• The basic skill is called the "pass" when receiving the serve, and the "dig" when handling an opponent's attack.



    • Start in the "Ready Position"

    • Straight arms away from the body

    • Extend legs and move arms from shoulders

    • Contact the ball on the FOREARMS

    • Finish with hands pointing to target


    • "Stuck in the mud" - no movement
    • Bent elbows
    • Too much arm swing
    • Contacting the ball with hands apart
    • Contacting the ball on the hands not the forearms


    • Be "ready" with arms at 90 degrees from your body.
    • Bend at the waist - shoulders forward - hips back.
    • Maintain 90 degree angle between arms and upper body.
    • Legs should also be bent.


    • Ball should come off the same spot on lower forearms (just above the wrists) each time.
    • The ball should be contacted at hip level as often as possible.


    • Keep hips BACK during pass.
    • If you need to swing your arms, the arms should swing in only one direction (toward target) while passing.


    • Make sure your forearms face in the direction you want the ball to go.
    • Start out facing the server, and always face the ball when you pass.


    • Move to the ball without crossing your feet.
    • Try to get to the spot before the ball does.


    First, a couple of tips on how to set. Yeah, I'm sure everybody pretty much knows how, they just can't pull it off. For me, I start by getting directly beneath the ball, so the ball would hit my head if I didn't set it. Then, I get my arms up and my hands spread wide. You should form a loose triangle with your index fingers and thumbs. This triangle should be just wide enough so the ball doesn't contact your palms, but just small enough so it doesn't slip through. Remember to keep your arms slightly bent at the elbows. Once the ball comes down I usually contact it with my first two fingers & thumb on each hand; the other fingers are just there to help guide the ball in case it's spinning or something. Then, I bend my hands at the wrists to match the velocity of the ball, but at the same time slowing the ball down. Once my wrists are bent as far as they can go, I snap them back up and at the same time extend my arms up. This should propel the ball with enough force and avoid a carry.

    So now that you have the basics of how to set, the question remains: how can I set better? The answer is so simple: Practice. All I did to improve my setting was to sit on the floor and set the ball constantly for about 20 minutes a day. Practice with setting spinning balls too. It was that simple. If you do this, in a few weeks you should have enough control so that you have a "good" set (the ball doesn't spin when it leaves your hands and it just seems to float). To develop accuracy with your sets, play a lot. That seems to be the only way to work on setting different passes to the same spot every time. Remember, two-man setters have to be much more consistent than indoor, because you are setting the same person every time. Although you may set closer to the net for no blockers and off the net against a blocker, you pretty much set the same way each time.

    In order to keep a consistent set, remember these tips:
    * keep your feet moving to get under the ball
    * bump set if you not in correct hand-setting position
    * keep your body square to the ball, never try to do a side-set