Beach Volleyball Spiking and Setting Tips: How Shorter Players Sideout


Hey guys welcome back to VolleyCamp Hermosa / Better at Beach! We’re going take you through some Side-out points. We have Alexander Huber from Austria and his partner Leo Williams from South Africa who are both great players on the FIVB World Tour.

How far off are we setting for a perfect set? Most people think they want the ball tighter, but if we look consistently at the best players in the world, they're taking the ball four-five-and six feet from the net so that they have plenty of space and the blocker can't play as much of a role in the game. – Mark Burik


If you love this type of video with in depth beach volleyball tips for setting and spiking along with the thought process behind tactics on the professional tour, you can take some next steps!

Download our free beach volleyball drill book

Sign up for our Online Beach Volleyball Courses. Our most popular membership which includes, among other skills, our full setting course and attacking / spiking course is called Beach Volleyball Mastery.


Speaker 1: (00:01)
Hey guys, it's Mark Burik again with VolleyCamp Hermosa and Better at Beach. I wanted to do something really quickly today because I run into this a lot during my classes and it's about how tight we should set the ball. Wow far the best players in the world are off the net when they're hitting? I often get told by shorter players that they need the ball tighter in order to be effective. The problem with this mentality is that if you ask somebody to set you one, maybe two feet off the net, there is going to be a range of error. So if we look at the screen here, there's a range of error. If you're aiming for this point here in the middle where the ball is, you're going to miss a lot one foot away, you're going to miss a lot one foot away, and then you're going to miss some more two feet away.

Speaker 1: (00:56)
You're going to miss some more two feet away. And then of course, that bell curve shows you where you're going to miss when you're aiming for a specific point. So if you're aiming for right on top of the net, you're thinking maybe 30, 30% of your sets are going to be in the blockers hands already. Okay. And the problem with getting set too tight as you can't take a full swing. So I just want you to look at this series of 13 or 14 points that I recorded from the side of the P 1440 a couple of weeks ago. I just wanted to freeze frame every attack and where they are hitting the ball from. I want you to notice that the majority of these attacks are at least four feet off. The players have full room to swing and they are less affected by the block because they're so far away.

Speaker 1: (01:44)
If the ball is closer to the blocker's hands, what's going to happen is the blocker can take away more angles behind them. The further away you are, you do give the defender a little bit more reaction time for your heat, but you still have more angles to get around the block because this shadow behind them gets skinnier. So I'm just going to take you through this series of photos. You can see for yourself where some of the best beach volleyball players in the world are taking their sets. This is Latvia here. This is Plavins and Samoilovs versus Leo Williams and Alexander Huber. So, three Olympians all taking their sets from a good distance off of net. So this is number one right here. You can see it's about four to five feet off the net.

Want to show your support and help us make more content? Buy a cool beach volleyball...

Premium Tank Top Tachikara Hammock Style Portable Ball Cart

Speaker 1: (02:27)
There's no way his arm can touch the net. Same thing after a full swing. His arm is still two to three feet from the net. So this looks like he's taking his set maybe five feet from the net. Same distance. This guy's a little guy, 5'10", maybe 5'11", and he's got his set here. Again, maybe five feet. He's not getting touched by the block and not getting effected by it. Same swing right here. Pretty far off the net. You can see that where we're getting our sets, you can't even touch the net. The blocker definitely can't touch the ball. We just want to focus on that. Make sure that when you get the set, you're not asking for it too tight because your partner is not going to be perfect. They're going to have some bell curve of error there.

Speaker 1: (03:22)
These are the best teams in the world and getting their sets way off the net. Do we want it this far off in net? Maybe, maybe not. Depends. But your high line can be super fast. You know, you're not going to be affected in a big way by the blocker from here. And maybe you tempt them to peel and they'll leave the net. See this, when he gets set this tight, even though it's still three feet off the net maybe, right? He still can't reach the net. But you can see how much of the angles around here, Samoilovs can take away from him. The tighter you are to the net, the more angles the blocker can take. So we just want to focus on a little bit of distance from the net and being comfortable getting it there. And that's why we take our full distance approaches.

Speaker 1: (04:06)
That's why we start behind half court so that the ball can stay in front of us. So my recommendation is make sure that you stop asking for tight sets. Make sure you keep yourself away from the volleyball net and you will get blocked less and you will get more kills. That is your quick little lesson on how far should I set from the net. If you're interested in more videos, go dive into the rest of my blog. We also offer some video coaching so you can send us your videos as well and we can coach your game. We can critique your game based on your video. One of our professional player coaches will sit down with you and talk to you via a ZOOM session and go through your video play by play so that they can help you. We also have classes, almost every day in Hermosa Beach and we have a lot of camps coming up next year. So if you're interested in a seven day beach volleyball training camp in California, please bring it out. You're more than welcome. Hope you enjoyed the video. Have a good one.

See if you can apply it to your game. Follow along and good luck! I hope you enjoy the video. If you want some more, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking the bottom right of the video, follow us on Instagram and on Facebook @markburikbeachvolleyball or @betteratbeachvolleyball


Join our email list and Get your FREE Drill Book >

If you want to get more power, more accuracy, more consistency and more vision as well as the offensive mindset and strategies that win matches, you should sign up for our Beach Volleyball Mastery. We take you through the basics and then work all the way up to advanced tactics and swing selection to keep the defense on their heels!

We also show you how to find the offense that’s best for YOU and when to use your different attacks so you can beat specific types of players. Once inside the membership, you’ll be able to unlock “Side Out and Win Tournaments: The Attacking Master Class” and “Fix Your Arm Swing in 21 Days” which will build you a new, more powerful, pain-free arm swing from the ground up. It comes complete with rehab protocol, gym exercises you need to increase arm speed, and elite throwing and hitting drills.

We also include with 8 more skill courses AND our 60 Day At-Home Max Vertical Jump Training Program

Once you sign up, you'll be able to watch the in-depth tutorials, film your “before” videos, start and film your at-home drills and begin posting to our Private Facebook Group. Then, our coaches will break down your mechanics and spacing and timing at our weekly online meetings. Yes, that means we look at YOUR videos and we coach YOU!

Facebook Group CTA VolleyChat! Get Better at Beach Volleyball for posts about common questions/ problems >


Join our email list today and we'll send you a FREE BEACH VOLLEYBALL DRILL BOOK!!!

Also receive new drills, tutorials, tips, special discounts and updates from our team. Your information will not be shared.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.