SportStars Magazine

Lindsey Berg Volleyball Tips for Setters

Olympian Volleyball player Lindsey Berg espouses one thing that she thinks all might agree on in the volleyball world. That there is a big possibility that a  shorter/smaller setter will make faster moves to the ball. But that wouldn’t be a good enough reason to choose a shorter setter over a taller setter because efficient footwork and reading can be taught to setters of all sizes.


Hi all, Lindsey Berg here again! In my last volleyball tips for setters blog post we discussed volleyball footwork and how proper footwork can assuage a number of passing errors.

Today I want to help you get a feel for the ball. You see, your ability to have a good feel for the ball is a very important part of delivering what your hitters need.

A good feel helps you put up solid, hittable balls anywhere on the court, anytime – including on those plays when your feet aren’t quite in the right position or your body is a little out of control. A good feel also helps you vary your tempo, setting faster or slower as the situation requires.

The way I developed “feel” was mostly from holding the ball any chance I got. I’d squeeze it, move my hands around it. I had it with me during timeouts and water breaks and warmups. The idea was to continually reinforce the proper hand-positioning and a comfortable feel.


Follow SportStars on Twitter & Instagram Like us on Facebook | Subscribe!

Volleyball Tip for Setters- Setting with “claws” leads to less accurate sets

Inexperienced setters often don’t have this feel. I see a lot of young athletes setting with their claws – too far underneath the ball, thumbs forward.

Lindsey Berg tips for volleyball setters. Follow through with a Superman flying motion.

Follow through with a Superman flying motion.

One really important key to setting touch is understanding that your thumbs and wrists need to be back. That’s one reason why I teach the “W” hand formation for setting instead of the more traditional “Triangle.” I think it gives you more control. When you bring your hands all the way back in a “W,” the top of your thumbs will hit your head. In a “Triangle,” your thumbs go forward, which can cause your hands to turn and send the ball in a different direction than you want.

The W-shaped hand position is just a personal preference. A lot of very good setters and coaches favor the “Triangle.” It’s important for you to experiment and figure out what works best for you. I would recommend the “W,” but whichever you choose, you need to remember this:

Do NOT follow through with your thumbs! Your follow-through should be like a Superman flying motion, finger tips forward.


The “W” is the way I do it. That doesn’t mean it’s the only right way to do it, but it works best for me, and I think you should try it – even if your coach has taught you the more common “triangle” technique. You can practice it on your own time and eventually decide which way you prefer.

If you’d like to discuss it with your coach, you can say something like: “I read Lindsey Berg’s book on setting, and she thinks the ‘W’ is the most consistent way to put up a good ball. She teaches it to younger players. What do you think?”

By involving your coach, you make it more of a team effort, which will likely make the coach more receptive to your ideas. Some coaches may not know who I am, but by bringing it up, you give them an opportunity to examine a different approach to setting. Good coaches will view this as an opportunity to expand their knowledge, not a criticism.

Next post, lets tackle the technique for the “W” hand formation. Sound good?

Hey Volleyball Players! Got a question that I can help you with? As in the comments field below any of my SportStars blog posts.

Lindsey Berg founder of "THE CUORE PROJECT". An all-digital programming network featuring films, editorials, and podcasts with the mission to share stories and information to educate and inspire the next generation of female volleyball athletes.

Lindsey Berg founder of “THE CUORE PROJECT”. An all-digital programming network featuring films, editorials, and podcasts with the mission to share stories and information to educate and inspire the next generation of female volleyball athletes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *