Beach volleyball partners can argue a lot, but I'd like to save you a fight and teach you how to set and where the best players in the world prefer to get set. This video does look at some great players with big verticals and quick arms which means they can hit sets hard and down from far away.
Most volleyball players try to overcome their lack of accuracy in their spikes by hitting hard. If you're a shorter player or you don't have a massive vertical jump, it can be frustrating to hit balls that aren't on top of the net because you never get the feeling of hitting down.
In the video below, we show you examples where there is a big physical blocker at the net, which means tight sets will be gobbled up. At levels below AVP, FIVB CBVA open beach volleyball tournaments, I understand that blockers and hitters aren't as big so you might want to set A LITTLE bit tighter than in this how to set video but remember, even without a blocker, aiming your sets tight during a beach volleyball match means that you are going to give the team a lot of over-sets and your spiker will be forced into a desperate reaching poke more often than not.
As we say in beach volleyball over and over again, "practice safe sets"!
As always, we'd love to see you at our beach volleyball classes in Los Angeles. We are centered in Hermosa Beach but you can find beach volleyball tournaments and accommodations in Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach. Of course, if you come to one of our epic adult beach volleyball camps or exotic trips, we handle the hotel part for you :)
Hey guys, it's Mark Burik again with VolleyCamp Hermosa and Better at Beach and today we are going to talk about hand setting (or bump setting) for beach volleyball. 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 in sand volleyball. How 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 set tighter in order to spike effectively and score more points. 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. If you follow the video and look at the screen here at 0:39, there's a range of error and if you're aiming for this point in the middle where the ball is on that time stamp, 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.
You're going miss some more sets two feet away.
Do you know that bell curve that shows you where you're going to miss when you're aiming for a specific point? Better yet, look at this target and notice what happens when someone is aiming for the bullseye like in the top left target.
So if you're aiming for right on top of the net, you're thinking maybe 30% of your sets are going to be in the blockers hands already. The problem with getting set too tight as you can't take a full swing. So I just want you to look at this is a series of 13-14 points that I recorded from the side of the P1440 a couple of weeks ago and I just wanted to freeze frame every attack and where they are hitting the ball from. And I want you to notice that the sets put the majority of these attacks, 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.
If the ball is closer to the blockers hands, what's going to happen is the blocker can take away more angles behind them. The further away you are, yes, 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 the 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 Smedins and Samoilovs against Leo Williams and Huber. So three Olympians all taking their sets from a good distance off of the net. You can see these sets are about four to five feet off the net
There is no way his arm can touch the net and that holds true from takeoff until he lands after the spike with a full swing at the volleyball. 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. Huber is a little guy. I think he is 5'10" and he's got his set here at 4 feet maybe five feet.
He's not getting touched by the block and not getting affected by it. Same swing right here. The set is pretty far off the net. You can see that where we're getting our sets, you can't even touch the ball, right? You can't even touch the ball. So, we just want to focus on that. Making 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 a some bell curve of error there.
So the best beach volleyball teams in the world are getting their sets way off the net. Do we want it this far off the net? Maybe, maybe not. That depends. When your set IS far off the net, your high line can be super fast. You're not going to be affected in a big way by the blocker from that distance. Also maybe you tempt the blocker to peel and they'll leave the net. That's a great way for a setter and a hitter to get rid of a blocker who can score a lot of points at the net.
When he gets set tight, even though it's still three feet off the net 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 set 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. Of course, that's why we take our full distance approaches.
We start behind half court so that, whether its a hand set or a bump set, the ball can stay in front of us. My recommendation is to make sure that you stop asking for tight sets. Make sure you keep yourself away from the 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.
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