How to set farther in volleyball: tips for beginning and advanced players

Setting is an important skill in volleyball. This is giving an assist to another player so that he/she can push the ball over the net and score a point. You have to make sure that the ball goes in the right direction and has the correct height so that it is easy for your team member to score a point. In this article, we will discuss how you can set the ball further so that you can make it convenient for your team to score points. 

How to hold your hands for a more powerful serve: set farther

Using the right technique is essential when you want to give a great assist. When you set, you often use an overhand pass (as shown in the image below). This pushes the ball upwards are you are standing below the ball. You can see the ball coming when you use this pass and this can make everything a lot easier. This pass also makes it possible to control the ball very well. Your timing will be essential if you want to execute a great pass.


Let’s take a look at how Rachael Adams, medal winner for Team USA explains this:

Where to stand  

Your position and where your feet are located will also impact how far you will pass. You can bend deeper and put more force behind the ball when your feet are balanced and you are behind the ball.

Stability has a big impact on how you pass the ball and therefore it is something that you have to spend a lot of time practicing. Your position can make an enormous difference in the outcome. The force comes out of your legs and arms. If your legs are not able to add energy, you will not be able to push the ball as far as you want to. 

Therefore, you have to stand stable on your feet and be prepared to receive the ball. You have to anticipate where the ball will land and hold your hands ready. This will give you more time to receive the ball and pass it to your team member.

Communication is essential

Giving an assist can put quite a lot of pressure on yourself. If you don’t do it well, it can be difficult for your team member to score. Therefore they might get angry if the ball doesn’t arrive where they expect that it would. Most players understand that you can make mistakes but in the heat of the moment, they might be frustrated. Don’t take this personally and don’t kick yourself.

Mistakes happen and you have to develop your ball handling technique by practicing a lot. Keeping an optimistic mindset is very important if you want to get better. We all make mistakes and have to learn from them instead of beating ourselves up all the time. Spend your energy on getting better instead of complaining.

Below is a great drill to improve this. We have discussed other communication drills here.

You have to communicate with the defender that will catch the ball (typically the libero) and then also with the player that you are going to pass to (typically a hitter). Being able to know what you expect from each other is essential if you want to be a great setter. Misunderstandings can lead to problems as you will drop the ball. You can talk to each other or use nonverbal ways to communicate so that everyone knows what is expected of them.

Work with a personal trainer

If you are struggling with pushing the ball high enough, you can always work with a personal trainer that offers some suggestions and drills that allow you to improve this. 

One of the best drills that I have found so far is to stand next to a wall and bounce the ball that way. You can also keep the ball in the air and pass it to yourself. This is a great way to practice how high you have to push the ball. 

You can also take a look at the product of Puredrop below that uses an elastic so that the ball comes back to you so that you don’t have to run after it while passing. This will help you to learn more about the direction that you have to send the ball. 

Try to throw it too high

If you don’t throw the ball high or far enough, try to think that you have to throw it farther away. This will push you to use more force and you will get the ball farther away. It takes a lot of practice before you get a feel of how hard you have to touch to push it in the right place.

For me, it took several months before I finally started to use more force and get the ball far enough so that it was easy to use this pass to attack. You need to calibrate and see what type of energy you have to use on the ball. Sometimes you will think that the ball will go too far but it actually arrives in the right place. It is only by trial and error that you will get it right.  

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

Often it is better to pass too high than too low. It will slow down the attack and increase the chance that the other team can see what is happening but it will give the hitter more options to attack if they receive the ball high enough. You can always worry about speed later on. It is better to execute a slow attack than one that is not going over the net at all.

Try with a smaller ball and evolve from there

If your passes don’t get high enough, you can start with a smaller or lighter ball. This will allow you to push the ball higher. Once you get the hang of that, you can step up to a bigger ball and so on until you are able to do it with an official match ball.

This step-by-step approach will allow you to see how much power you have to use on the ball to push it high enough and get it in the right position. This can take quite a lot of practice and time but you will get there. 

Setting is also about having enough trust in yourself. Once you know that you are able to use the correct technique, you just have to practice a lot. After a while, you will feel that you get the hang of it. You will be able to push the ball higher and farther away. A lot of players just don’t put in enough repetitions to get good at it.

Look at how other players do it. 

On Youtube, you can see a lot of professional games. Watching a game can teach you a lot about the best way to practice yourself. These players use their whole bodies and have a lot of ball control. Look at how they use their hands, legs, and feet and try to mimic yourself. A small nuance can have a big impact on the outcome. 

To conclude, we can say that serving further takes quite a lot of practice. It is only if you experiment with different types of energy and force that you will see what works best. It is often better to play the ball too far than not far enough as this gives your team member more time to see where the ball is going.

It also depends on your team as some players prefer to have to ball close to them while others want to have space to run and jump. You have to talk about their playing style with them and see what works. Everyone has his or her approach so not everyone wants to receive the ball in the same place.  

In this post, we have discussed how you can serve further. This will help your team and make sure that you will score more points!