How to be a Good Setter in Volleyball?

  • February 8, 2021

A setter is a very important player of a volleyball team. A setter works closely with a hitter and helps a volleyball team organize attacks.

The job of a setter is to help a hitter carry out a successful attack hit. A good setter can contribute greatly to the success of a volleyball team.

In fact, being a good setter is not easy. Whether you are a beginner setter, who has just started mastering the art of setting, or an experienced setter, who just want to improve your setting skills, you should aim to become a good volleyball setter.

In this blog, we’ll talk about the setter’s role and the responsibilities on the court, provide you insights into the setting process and share some tips that you need to follow to be good at volleyball setting.

So, let’s get started.

What’s a Setter in Volleyball?

First of all, let’s try to find out who a volleyball setter is and what a setter does on the court.

The reality is, every volleyball player has his/her own role on the court. And of course, a volleyball setter is no exception.

Some volleyball players are responsible for attacks, others take responsibility for team’s defense. The main responsibility of a volleyball setter is to help hitters organize their attacks.

A setter has to setup the ball for a hitter. After that, a hitter hits the ball. A setter has to set a ball in a way that allows a volleyball hitter to carry out an attack hit successfully.

What Makes a Good Setter in Volleyball?

Actually, there are many things that affect hitter’s success. Let’s dig deeper into the topic and try to find out what exactly makes a setter successful.

It’s incredibly important for a setter to know hitter’s preferences very well. In other words, a setter has to know what type of a set a hitter wants to receive. It’s worth noting that some hitters can hit all types of volleyball sets. However, there are also the hitters who give a preference to certain types of volleyball sets.

It’s fair to say that a setter is a volleyball player, who brings the team together. A setter is has to be a good leader. A setter has to pick the right momentum and set the ball correctly.

A setter has to be a good communicator. It’s fair to say that a setter is a volleyball player, who communicates a lot on the court during games and practices. Setters constantly communicate with volleyball hitters on the court.

Oftentimes, volleyball setters use hands as well as verbal signals to communicate with their teammates.

The Different Stages of the Setting Process

It’s incredibly important for a volleyball player to set the ball in the right way. That’s why a volleyball player should have an understanding of the setting process. A volleyball set consists of several stages. These include:

  1. Approaching to the ball
  2. Taking a setting position
  3. Taking a setting action

And of course, a volleyball player has to do a great job at each of these stages to succeed in setting. Now, let’s dig deeper into each stage of the standard volleyball setting process.

In order to set the ball, a volleyball player has to approach to it first. A setter has to act quickly and try to get to the ball as soon as possible.

When a setter gets to the ball, he/she has to prepare for a volleyball set. A volleyball player has to take the correct setting position first.

Volleyball player’s body has to face the target. Volleyball player’s back has to be straight, knees have to be bent and hands have to form the shape of the ball.

Now, it’s time to take an action and set the ball. A setter has to contact the ball above the forehead.

Setter’s elbows have to be bent. A setter has to use the power of legs to set the ball.

This is how the standard process of setting looks like. Now, let’s try to find out what volleyball player can do to improve his/her set.

Tips to Become a Good Volleyball Setter

Setters should aim to make their game predictable for hitters. On the other hand, a setter has to be unreadable for his/her opponents. It’s crucial for volleyball hitters to get consistent sets all the time. That means that volleyball setter’s approach has to meet volleyball hitter’s approach. Keep in mind that there are a lot of things that you can do to improve your game and become a better setter.

Here are the tips for becoming a good setter in volleyball:   

A volleyball setter has to set the ball with the right speed and the right height. But most importantly, a volleyball player should set the ball accurately and do his/her best to hit the target.

– Practice setting a lot. Those volleyball players, who want to become good setters, should develop and improve their setting skills on a regular basis.

– Get creative about setting. A volleyball player shouldn’t set the ball the same way all the time. Obviously, you should make it difficult for opponents to understand your plans. So, the opposing team’s blockers will find it hard to prepare for a hit and resist an attack. Set the ball to different hitters.

– Oftentimes, it’s necessary to adjust a setting strategy to the height of the opposing team’s blockers. Change the height or speed of setting if such a need arises. By doing so, you will make it difficult for your opponents to resist your attack. A setter should do every single thing possible to diversify his/her setting strategy and make themselves unreadable for the opposing team’s blockers.

– It makes a lot of sense for a setter to make experiments. A volleyball setter should try different strategies. Those volleyball setters, who experiment a lot, sooner or later will be able to develop their own setting technique that works.

– As we have already said, a setter and a hitter work closely together. That’s why a setter should work as a hitter. A setter should try to identify the weak sides of his/her opponents. Have you found the holes in the opposing team’s defense? In this case, you should inform a hitter about the vulnerabilities of your opponents. Together, you’ll be able to do a great job and carry out a successful hit and win a point for your team.

– A volleyball setter should be able to move on the court very quickly. A setter has to have explosive power and be quick on his/her feet. It shouldn’t take a volleyball setter too much time to get to the ball and get ready for a volleyball set. When the moment comes, a setter should start approaching to the ball as fast as he/she can. A setter should focus on improving his/her footwork. Lateral movement exercises have to be a part of a volleyball player’s training program. Doing these types of exercises will allow a setter to improve his/her foot speed significantly over time.

– A volleyball setter has to be able to think quickly as well. A setter usually doesn’t have too much time to think and make decisions during a game. So, a setter should be able to analyze the situation and make decisions quickly. A setter gains experience and knows what to do in different situations over time. An experienced setter trusts his/her intuition in order to make decisions and find effective solutions quickly.

– A lot of volleyball players choose to take advantage of mental imagery to develop their intuition. Let’s say that you’ve had a difficult game recently and made a lot of mistakes. Use the power of visualization to analyze your mistakes carefully. Try to remember the moments where you have made the correct decisions and where you have made the wrong decisions. This will help you avoid mistakes in the future. As a result, you’ll become a better setter over time.

– It’s necessary for setters to develop blocking skills for several reasons. It’s important to know that setters usually play two positions on the court. When a team is organizing an attack, a setter plays at setter’s position. When a team is defending, a setter switches to blocking and tries to block the opposing team’s attacks.


Thank you so much for reading this article. We have just explained what it takes to be a good setter in the volleyball sport. Work hard to develop your setting skills and follow our tips to become a better volleyball setter! As always, we wish you the best of luck!