Bump, Set, Spike Vol. 4: Set like a Vet

October 10, 2011
by Justin

I learned about the value of sharing at an early age. Every Friday at St. Paul Preschool was Show and Tell day. All the kids would bring their best toys and put them on display for everyone to see. I loved people that shared their stuff; sharing my stuff, no so much. I would bring my action figures so my cousin and I could play with them. Kevin and I had strict guidelines when it came to our toys. Those guidelines started and ended with one simple rule; you can’t play with our stuff. In volleyball, sharing the ball and giving the opposition various looks can be the difference between a win or a loss. A great setter will give any middle blocker hell if they know how to put their team in the proper position. Nothing gets your team to 25 points faster that being efficient in every phase. Here are a few drills, tips and techniques for all the setters looking to perform in winning time.

Step 1: Warm up


Attack, Bump, Set and Pepper


Pepper is an excellent warm up to get your body loose and ready for these drills. Begin with the attack portion, hitting the ball at the same angle or line that you would in a game situation. Use your partner as the target for the bounce and do the drill for a few minutes just to get your shoulder nice and limber.


After the attack warm up move into bump or pass drill. Aim each pass at your partner giving them the ability to get under the ball and make a solid pass back into your direction. While bumping the ball be sure to concentrate on your technique; your feet should be square and your inner forearms should be in the proper platform position on each pass. To add variation try to use one arm every few possessions.


The next move should be the setting progression. Set the ball high, quick, and short. Your set style should not be predictable to your partner and vice versa. This will give you a simulation to what you’ll see in a game. Without a hitch, proceed into a game of Pepper. The object of this game is not to kill your partner, but you will need to move through your full progression of bumping setting and spiking the ball. This should all be done while you are keeping the ball from hitting the ground and counting each time you both get possession. Set goals each time you do this drill. If you can, try to go for 25 touches each.


Step 2:

Outside Set Drill

Now that you’re warmed up you can begin the Outside Set Drill. The basics of setting are simple, yet these fundamentals should be followed on every set. When setting, be sure that you have your thumbs pointed to your forehead, and a wrinkle in both your wrists. Your elbows should not be pointed all the way out also. Only your fingertips should make contact with the volleyball when performing a proper Set.


To do the Outside Set Drill you need to have at least one extra workout partner feeding the ball to your passer. Set each ball high while aiming to drop the ball right above the top of the net. This gives your hitter the ability to hit at an angle or to have a straight-line attack. If you can find a someone to kill each set more power to you.



Setting is volleyball’s best display of technique. You don’t have to jump out the gym or be a top athlete to perform a set at the highest level. Setting is a skill that can get you a scholarship and most importantly, higher education. Check back next week for BSS Volume 5, where I’ll be giving more drills to get you to the next level. This is Yorick Hempstead, signing off.


Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for Scoutme.com. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle. 

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