Setting a beach volleyball

How to Set a Beach Volleyball

Last Updated: May 31, 2024By

Setting Basics 1 of 3

Setting Basics 2 of 3

Setting Basics 3 of 3

The set in beach volleyball is usually the second ball contact and is arguably the most important. It is usually used to deliver a ball to the attacker. If the set is good, then the team has a much higher chance to score. 

The set is usually performed overhead, or underarm as a bump set, and in some situations it can be done with other skills, like a pokie. This article only discusses the technique required to learn the overhead set.

The key points for setting a beach volleyball overhead

There are several key areas that you will need to understand and work on to become a good hand-setter on the beach.

  • Hand and arm position
  • Wrist movement
  • Posture
  • Moving to the ball
  • The timing of the set

Hand and arm position

The first thing to understand is how the hands and fingers should contact the ball. 

I heard another coach describe it as holding an enormous hamburger and bringing it down towards your mouth. And I think this is actually a pretty good way to describe the position you need to be holding your hands. Here are a few points that you should take note of as you try to find this correct position:

  • Your hands should be above your head and you should be looking up to the sky.
  • Your elbows should be wide not quite on either side of your ears a little bit forward but definitely not in front of you.
  • Your hands should be holding the ball as if it were a hamburger which means that your hands are on either side of the ball not under the ball.
  • The distance between your first two fingers and your thumbs should be the same.

Wrist Movement

The wrist movement is one of the hardest things for beginner players to get used to.  in the video on this page, I describe it as a set of doors on hinges that move back and forth.  the best way to understand this is to watch the video because describing it with words is very difficult.

Posture

The posture of your body is similar to the posture you need when you’re digging a volleyball but you’re more upright and your legs are closer together it is still very important that your knees are bent and there is tension and flexion in your body.  being able to make small adjustments to get yourself into the perfect position is very important.  as is being able to use your legs hips and torso to put power through the ball to help you push the ball through the set.

Moving to the Ball

Just like digging a volleyball moving to the correct position is extremely important.  Every time you set the beach volleyball your body should be in pretty much the same position.  to achieve this your legs need to do a lot of work to move you to the correct position underneath the ball to keep this consistency in your posture.

Timing of the Set

when I talk about timing the set it’s about the movement of different parts of your body in beach volleyball you don’t just sit with your hands as an indoor set it does you’re using your entire body from your ankles knees hips shoulders to push the ball so that your hands don’t have to do so much work.  this is how the good set achieves that silky smooth movement.  it’s by taking the pressure away from the hands and wrists and providing power through the whole chain of movement.

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