Every drill you need to become the best beach volleyball setter

 

If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball setting, you may also want to check out our comprehensive setting course! You may also want to take a look at our beach volleyball classes in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach or the South Bay!

This is a long blog. But it's long because it's comprehensive: If you want to learn how to set a volleyball, this is the blog for you. You don't have to read it all in one sitting -- or two or three. It'll be here for as long as we have the internet, so take your time. 

In this blog, you'll find any drill you could possibly need to become a better setter on the beach. You'll find drills to do on your own, drills with a partner, drills with other teams, drills with lots of other teams. You'll find drills for bump setting and drills for hand setting. You'll see videos that will help you to determine when it is more advisable to bump set and when it may be better to let the nectar flow. 

If you're looking to set well, you'll find whatever it is you need to shore up that skill in beach volleyball, we have it here. So take your time. Browse a bit. Let us know what worked best for you and, as always, get out on the beach!

Hand Dig, Set, Set

This drill is intense and it's also technically complicated. We're going to have a coach or a third player who's going to snap a ball diagonally at the defender. The defender must defend that ball with their hands, so this is a high hand dig. We're trying not to go panda hands on this and/or close our hands. We want a hard-driven ball that we can grab. After that dig, the partner then sets the person who dug, and the digger comes in and sets the person who hit the initial hard-driven ball. 

Now we get to the busy part.

After that second set, the original defender must retreat as fast as they can back into the diagonal, because the hitter is going to continue by snapping hard at their face again. Now we're digging again, and the setter must set again, and the digger must then set and retreat into defensive position. 

So, hand dig, set, set, retreat, hand dig, set, set and then you're finished. It's a tough drill. Really great for conditioning, really great for agility and speed. I wish you luck! Let me know how it goes. 

 

 

Triangle Setting

Triangle setting is quite possibly the most-used drill among professionals and beginners alike. It's simple, and it includes the three main elements of beach volleyball: hitting, passing, and setting. 

At least three players are needed: One to hit the ball, one to pass, one to set back to the hitter. 

SKILL FOCUS: Ball Control - Setting

MINIMUM PLAYERS REQUIRED: 3

BEGINNER FRIENDLY: Yes

INTENSITY: Light

STYLE: Repetition Based

DRILL EXPLANATION: All Players will be on the South side of the net.  Player 1 will be at the net straight in front of Player 2 who is in a serve receive position.  Player 3 will start in the other passing position next to Player 2. Player 1 will toss or hit a ball to Player 2, Player 2 will pass to the middle of the court about 5 ft from the net.  Player 3 will set back to Player 1, who will either catch and toss next ball or hit back to Player 2. After 10 reps switch positions. Once everyone has had the chance to set, switch sides.

KEYS:

1) Walk

2) Square to Target

3) Off Foot -Net Foot

4) Extend Finish 

COMMON ERRORS:  

Even though this is a setter drill, Passers can get lazy and not move their feet to pass a ball.  This is a great opportunity for the passer to get a chance to pass.

Setter: Remember that you should be getting square and using the correct footwork.

Pass, set, set, set, catch

This is a perfect beach volleyball setting drill for all levels, but beginners in particular should love this one. It's simple, easy, and gets you a lot of reps in a short amount of time. 

SKILL FOCUS: Ball Control - Setting

MINIMUM PLAYERS REQUIRED: 3

BEGINNER FRIENDLY: Yes

INTENSITY: Light

STYLE: Repetition Based

DRILL EXPLANATION: For this drill, you need three players: One passer, and two setters. The passer begins the drill by tossing a ball to one of the setters, with a height similar to a serve receive pass. Setter One then sets Setter Two, who sets it back to Setter One, who sets it back to Setter Two. Then you catch the ball and rotate: Setter Two becomes the passer, passer becomes Setter One, and Setter One becomes Setter Two. 

 

Over the Net Pepper

This is a favorite of Todd Rogers. And if it's a favorite of his, it should be a favorite of yours. He's an Olympic gold medalist. When the man speaks, you listen. 

