There’s currently a discussion going on in the volleyball toolbox forum regarding back setting.  I thought I’d share Tom Black’s response here..

Thanks for this question. My urge is keep setting as simple as possible, so I’ll stay consistent with that here.

  • Contact on your midline

We want to take the ball in the same spot (midline of your body, above your forehead) not just for the purposes of deception but most importantly to control the location

  • Extend

Just like you finish a front set, you’re going to extend and finish a back set. The finish is going to be more of a 45 degree angle because of your head and relationship to the right side hitter

  • Follow it with your eyes

This gets your head out of the way. This isn’t as big a key with some men setters who take the ball at a very high point, but for most (every) women setter I’ve seen, they have to create some space between their release point and head in order to allow the set to travel flat and fast to the right-side hitter. Following the backset with your eyes causes your head to tilt and creates a little space to allow the set to flatten

I’ve said many times setting seems to be the one skill that is taught 5,000 different ways (maybe that’s why there is so much conversation about it at our clinics) so if someone has a better way or method of teaching it I am all ears. Thanks again for asking and hope this helps

Tom Black – LMU Women’s Volleyball & USA Women’s Volleyball