Beach Volleyball Setting

Beach volleyball setting tips to learning how to deep dish...

  • Move the entire body as you set. With indoor 6 on 6 volleyball, training setters is more about creating fast hands and less about using the legs. To master the deep dish, focus on bending everything (ankles, knees, hips, elbows, wrists). Focus on getting low as the ball comes in and use the entire body as you come back up to release the ball. 
  • Let the body slowly move. Use the sand to assist you in improving your position as you are setting. Deep dishing is all about moving with the ball and controlling the ball with your hands in such a way that you take spin off the ball when you set.
  • Focus on taking spin off the ball. To be a great beach setter, you need to have the ability to set the ball in a way that keeps it from rotating. If the ball spins (rotates) after you set it, you are more likely to get called for an illegal set. 
  • Anticipate a ball that is going to be tough to set. To be great at the deep dish set, you need to be good at anticipating the ball that's coming. You need to read where the ball is traveling and how quickly the ball is going to get there. Positioning is critical. If you don't quite make it to the correct spot then it's going to be tough to set the ball cleanly. 

Indoor Setting vs Beach Volleyball Setting

Beach volleyball setting is different than indoor setting in that when you set on the beach, you aren't trying to fool the opponent. 

On the beach there's only one player to set. So, when beach volleyball setting, your setting technique doesn't need to be deceptive. Everyone knows who you're going to set. 

For sixes competition, there are 5 other player's on the court other than the setter. So the setter has many options for whom to set for the attack. Then there are also more blockers at the net to put up a strong block.

This is why it's more important for the setter to be deceptive with their sets. 

However, for beach doubles, the player setting has only two options...

  1. Hit the ball over the net
  2. Set their partner

So, the setter isn't trying to fool anyone. What's important is to deliver your partner a good ball to hit.

For beach doubles, the rules for hand setting are called different than indoor. If you play beach volleyball at a level where they call ball handling fairly tight, then it's even more important to set the ball cleanly.

The technique of setting on the beach is much more like a deep-dish style - ball comes down in front of the fast. This technique is slower and more controlled than how most indoor setter's set the ball. 

Setting the ball slow has the disadvantage when setting indoor because the slower you set, the easier it is to read where the ball is being sent.

For beach volleyball setting, a slower set is what's usually preferred.

What's important is the placement of the set.  

Beach Volleyball Setting the Deep Dish

How to Hand Set on the Beach

Tips for the hand set...

  • Always square your shoulders the direction you are setting. For setting to the left side, square up to left front and stand with the right foot forward. For setting to the right side, it's just the opposite. Square up to right front and stand with the left foot forward. Don't make the mistake of trying to side set the ball. What you want is to have a consistent way of setting. Get behind the ball and square to the hitter.

Tips to bump setting...

  • Just like with hand setting, it's important to be square to where you're sending the ball. Even when bump setting the ball back, be sure to square the shoulders. 
  • Platform should be closer to parallel. Unless you are sending the ball far across the court, keep the platform close to parallel. Platform at parallel is a good position because the setter is usually near the hitter when setting. If the setter is close to the hitter, then the ball will need to travel more up and then down to where the hitter will attack.  

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Volleyball Beach Setting

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