 

SKILL FOCUS: Ball Control - Setting

MINIMUM PLAYERS REQUIRED: 4

BEGINNER FRIENDLY: No

INTENSITY: Moderate

STYLE: Repetition Based

DRILL EXPLANATION: Over the net pepper is exactly what it sounds like: You have two teams peppering with each other in a cooperative fashion. It is initiated with a controlled hit to the angle of Team A. Team A will then pass, set, and hit in a controlled fashion down the line of Team B. Team B then passes, sets, and hits in a controlled fashion to the other angle of Team A. 

Do this for five minutes and you'll have an excellent warm up, a good cardio workout, and dozens of great touches. 

 

COMMON ERRORS:  

 

This is a tiring drill, and it's easy to get lazy. Keep those feet moving on all three aspects of the game: move the feet to the pass, move your feet to the set, approach hard to the ball. Keep your swings controlled -- there is no need to bounce these balls. It's a warm-up and touch-based drill. This isn't for The Gram, ok?

 

Solo setting drills

No partner? No problem. Everyone has a house -- most of us, anyway, and for anybody living in vans and garages, we support your Road Dog lifestyle and salute you for it. In the video above, professional beach volleyball player Mark Burik shows you how to use it in the first drill. 

Drill one: Pass, set, hit onto the roof.

If you're fortunate enough to have a roof like Mark's, it'll roll right back and drop onto your platform, where you can repeat. If not, a wall will do: pass, set, hit the ball against the wall, and repeat. 

You can add some vision work as well, by looking at the wall after your set and before your hit. Imagine the wall is the defense, and you need to figure out the spot to hit to score. 

Drill two: Dip, dip, lift

Unfortunately, the name of this drill does not refer to chips and salsa -- dip, double-dip, lift that Hint of Lime Tostito to your mouth. What it refers to is your setting footwork, where you want to step low with your outside foot (dip one), low with your inside foot (dip two) and then lift with both as you set the ball. 

You don't need any materials for this save for a ball (we recommend Wilson, of course). Just get outside, throw the ball up, then imagine your setting: dip, dip, lift. A hard surface is recommended, as you can use the bounce from your first set to then act as a pass for you to set the next ball.

Drill three: pass, set, shoulders knees and toes

This isn't meant exclusively for children, as the song: heads, shoulders, knees and toes, may be. But it's just as simple. You only need a ball and a good attitude for this one. 

First, you pass to yourself, set yourself, then comes the fun part: Your next touch has to be with your shoulder, knee, foot, head -- anything but your arm. Then you use one hand for the next touch -- pokie, slap, tomahawk, whatever. 

Then repeat. 

Try to get 10 in a row. 

Drill four: Poke ball

This is exactly what it sounds like: You're poking the ball (not with a fire poker; we're not savages here!). Beach volleyball is a weird sport sometimes, and you occasionally need to save an errant pass with a poke set. It isn't often, but it happens enough to work on it, especially since you can do it at home. 

How you do it: Poke it overhead with your left hand, then overhead with your right. Then let the ball drop and poke it around your waist, for those sets that jam you in transition. Do this with both hands. Then repeat until you're satisfied. 

 

Dig-stay, set-leave, hit-leave

Well that's a mouthful. But it's a lot because this is a drill that includes a lot of players -- six, to be exact. 

SKILL FOCUS: Ball Control - Setting

MINIMUM PLAYERS REQUIRED: 6

BEGINNER FRIENDLY: No

INTENSITY: Light

STYLE: Repetition Based

DRILL EXPLANATION: Split your group of six into two groups: one group of three to remain on the west half of the court, the other group of three to remain on the east half of the court. 

The two players near the net will be the hitters. The west hitter will hit to the east defender. The west setter then sets the east hitter and goes to the west hitting position. The east hitter then hits at the west defender and then runs to become the east defender. The west defender digs the ball, which the east setter will set to the west hitter. 

Repeat until you've had a lot of reps.

COMMON ERRORS:  

Brain farts. It can be tricky to follow the rhythm of this drill, so make sure to pay attention and communicate where everyone is supposed to go. Also, hit hard enough to challenge, but not too hard to force a sprayed pass and a stoppage in the drill. Nobody likes a drill killer. Don't be that guy. 

 

 

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