top of page

The little things...

Doubling the ball as a setter can be one of the most frustrating things in the game of volleyball. We've all been there. The dreaded whistle after you just sent the ball into orbit...the way your teammates and coaches look at you...The ball is spinning like a top and all you can do is try to ignore the knotted feeling in your stomach and move on to the next point. Sometimes it might even make you feel like you want to crawl into a hole. You are not alone. Most setters have struggled with doubling the ball at some point during their volleyball careers. If they haven't, they either had great coaching at an early age or just have naturally great setting hands.

Often times, setters double the ball when they are trying to stretch themselves to make a set they are not yet capable of doing. I would rather see setters stretch themselves in setter training, lessons and at times during team practices. I highly suggest setters don't try to do something they are not capable of during game time. Double calls can be frustrating to you and your team. If it happens too often your teammates may start to lose faith in you as a setter and as a leader overall.

The setter in this picture has been struggling with doubling the ball as well as losing power on her far sets. One major key thing I tell all of my setters is that your thumbs have to be involved as they are the power and direction for the ball. If you notice in the far left in the picture, her hands are coming up uneven. Then in the 2nd picture, her right hand is flawless while her left thumb is too far in front of the ball. The third picture shows her finish where her thumbs actually flick through the ball. Therefore she is rolling her wrists under the ball and losing power and distance. Not to mention, doubling the ball at times when hands come up uneven.

In this sequence of pictures she is setting on the wall. Her hands come up uneven and right hand is contacting before left thus causing a double at times. Notice the picture on the far right, she is not finishing even and has that left thumb is in front.

This is what it should look like. The setter brings her hands up even, thumbs back behind the ball, distance between thumb and forefinger is equal, and her finish is flat to the wall. The ball should exit your hands the same way it came in. Notice the picture on the far left and the picture on the far right are similar.

Most coaches coach location. They say things like, "push it out", "higher", "quicker"... These things definitely help the connection between setter and hitter although the setter is not getting specific technical cues when the doubling occurs. Be sure you are aware of how and when your hands are coming up to the ball and be very aware of your finish. When running quick sets, you will need to pinpoint these so being aware of your finish will help get the ball to your hitters hand.

bottom of page