth ball contact.

One person, a ball tosser, stands 10 feet away from the setter. The setter should begin in a balanced position with hands above the forehead, ready to set the ball. As the ball is released with an underhand toss from the partner, the setter moves to be centered behind the ball and catches it above the forehead before pushing it back to the tosser. After 10 to 20 repetitions, the setter and tosser should switch. Once they're successful with setting 10 feet apart, the players can move 15 and then 20 feet apart and repeat.

Advanced Setting Drill

The focus of this drill is to provide continual ball movement in a sequence similar to match situations.

The tosser stands approximately 20 feet directly in front of the setter. The tosser underhands a ball to the setter, who then sets the ball back to the tosser. This process is repeated until each person has made 20 perfect sets. Make this drill more advanced by having the tosser vary where she tosses the ball to the setter, each time making the return set more difficult.