The younger you start to refine your setting touch, the better chance you have of being really good at it when you get older. Reps, reps and more reps are the key. As you work on your touch, here are 4 benchmarks for good setting touch to gauge your improvement:
• Are you doing reps with all 10 fingers on the ball? I will tell you that I don’t set with all 10 fingers on the ball, but when you are developing your technique for doing drills like the ones I’ve mentioned, you want to have all of your fingers on the ball. If you’re setting in a scrimmage or match using “W” hands, which is what I use, you’ll probably touch the ball with three or four fingers on each hand. You rarely use your pinkie.
• Are you holding the ball for a long time when practicing? When I teach setters, I encourage them to hold the ball longer while doing reps. For instance, if you are setting off a wall, you’ll “catch” the ball (not a full catch; a quick catch), hold it a little longer, then get the ball out of your hands quickly on your release. By holding the ball a little longer when doing drills, you train yourself to consistently use good touch. As you get more experienced, you can speed up the process.
• Are you practicing setting the ball above your head at every opportunity? When you’re not doing drills like the ones mentioned above, you can set the ball above your head repeatedly while walking around – at the gym, at home, anywhere. All you need is a ball. Just set, release and catch.
• Are you following through? The last phase of setting should be a full follow-through with both hands after the ball leaves your fingers. Reach for maximum extension. As I mentioned earlier, your final hand and arm positioning should look like a Superman flying motion with your palms facing outward. This reinforces strong technique, which will lead to more accurate sets.
Follow my INSIDER’s blog and read my last post, “Lindsey Berg’s Volleyball Drills to Improve Touch”