The Silent Set

The Silent Set

Post by K.. » Tue, 09 Jul 1991 04:53:36


I've only been playing volleyball on a serious level for the past 3 or 4 years
and there are a few things I still find tough to do. One of them is the set.
I admire people who set the ball so well and smoothly that the set is
completely silent and placed exaxtly where it should be. I've tried practicing
my sets but I still can't figure out how it's done without it being a carry.
Are there any tips at all for mastering this or is it the kind of thing you
accidentally do right one day and then take it from there?

Thanks.

I'm glad to see a volleyball newsgroup.  I hope the xperts are patient about
questions like my own.

Kevin S.
KPS at psuvm.psu.edu

 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by Mark Pete » Wed, 10 Jul 1991 05:34:09

Quote:

>I've only been playing volleyball on a serious level for the past 3 or 4 years
>and there are a few things I still find tough to do. One of them is the set.
>I admire people who set the ball so well and smoothly that the set is
>completely silent and placed exaxtly where it should be. I've tried practicing
>my sets but I still can't figure out how it's done without it being a carry.
>Are there any tips at all for mastering this or is it the kind of thing you
>accidentally do right one day and then take it from there?

The thing that helps me the most is to concentrate on finishing up the
set with my palms facing outward.  My theory is that the motion of one  
hand cancels out any spin that might be imparted by the other.  Probably
about ninety percent of the contact area between my hands and
the ball is with my thumbs, forefingers, and middle fingers.  Combined
with good use of leg power to propel the ball, all this adds up to soft
sets that go where I want 'em to go.
--
Mark A. Peters                              ****** ======================
Control Data Corporation                    ****** == "What a save!!!" ==


 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by John K » Wed, 10 Jul 1991 17:37:50

Quote:

>The thing that helps me the most is to concentrate on finishing up the
>set with my palms facing outward.  My theory is that the motion of one  
>hand cancels out any spin that might be imparted by the other.  Probably
>about ninety percent of the contact area between my hands and
>the ball is with my thumbs, forefingers, and middle fingers.  Combined
>with good use of leg power to propel the ball, all this adds up to soft
>sets that go where I want 'em to go.

I won't know precisely what you mean unless you show me in person, but...

All of your two hands should touch the ball.  And you should follow through
all the way, keeping your arms parallel, not spreading them (is this what
you mean by "palms facing outward"?).  And get in the habit of putting
your better leg forward consistently.

One certainly should not set the ball with just 3 fingers from each hand.

--

  John K.         |       I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
                  |       Got my paper and I was free...           - E.S.

 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by John Burt » Wed, 10 Jul 1991 23:31:36

Quote:


>>[stuff about setting deleted]

>I won't know precisely what you mean unless you show me in person, but...

>All of your two hands should touch the ball.  And you should follow through
>all the way, keeping your arms parallel, not spreading them (is this what
>you mean by "palms facing outward"?).  And get in the habit of putting
>your better leg forward consistently.

>One certainly should not set the ball with just 3 fingers from each hand.

Agreed, you should try not to set with just 3 fingers, but ALL of your two
hands SHOULD NOT touch the ball. You should only touch the ball with
your fingertips. Most of the time you'll be able to get your thumb &
three fingers on the ball (the little finger sometimes doesn't quite
make it :-). The use of just the fingertips (actually the pad of
finger, not the fingertips) is what provides the control for the set.

The soft/silent set is actually a very fast catch and throw. Your
hands should be on opposite sides of the ball, fingers spread (the
position of the hands is almost the same as for a chest pass in
basketball). You should "catch" the ball just about on your forehead
with your arms bent and thumbs & first fingers forming a triangle
(thumbs pointing at each other, and fingers pointing at a common
point) and wrists flexed so that your palms are almost facing each
other. to get the general idea of positioning, grab a volleyball with
your hands on either side of the ball, just almost touching your
forehead. You should be using just your fingers to hold the ball - if
you straighten your fingers, the ball should drop. This is how your
hands should be when you "catch" the ball, this is also about *where*
you should "catch" the ball. Then simply throw the ball away from you
in the direction you want...

