Volleyball - Setting from the ground up.

Victor G By Victor G, 13th Jan 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/171-qgwl/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Sports>Sports

Lots of volleyball players throw their hands up at the ball and call it a set, but the art of setting goes way beyond that. This page will deal with things that turn a setter into an artist on the court.

Great setting starts at the ground.

Body position is everything, and good positioning of the feet sets the base for the setter. Let's start at the net, extend your right arm so it just touches the net while your body is perpendicular to the net. Your right foot should be forward, and pointing to the outside hitter. Your left foot should be back, and angled so that it points toward the middle of the court (assuming you are a little right of center where "target" is). If you have ever seen a fencer in en-guard position, it's very similar. You should bend your knees a little, this makes you very stable, and able to react quickly to any bad passes. Your center of gravity should be right in the middle of your hips, not favoring either foot. Life would be great if we stood in one place and set all day, but since not every pass will be in the same spot, I better cover movement next. It is very important to set from the same body position as often as possible. This helps disguise your intentions until the last second, and makes it harder for the opposing blockers. It is similar to having a tell in poker, you don't want to have it, or you will lose a lot! So how do we keep the same footwork for every set? We HOP! You always want the ball to (theoretically) hit you on the forehead if it came though your hands. So if the ball is nearly coming to you, just hop in the direction you need to go to get to the ball. Land on both feet so the ball will be at your forehead, and make the set. Practice hops in 360 degrees, including short, medium, and long hops. Next is the step-hop. This is for when you need to move a little farther. If you want to go forward, you step with the right foot, then hop, landing in the setting stance, balanced under the ball and ready to set. Going backwards you step with the back foot, then hop, and for most balls off the net, you want to lead with the left foot first. The exception is the 30 degree arc in front of you where you may want to lead right foot first. Next in our footwork pattern is step-crossover-hop, and for the really bad passes its run-hop. Another very important key in this equation is the plant of the hop. Remember when we started in target, and our toe was pointed to the outside hitter? It is still very important to get your landing on the hop turned so that your orientation is toward that left side hitter. When the pass is off the net, they have the best chance of success. They can see the ball, the block, and court even when the set is coming from the middle of the court. Another tip when that pass is bad, use the upright pole as your guide instead of the antenna, this will give you a little more margin for any errors.

Knees, hips and shoulders, and arms.

Your knees should be flexed in your stance at about 135-140 degrees, this will put your weight on your toes. This also helps you in a couple ways. First, if you need to adjust to the ball, you can move easily. Second, when you follow through, you will extend your legs with the set for more power. Both the hips and shoulders should be pointing in the same direction as your right toe. It is important to get your arms above your head to make the set early. Ideally you should get your hands up as the pass is reaching its peak. Elbows should be flexed roughly 90 degrees, this may vary with how long your arms are. Now for the hands. You want them wide open, with fingers spread surrounding the ball. You want to get as many fingers on the ball as possible for the most control. First, rest your hands on your hips, and relax your wrists. Next, keeping the same hand/wrist position, raise your hands above your head, and bring your hands together slightly so that your thumbs and index fingers are about 5" (12 cm) apart and parallel with each other. At this point your palms should be facing towards each other more than facing upwards. As the ball is received into your hands, you will only push up, extending your arms. However much control or "touch" is gained when the ball is absorbed into your relaxed wrists and then flicked out as you extend your arms. This contact is where you will get as many fingers on the ball as possible. As you follow through, your thumbs and index fingers should be the last things to touch the ball, and end up pointing at the ceiling/sky. Try it in slow motion!
Of course this is all very hard to imagine until you have a ball in your hands. You will need to practice these footwork patterns until they become a natural reaction, and you will have to spend hours gaining the ball control in your hands and wrists. In the end, you will be an amazing setter, so stick with it.


Setting, Sports, Volleyball

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author avatar Victor G
I have several areas of interest, including volleyball, health, living green, and the environment.

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author avatar emmy19
8th Jul 2010 (#)

Great write
Follow me too

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