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© 2011 Technical & Development Department
Beach Volleyball Drill-book
On the beach we do not need to be deceptive. If you pass the ball – you get to spike (unless of
course your partner decides to attack on 2 but that is the topic of another discussion) therefore a
great set is one that your partner is comfortable hitting. If the set has a predictable and
consistent trajectory with a similar height /arc it will be easier to hit.
An obligation of the setter on the beach is to also to help out his/her partner on the attack by
calling the area of the court that is open. It is very important that as you approach the ball you
take into account the direction the ball is likely to move in the wind and the same after it leaves
your hands.
The more time you spend training in the wind the faster you will develop this skill. A low body
position during setting is beneficial on the beach for the same reason as described for the pass
in that a lower body position allows you more room for last second adjustments. Rotation on a
ball set by the hands is legal indoors but beach volleyball players often bump set because the
rules regarding rotation on the ball are significantly stricter on the sand.
Deciding when to bump set and when to handset is a learned skill but generally you will see
more bump setting as the wind gets stronger. If bump setting in the wind you may want to add a
little spin to the ball as a ball that has spin on it will generally travel in a more predictable
manner and be easier to hit.
Where and how the ball is set is determined by the attackers’ personal preference and the
opponents’ defense. Things to keep in mind are that right handed athletes will hit better when a
set is delivered to the right side of their bodies and left handed athletes when the ball is set to
their left. How close you set to the net will depend on the defense. If the opponents are not
blocking or are incapable of penetrating on a block, you should take full advantage of this and
set the ball close to the net. If on the other hand the blocker jumps high and penetrates well
then it is better to set the ball slightly away from the net.
Moving the feet to face the target is the most important concept to get through to beginners on
the sand. Made them aware of the wind – if you ask them to throw a ball into a hoop from half
court where will they face? ... Most will face directly at the hoop as that will give them the most
accuracy. Translate this understanding to setting.
Setting up and down – discuss why a set that goes up and down is so much easier to hit than
one that goes across.
Once an athlete has grasped the basics of bump or hand setting the next step is to challenge
the athletes by putting them in positions where they need to work harder to get in position to set
the ball. In windy conditions training athletes to learn to put a little spin on the bump set will give
them another asset to draw upon on windy days.
Often off a tough jump serve the ball will come off the passers arms with a lot of spin. An
advanced skill is being able to set these spinning balls with the hands. Training athletes to set a
spinning ball will be beneficial when they come up against the best topspin jump servers.