As far as which parts of the body do what for a set:
fingers and wrist provide the *delicate* control,
arms provide *controlled* power and the *coarse* control,
legs provide the *raw* power.
examples:
 quick 1 ball set in the middle, is almost entirely wrist and fingers.
 high center set (we call it a 2), adds some arm to the 1 ball.
 high outside set lots of arm to push the ball out, wrist & fingers to
  place it exactly where you want it (3 feet in from the antenna?)
 high outside (left side) from the back right corner (sometimes the
  passers have problems getting the ball to the target :-) will
  probably require lots of leg and arm just to get it far enough...

hope this helps some...

John

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The Silent Set

Post by Ketty Hsi » Thu, 11 Jul 1991 00:00:28

Quote:


>>The thing that helps me the most is to concentrate on finishing up the
>>set with my palms facing outward.  My theory is that the motion of one  
>>hand cancels out any spin that might be imparted by the other.  Probably
>>about ninety percent of the contact area between my hands and
>>the ball is with my thumbs, forefingers, and middle fingers.  Combined
>>with good use of leg power to propel the ball, all this adds up to soft
>>sets that go where I want 'em to go.

>I won't know precisely what you mean unless you show me in person, but...

>All of your two hands should touch the ball.  And you should follow through
>all the way, keeping your arms parallel, not spreading them (is this what
>you mean by "palms facing outward"?).  And get in the habit of putting
>your better leg forward consistently.

>One certainly should not set the ball with just 3 fingers from each hand.

Interestingly, when I play in the school team I was taught to set with
just 3 fingers from each hand.  And you surely cannot set with all of
your hands touching the ball - for one thing, if your palms touch the ball,
you'll probably get called for carrying.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

>--

>  John K.         |       I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
>                  |       Got my paper and I was free...           - E.S.

 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by John K » Thu, 11 Jul 1991 03:53:29


Quote:

>>All of your two hands should touch the ball.  

>Interestingly, when I play in the school team I was taught to set with
>just 3 fingers from each hand.  And you surely cannot set with all of
>your hands touching the ball - for one thing, if your palms touch the ball,
>you'll probably get called for carrying.

Oops.  My mistake.  I should have written "all 10 fingers."  No palms.  
(How can you set using your palms?!!)

In practice your pinkies will barely touch.  

But 3 finger sets ... no way.  What school taught you this?

--

  John K.         |       I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
                  |       Got my paper and I was free...           - E.S.

 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by Nick Christenson, University of Arizo » Thu, 11 Jul 1991 06:30:51

Quote:


>>I've only been playing volleyball on a serious level for the past 3 or 4 years
>>and there are a few things I still find tough to do. One of them is the set.
>>I admire people who set the ball so well and smoothly that the set is
>>completely silent and placed exaxtly where it should be. I've tried practicing
>>my sets but I still can't figure out how it's done without it being a carry.
>>Are there any tips at all for mastering this or is it the kind of thing you
>>accidentally do right one day and then take it from there?
>The thing that helps me the most is to concentrate on finishing up the
>set with my palms facing outward.  My theory is that the motion of one  
>hand cancels out any spin that might be imparted by the other.  Probably
>about ninety percent of the contact area between my hands and
>the ball is with my thumbs, forefingers, and middle fingers.  Combined
>with good use of leg power to propel the ball, all this adds up to soft
>sets that go where I want 'em to go.

I've seen some good responses but I think there is still more to add.

First, setting is one of those things that you may have to work on
for *months* and then suddenly, one day, it will just click.  It happened
to me, it happened to the guys I learned from and I've heard this from
other setters.  

One thing that nobody's mentioned is that 90+% of the power of a set
should come from the legs.  None of the power comes from the wrist.  
Extending the "fast catch and throw" analogy, the wrists act only
as springs to be compressed by the ball and then naturally extended.
They should be *completely* relaxed.  Any tension is likely to mess
up the set.  Catch and throw is a great warm up and learning technique
for a setter.  Also, a quality set should have absolutely no spin on it.

