What You Need to Do to Perform a Successful Quick Set in Volleyball

Posted on March 19, 2016 By

A well-run quick set in volleyball can do great things for a team’s morale and enthusiasm. Getting the play right, though, takes a few key elements.

A good pass

Put simply, you can’t run a quick set if you don’t have a good pass. What exactly constitutes a good pass depends on the players involved. For younger and/or less experienced teams good means just about perfect. The ball needs to be close to the net and very near the middle. As you move toward higher levels of play and more athletic players, the precision of the passes becomes less important as the players are better able to adjust and execute. That allows for passes somewhat off the net and away from the middle.


If the hitter isn’t up on time, no matter how good the pass is, the quick set won’t work. The most frequent cause of errors on the quick attack is the hitter not being up on time. The exact timing depends on factors such as the type of quick attack being used and the tempo of the offense (more advanced teams will tend to run faster quicks than lower level ones). This is something that can only really be developed through repetition – preferably in game-like situations.

A relaxed setter

Proper execution of a quick attack requires a setter who is will stand in and deliver the ball. This is something which takes time to develop as setters new to the quick attack are quite often scared – primarily of getting run over by the middle hitter it seems. Setting a quick attack, particularly the middle quick, is something hard to train with just the ball. This can actually be a good thing, though, because it forces the setter to get used to the proximity of the hitter and teaches them to trust that their teammate won’t run them over (probably). The confidence which develops from there will also help them relax with ball contact because aside from wanting to run away, new quick setters are very often seen to jab at the ball.

Situational and block awareness

The inclination of setters, particularly inexperienced ones, is to try to set the quick whenever they get a good pass. At lower levels of play this may work out just fine. As players advance, though, the blocking becomes better and more able to shut down the middle quick. Thus, the setter needs to be aware of the situation to know whether setting the quick is really the best thing to do, or whether to just use the quick attack option as a decoy. Experience will play a part in this, but it is also something the coach needs to help the setter learn.

If your team can put these four things together, they will be able to run effective quick attacks. It’s going to take a fair bit of practice to get it right, and perhaps even more encouragement to get them to take the risk in actual game situations. A little bit of success, though, will go a long way in making them eager to do what’s needed to pull it off regularly.