The training session you’ll see here with 3-time beach Olympian Holly McPeak focuses on how players can refine their setting techniques through a series of drills that focus on footwork, hand- and arm-positioning and court movement.
Demonstrating the drills are 3 top high school athletes who will play beach volleyball in college: Piper Monk (UCLA), Rio Frohoff (Tulane) and Sunny Villapando from Mira Costa High, who hasn’t yet committed.
To start the workout, Holly has the players do a 4-part setting circuit, which includes reps off perfect passes, off-the-net passes, shanked passes and following a block jump.
In the first video above, you'll see reps done from the right side. For the workout, reps should be done from both sides.
Transition setting off live digs
In the second part of the workout, the setter has to react to a live dig off a hard-driven ball. Holly hits, the digger digs, and the setter works hard to get her feet to the ball and deliver a set with a good apex. The digger follows through with an approach and swing.
Self-setting off dig
Holly learned the drill you’ll see here from Brazil's Marcio Sicoli, coach of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross as well as an assistant beach coach at Pepperdine.
The drill involves a digger/setter, a hitter and a coach or helper who hits the first ball at the digger/setter. The digger/setter starts at the net, facing the opposite court in a blocker’s position. When the coach calls “BALL,” the digger/setter turns around and digs the hard-driven ball (hit by the coach) to herself/himself, then moves to the ball and sets the hitter, who approaches and attacks.
As Holly points out in the video, this drill is great for developing better ball control and reinforcing the importance of good footwork.
In this video, Holly reviews a few keys to good setting on the beach, including a longer touch on the ball (but not a complete "deep dish"), bent legs with the lead foot clearly forward of the other foot and shoulders squared to target.
Bump setting is a critical skill on the beach, especially when wind is a factor. Here, Holly offers pointers on footwork and platform positioning that are keys to delivering consistently accurate sets.