Here is how I was taught to learn how a set should "feel."  
*WARNING! PEDANTIC INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOW!*
Crouch down with bent knees as far as you can comfortably go with your knees
slightly wider than shoulder width apart.  Rest your forearms on your
thighs and form the "setting window" with your fingers between your
legs.  Your hands should span an area approximately the size of one
"panel" of a volleyball.  Hold your wrists in this position and then
drop them.  That's it.  That's all there is to it.  Completely relaxed.

Hope this helps.

Nick Christenson

#include <disclaimer.h>

Nick Christenson

#include <disclaimer.h>

 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by EvilTw » Thu, 11 Jul 1991 06:30:51


Quote:


>>>I've only been playing volleyball on a serious level for the past 3 or 4 years
>>>and there are a few things I still find tough to do. One of them is the set.

>>The thing that helps me the most is to concentrate on finishing up the
>>set with my palms facing outward.  My theory is that the motion of one  

>I've seen some good responses but I think there is still more to add.

>One thing that nobody's mentioned is that 90+% of the power of a set
>should come from the legs.  None of the power comes from the wrist.

I beg to differ.  The setter's primary job is to deliver the volleyball to the
hitters so that they may hit it.  No matter what offensive system you're using,
the setter must become familiar with their hitter's favorite shots, and being
able to set them from various positions on the floor.  Secondarily, the setter
should "disguise" where the ball is going to be set.  And thirdly a setter
should try and match up his/her strong hitters against weak blockers (there's
probably more, but I'm working on learning number three now).

I advise people who wish to become setters to contact the ball quite high.  And
to use primarily their arms, with a stiffer wrist and finger to get a slight
springboard effect.  This does three things.  Since the contact point is
higher (and incidently quicker, since you're not cushioning the ball so much)
the set gets to the hitter quicker, leaving less time for the blockers and
defenders to set up in their positions.  Next, the set is more deceptive
because there is less motion by the setter.  Which means the block has to wait
longer before deciding on which direction to move to get to the set.  Third,
this allows the setter to jump set in the same style with NO lack of power.

I only use my legs when I'm setting a ball that will be travelling more than
30 feet.  And I'm fairly accurate with a 30 foot jump set.  It's all just a
matter of a lot of practice.

If you're not the primary setter.  Then use the textbook method.  Square your
shoulder's to where you want to set the ball.  Use your legs and get a nice
clean hand-ball contact.  If you want to become a setter, then try and minimize
the amount of leg movement when setting.

EvilTwinster -

 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by m.. » Fri, 12 Jul 1991 05:36:12

Another thing which has been very helpful to me is bringing both
my hands down before contacting the ball.   When the ball is in
the air, I put both my hands up ready to set the ball.  Just when
when the ball is about to contact my fingers, i bring my hands
down about a few inches (0 - 6) along with the ball and push the ball
up for a set.  This has been helpful for me to make silent sets.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Mani Mariappan                   " Bump -- Set -- Spike "
Viewlogic Systems Inc.
293 Boston Post Road
Marlboro, MA 01752


 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by Nick Christenson, University of Arizo » Fri, 12 Jul 1991 06:32:35

Quote:

>I write:
>>One thing that nobody's mentioned is that 90+% of the power of a set
>>should come from the legs.  None of the power comes from the wrist.
>I beg to differ.  The setter's primary job is to deliver the volleyball to the
>hitters so that they may hit it.  No matter what offensive system you're using,
>the setter must become familiar with their hitter's favorite shots, and being
>able to set them from various positions on the floor.  

No argument here, the question is technique.

Quote:
>Secondarily, the setter
>should "disguise" where the ball is going to be set.  

Well, this is true, but has very little to do with whether the force is
coming from your legs or your arms.

Quote:
>I advise people who wish to become setters to contact the ball quite high.  And
>to use primarily their arms, with a stiffer wrist and finger to get a slight
>springboard effect.  This does three things.  Since the contact point is
>higher (and incidently quicker, since you're not cushioning the ball so much)
>the set gets to the hitter quicker, leaving less time for the blockers and
>defenders to set up in their positions.  

If you're setting a standard set to your LF hitter, the air travel time
of the set is going to be enough to have any block set up, regardless
of the setter's technique.  The important issue then is to get the set
there on target.

