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Cultivating Setting Arm Strength

It’s crucial to use your legs when setting in volleyball to get the power and distance that you need, but your hands and arms are where you get control and accuracy. By doing drills that take your feet out of the equation you can dramatically improve the arm aspect of your setting.

Drill #1: Set from your knees

Using a partner with this drill will make your life a lot easier, but it’s not a requirement; if you’re on your own you can set against a wall and just chase down any errant sets. If you have a partner, have them stand no more than 10 feet away. Get down on your knees (a yoga mat or some other type of pad is crucial here – or even better a good set of knee pads) and have them toss the ball right to you.

Since you’re on your knees you only have the power generated by your arms, so don’t let your tosser get too far away. Focus on your arm extension and cushioning the ball slightly as you receive it. This drill really pinpoints any flaws in your arm movements, as you can see right away whether you’re extending both hands evenly or if one arm is dominating.

As you get more arm strength you can have the tosser move farther back, but distance is a secondary focus here. What you want to concentrate on is proper hand/arm/wrist cooperation so that you get an accurate set every time.

Drill #2: The Sitting Setter

This is another drill that’s easier/more fun with a partner but could also be done against a wall if necessary. Sit cross-legged on the floor facing your partner, who should also be sitting. Set the ball back and forth to one another as many times as you can without the ball hitting the ground.

This drill emphasizes any inconsistency in your setting even more than the first one because now you have to keep the ball in play. Do your best to only receive the ball above your forehead to maintain the proper form. If you get too out of control your form will ultimately suffer.

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