Setting


Well, after much practice I think I have become skilled enough at setting to write a little something on the subject. Just to let you know, like Rolly says: "Anyone can set". Trust me. I probably had hands as bad as anybody else on the sand about six months ago, but after a lot of practice and even more playing time, I've gotten better.

First, a couple of tips on how to set. Yeah, I'm sure everybody pretty much knows how, they just can't pull it off. For me, I start by getting directly beneath the ball, so the ball would hit my head if I didn't set it. Then, I get my arms up and my hands spread wide. You should form a loose triangle with your index fingers and thumbs. This triangle should be just wide enough so the ball doesn't contact your palms, but just small enough so it doesn't slip thru. Remember to keep your arms slightly bent at the elbows. Once the ball comes down I usually contact it with my firsst two fingers & thumb on each hand; the other fingers are just there to help guide the ball in case it's spinning or something. Then, I bend my hands at the wrists to match the velocity of the ball, but at the same time slowing the ball down. Once my wrists are bent as far as they can go, I snap them back up and at the same time extend my arms up. This should propell the ball with enough force and avoid a carry.

So now that you have the basics of how to set, the question remains: how can I set better? The answer is so simple: Practice. All I did to improve my setting was to sit on the floor and set the ball constantly for about 20 minutes a day. Practice with setting spinning balls too. It was that simple. If you do this, in a few weeks you should have enough control so that you have a "good" set (the ball doesn't spin when it leaves your hands and it just seems to float). To develop accuracy with your sets, play a lot. That seems to be the only way to work on setting different passes to the same spot every time. Remember, two-man setters have to be much more consistent than indoor, because you are setting the same person every time. Although you may set closer to the net for no blockers and off the net against a blocker, you pretty much set the same way each time.

In order to keep a consistent set, remember these tips:
* keep your feet moving to get under the ball
* bump set if you not in correct hand-setting position
* keep your body square to the ball, never try to do a side-set
* never underestimate the value of a cheesy hit over on two if there's no way you can set the ball

Just remember to practice a lot and play on the court a lot. Play with people better than you. Offer to be all-time-setter if you're playing threes or fours. Setting is the only way to get better at setting.

Also, I just want to mention that a setter's duties don't end with the set. You also have to give your partner a line or angle call, and be in position in case the ball is blocked or dug over the net. Go from setting directly into defense.
I hope these thought help you out, and happy setting...