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5 Practical Pointers for Teaching Volleyball Setting in PE

In Volleyball, one of the hardest skills to teach is setting, especially with younger students! Above you’ll find a short video on how I approach teaching this important skill to my students.

Key Teaching Cues:

  1. Drink from big water jug
  2. Superman Finish (thumbs to sky)

* Also add bend and extend legs

5 Tips for Teaching Volleyball Setting in PE:

Use Imagery and Analogies: Introduce the setting skill by having students pretend they’re holding a big water jug and use Superman’s thumb-to-ceiling motion. This helps them get their hands in the correct position.

90 90 90 Rule: For older students, use the 90 90 90 rule: arms at 90 degrees, shoulders at 90 degrees, and hands turned to 90 degrees. This positions their hands correctly for setting.

Balloon or Beach Ball Drills: Incorporate fun by using balloons or beach balls. Students can strike the ball using all 10 fingerprints, learning to hit it up in the air and control its trajectory.

Moving While Setting: Encourage movement while setting. Have students toss the ball ahead of them and move forward to set it. This teaches the importance of mobility during the game.

Partner Practice: Organize partner drills where one student tosses the ball and the other practices setting. This not only refines their technique but also fosters teamwork and rotation among classmates.

Cone Setting Drill (using small cones and fleece balls)

  1. Individual toss and catch in cone
  2. Partner toss – catch in cone
  3. Partner toss – turn right or left and catch
  4. Partner tosses and calls direction (right or left) – turn and catch facing the correct direction


  • Tim Mueller

    Tim Mueller has taught K-8 physical education at Erin School since 1992. He is a national presenter and was named the 2016 Wisconsin and 2017 SHAPE Midwest Middle School Teacher of the Year. He is an adjunct professor at Concordia University - Wisconsin, instructing the Methods of Teaching Elementary and Secondary PE courses. Tim is passionate about helping teachers create a positive learning environment for all classes. He believes, “Good rapport with your students is a choice you make every day!”

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