Quote:
>Next, the set is more deceptive
>because there is less motion by the setter.  Which means the block has to wait
>longer before deciding on which direction to move to get to the set.  

Again, for a quick set to the middle hitter (what we called #11) or
a shoot set outside (#51) this is true.  For anything going 5-8 feet
above the net, this is rarely an issue.  Even so, the leg motion doesn't
reveal much at all, in my experience, it's the ***that reveals direction
of travel if you don't disguise it well (one reason co-ed VB is much
more fun, IMHO:-)  On a related note, it can be effective to start of
a match telegraphing your sets and then switch to a deceptive set once
the opposing team starts to adjust.

Quote:
>Third,
>this allows the setter to jump set in the same style with NO lack of power.

This is a good point, but remember the original poster was a novice
setter.  If I'm teaching someone how to set, they don't even *try* to
jump set until they have the basic mechanics down.  

Quote:
>EvilTwinster -

Nick Christenson

#include <disclaimer.h>
 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by Jeff Mawhirt » Fri, 12 Jul 1991 22:00:20

|> I've only been playing volleyball on a serious level for the past 3 or 4 years
|> and there are a few things I still find tough to do. One of them is the set.
|> I admire people who set the ball so well and smoothly that the set is
|> completely silent and placed exaxtly where it should be. I've tried practicing
|> my sets but I still can't figure out how it's done without it being a carry.
|> Are there any tips at all for mastering this or is it the kind of thing you
|> accidentally do right one day and then take it from there?

Having not 'accidentally done it right' yet, it's difficult for me to answer the
last part. Yes, I, too, am in search of the silent set. Even though I haven't
found it yet, there is a drill that merits mention here. Lay on the floor on your
back and set the ball straight up. It's most effective if there's someone to
catch the ball as it comes up and drop it back down to you. A key here is to not
worry about carrying the ball, concentrate on smoothness and lack of rotation.
You should be taking the ball at your forehead even though at first you'll
probably feel smoother taking it off your chest.
  To work on the smoothness of the actual set, make sure you accept the ball
between thumbs and first fingers, then roll it down so the middle fingers are
touching. Then roll it back out. While doing this drill, work on controlling the
speed through these motions. The initial tendency is to roll it in slowly, then
pop it out with a flick of the wrists. Fight this. Roll it out at the same speed
you roll it in. This way, as you speed up the roll in, you can match that speed
when rolling it out, eventually arriving at the perfect set.
--
Jeff Mawhirter                          "I'd rather die while I'm living
Mead Data Central, Dayton, OH           than live while I'm dead" -

UUCP:     uunet!meaddata!jeffm
      My opinions are not necessarily those of Mead Data Central.

 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by Chris Cheu » Sat, 13 Jul 1991 11:46:53

One "drill" I found useful when I was learning how to set was the following:

Take a volleyball, toss it straight up, position your hands properly,
CATCH THE BALL, and repeat the process by tossing up the ball straight up.
I found that this helped me get the feel for a set.  After a bit, hold
the ball for shorter and shorter lengths of time, and soon enough, you
should be setting.  (NOTE: Try to toss the ball without any spin too...)  :-)

What's the "proper position"??  Well, don't worry too much about how
many fingers you should use.  DO NOT curl your ring finger and pinky to
force yourself to use the thumb, index and middle fingers.  Keep all your
fingers uncurled.  IMPORTANT: Try to keep all your fingers relaxed.
I remember that I was trying so hard to set that I would get cramps in
my hands.

Form a triangle with you index fingers and your thumbs.....
             /\         "/" is your left index finger
            /--\        "\" is your right index finger
                        "-" are your thumbs
Hold this triangle up above your forehead and view through it.
Break the triangle by rotating your hands so that your finger tips
are pointing at your forehead.  Your fingers should be about 1 inch
apart now... don't keep them too far apart, because the ball will
fall through your hands if you do.  Your hands should form a "V."
This will help funnel the ball to the correct position in your hand.
Your elbows should be bent now (otherwise it's pretty painful to
keep your finger tips pointed at your forehead).

When the ball falls into this "funnel," straighten your elbows and
snap your wrists out.  This will push the ball upwards, and hopefully
without spin too.

