How Being Neutral Helps Setters in Volleyball

Setters need to be ready to make quick movements on the volleyball court. Being neutral can help setters distribute the ball to various spots.

Setters have to be able to quickly decide which hitters to set based on external information. There are multiple things you must factor in before making the decision. By being in neutral, you can distribute the ball to various locations quickly and accurately.

First, you want to begin in a good position with your hips open to the court, facing away from the net and ready to receive the pass.

Next, as the pass comes in, you want to have your hands high early. You also want to take the ball high for easy distribution to the outside or toward the back. You should receive the ball above your forehead, not at your nose level.

Your wrists should be loaded in preparation to send the ball in either direction. On the completion of the set, you should finish naturally with your hands flat.

As a setter, you must be able to make a decision quickly regarding which direction to set the ball. As the middle blocker commits to a side, you want to set in the other direction. The following can be used as a great drill to practice making a late decision:

  • Have a middle blocker work against your setter. The middle blocker and setter will both try to wait until the last second to read each other.
  • If the middle blocker goes first, the setter will set in the opposite direction.
  • If the middle blocker doesn’t react in a direction first, the setter can choose a direction to try and catch the middle blocker off guard.
  • The middle blocker ultimately wants to be able to read the setter and react quickly in the direction of the set.


  • Get your hands high early.
  • Take the ball above your forehead, not at your nose level.
  • Load your wrists.
  • Finish flat with your hands.

As a setter, you’re the captain of the offense. Smooth and consistent play will lead to better scoring chances for your offense.  If you can develop great court vision, you can create one-on-one opportunities for your hitters and points for your team. By setting from neutral, you’ll have an easier time finding success.

As a setter, you are the center of your team’s offense. While getting the ball to the players near the net can be effective, a well-timed back row attack can deceive blockers and utilize an extra hitter.