How to Set a Volleyball

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A set refers to an immediate second contact by another player on the Volleyball. This is done to avoid the ball falling into one’s court while passing it on to the opponent team. However, getting a set right comes from constant practice and confidence. Can anyone master this? Yes! All you need to do is to check out this step-by-step guide on how to set a volleyball.

How to Set a Volleyball

A setter is a person who sets a ball in volleyball. He has to find out the weakest blocker in the opponent’s team and direct the ball towards them to make a score. For this, the person should have excellent communication skills along with quick decision-making abilities.

Volleyball player setting a ball during a match

If you want to become a setter for your team, practice this manual thoroughly and work on your skills diligently.

Step #1: Observe The Ball’s Path

As a setter for your team, one should watch out for the ball consistently throughout the game. There is a rare chance that the ball would directly land on you. That’s why one should be ready once the ball comes in their court.

Think yourself in the court, and assess the trajectory of the ball. Is the ball going down as it is approaching the net? Or, will it make it to the other end of the court easily?

If the latter is the case, then you don’t need to worry. But, if the ball is starting to fall off and it seems like it won’t make it through the net, then take your position quickly.

Being a setter, you can either direct the ball towards your teammate or opponent, which solely depends on your stance and fate.

Step #2: Position Your Body

A proper posture is a key to victory in volleyball. Maintaining a correct alignment will help you become a better player and save you from a lot of ligament injuries.

Here are some tips to fix your posture, which you can practice daily as drills to improve your game.

  • Align Your Spine

As a volleyball lover, you might know that the game changes every blink of a second. But even after knowing this, players often neglect the alignment of their spine, which indeed increases the recovery time.

To get everything right and score a point, one should minimize recovery time and focus more on the ball’s trajectory.

To avoid this mistake, don’t lean too much either in a forward or backward direction.

Find your neutral and deflect only a few degrees from it. This will help you save time to change your position or chase the ball in another direction.

  • Set Your Palms

The position of the palms while setting decides the force by which the ball will travel. To set your palms correctly so that you don’t miss a shot,

  1. Place both of your palms right in front of your face.
  2. Make a gap between both hands, assuming that there should be a window to peep through it.
  3. Remember to keep your thumbs at least 2 inches apart. The gap between both hands may vary from person to person. If your hands are big, there should be less gap or vice versa.
  4. Curve your palms as the curvature of the ball. Don’t make your hands stiff. Furthermore, there should be a triangular gap between your hands.
  5. Practice pushing through the ball. Don’t over-push the ball, as it can make the throw less impactful.
  • Focus On Your Wrist Movement

A good wrist movement is the key to a good set. One should not entirely rely on the strength coming from elbows and hop.

Once you set your palms right to receive the ball, make sure that your wrists are relaxed while they are in position. Stiffness in the wrists will not make the throw impactful and would also lead to double contact.

Another critical point is never to receive the ball using your entire hands. Always use your fingertips and make less contact with the ball as possible to avoid fouls.

  • Use Your Arm Strength

The last aspect of hand positioning involves the position of arms. What is the correct arm posture to set volleyball?

  1. Your arms should be at your shoulder level.
  2. While setting a ball, don’t bend your elbows inward. Your elbows should face outward.
  3. Choose the proper position to receive the ball. Don’t receive it too close or too far from the face.
  4. Slightly bend your elbows and push as hard as possible.
  • Use Your Leg Strength

Apart from hand position, your legs are also helpful in generating power to set the ball. To use your leg strength at its best, follow through these steps carefully,

  1. Place your legs at your shoulder distance.
  2. If you are right-handed, keep your right foot forward while your left foot backward. Your feet should be at the ends of the diagonal of an imaginary square.
  3. Slightly bend your knees to create a push. Duck a bit while receiving the ball to create a spring-like effect.
  4. You can hop at your position if the throw requires a greater push. Avoid jumping too high.
  5. Don’t stretch your legs wide apart while playing because it will take more time to get back to the position.

Follow this video to understand better how you can minimize the recovery time after setting the ball once and set a ball accurately.


Research reveals that when a setter carried a perfect dig while playing on the court, the movements and moves in the game changed rapidly, leading to increased setting efficacy.

In short, when a setter performed well, the quality of the attacker came into play that led to better setting results.

Meanwhile, a poor dig resulted in a decrement in the setting efficacy that eventually impacted the entire gameplay.

So you know now how efficient a setter has to be! The team’s fate relies on the best skills of the setter player of the team and the team spirit. By following this step-by-step guide, even you can flourish as a good setter and represent your team in big matches.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.