Remember, when you first start the drill, CATCH the ball in the funnel.
Let it stop, THEN push the ball up.  After you get the feel of the set,
reduce the time the ball is in the funnel, and hopefully, when the time
is shortened enough, it'll be a set.  :-)

Sorry if this post in incoherent... it's 10:45PM now, I've been up
since 8:00AM, taught class for 2 hours, played tennis for 2 hours,
and volleyball for 3 hours.  :-)

Good luck!
Chris C.
============================================+  What's wrong with me?

uucp:     {rutgers,boulder}!sunybcs!cheung  |  Am I blind?

 
 
 

The Silent Set

Post by Mark Korslo » Fri, 19 Jul 1991 01:28:19


Nick> One thing that nobody's mentioned is that 90+% of the power of a set
Nick> should come from the legs.  None of the power comes from the wrist.

EvilTwinster replies (sorry for the abbreviation, but read EvilTwinster
for Evil....)
Evil> I beg to differ.  The setter's primary job is to deliver the volleyball
Evil> to the hitters so that they may hit it.  No matter what offensive system
Evil> you're using, the setter must become familiar with their hitter's
Evil> favorite shots, and being able to set them from various positions on the
Evil> floor.  
Evil>Secondarily, the setter
Evil>should "disguise" where the ball is going to be set.  

I think we are confusing two things here.
First of all, I DON'T agree that 90+% of the power of a set comes from
the legs. (I'll come to this later). However, there has never been any
question about the setter's job, nor that it is of vital importance to
be familiar with the hitters (after all, what good would practice be :-)
Also the part about disguising the set has nothing (well, not much
anyway) to do with where the power comes from.

Evil> I advise people who wish to become setters to contact the ball quite high.
Evil> And to use primarily their arms, with a stiffer wrist and finger to get
Evil> a slight springboard effect.  
Yes and no. For middle sets (#11 or #31 depending on your numbering,
but you get point, I hope) it is very important to keep your hands
high above your head, with only slightly bent arms, to give to middle
blocker almost no time to react to a quick set in the middle (also
assuming that the middle hitter is already "in the air" before the
ball leaves my hands). However the quickness of such a ball
(regardless whether the setter is standing or jumping) comes from the
wrists and finger, not the arms.
(note that this usually only applies to a somewhat higher level, say
starting at "A" level, at lower level, a quick set in the middle is
somewhat slower, where the middlehitter hits the ball after it has reached
its highest point).

For a high set outside (on a good pass), you basically use the same
technique, but using your arms somewhat more.

Nick> If you're setting a standard set to your LF hitter, the air travel time
Nick> of the set is going to be enough to have any block set up, regardless
Nick> of the setter's technique.  The important issue then is to get the set
Nick> there on target.

Just looking at the time, middle blockers have plenty to get there IF
they just look where the ball is going and go in the right direction.
There are however some problems.
If you contact the ball high, the middle blocker has very little time
to decide whether he should block in the middle or not. If he does
(incorrectly), (or just makes a little hop), he's probably too late outside
to close the block (assume a set like #52, and not a set 5 meter high
(okay, 15 feet for you Americans)

The second problem is faking out the middle blocker. When the
direction of set is determined mainly by your fingers and wrists, it
is indeed very difficult for a blocker to "read" which direction the set
will go. Still using sets like #52 and #12, he has a hard time getting
to the outside.

Evil> Next, the set is more deceptive because there is less motion by the
Evil> setter.  Which means the block has to wait longer before deciding on
Evil> which direction to move to get to the set.  
I don't think the motion is essential in this, but rather where you
contact the ball. Using a long arm motion, but contacting the ball
rather high, you can still set either forward or backward, using
almost the same motion (at least the difference is only in the last
part, and in the wrist movement).

About learning how to set, well, it takes a LONG time practicing to be
able to set the ball (approx) where you want it. Becoming a good
setter even takes much longer..... About drills, it is most important
to somehow find a trainer and/or good volleyball player (preferably
setter) who can show you how to do it and correct the things you are
doing wrong.  

Mark Korsloot (setter...., if you hadn't guessed it yet)

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