Exploring Different Volleyball Techniques: What Beginners Should Know

June 22, 2023

Volleyball is more than just a fun recreational sport; it’s a symphony of skills, each meticulously crafted and practiced over time. For newcomers looking to join the vibrant world of drop in volleyball or recreational leagues, understanding the fundamental volleyball techniques is the key to both enjoying the game and improving your performance.

This article is your serving ace, introducing the basic techniques beginners should know, and providing tips on how to master them.

1. Serving

Serving is the first skill to master, as it is the action that starts each rally. It's also the one skill in volleyball where you have complete control over the ball. Two types of serves are commonly used in recreational volleyball: underhand and overhand.

Underhand Serve: This serve is often the first one beginners learn. The ball is held in one hand, while the other, shaped like a fist, strikes it from beneath. Though it might not be as powerful as an overhand serve, its simplicity makes it more reliable, especially for newcomers.

Overhand Serve: This serve, while requiring more practice, can give the ball more speed and direction. It involves tossing the ball up and striking it with the heel of your hand. To master this serve, focus on your toss first. Once you can consistently toss the ball straight up, then work on your striking technique.

2. Passing

Passing, or bumping, is another fundamental volleyball skill. This is typically used to receive the serve or make a controlled set to another player.

Forearm Pass: The most common form of passing involves contacting the ball with your forearms to direct it toward a teammate or over the net. Remember to move your feet to get to the ball and always aim to pass using your forearms, not your hands.

3. Setting

Setting is the skill typically used to position the ball for an attacking player to spike. It's often considered the most challenging technique to master due to the precise touch required.

Overhead Pass (Setting): This technique involves contacting the ball with both hands above your head and pushing it upwards softly. A successful set requires a delicate touch to ensure the ball doesn't spin off your fingers. Start by practicing how to shape your hands and how to push the ball using your fingers, not your palms.

4. Attacking

Attacking, also known as spiking, is the offensive action to score points. The aim is to hit the ball over the net and make it land in the opponent's court.

Spike: Spiking involves an approach run, a jump, and a powerful downward hit of the ball. For beginners, the timing of the approach and the jump can be challenging to get right. Fortunately, we have a guide to help you perfect your spikes! Practice your approach without the ball first, then add a jump, and finally, incorporate a spike.

5. Blocking

Blocking is a defensive technique used to stop an opponent's attack before it crosses over the net.

Block: Blocks involve a jump at the net with arms raised to deflect an attacker's spike back into their court. Timing and positioning are critical in blocking. Try to jump at the same time as the attacker and ensure your hands are positioned over the net.

6. Digging

Digging is another crucial defensive skill in volleyball. It involves keeping the ball in play after an opponent's attack, often a spike, has been directed to your team's court.

Dig: This move requires quick reflexes and solid forearm passing skills. It's executed similarly to the forearm pass, but it often involves a dive or lunges to reach a hard-driven ball. Key to this skill is anticipation, watching the opponent's body and arm position to predict the path of the ball.

7. Serving Strategies

Once you've got the hang of basic serving, you can start to employ some strategies. This could mean aiming your serve at specific zones in the court or targeting a particular player on the opposition's side. In a game of volleyball, even at the recreational level, a well-placed serve can be as effective as a powerful one.

8. Rotation and Positioning

While not a physical skill, understanding your position on the court and when to rotate is fundamental to volleyball. It's essential to know where to stand during the serve and where to move as the ball is in play. This understanding comes with practice and experience, so don't worry if you don't get it right away.

9. Communication

In volleyball, communication with your teammates is critical. Whether it's calling for a ball, signalling a play, or simply cheering each other on, effective communication can significantly improve team dynamics and performance. Even if you're playing a drop-in volleyball game, don't be shy to communicate with your teammates.

10. Practice Makes Perfect

The skills outlined above are fundamental to volleyball, but mastering them takes time and practice. Try to touch the ball as often as possible, whether that's at practice, a recreational game, or even at home. The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll become with these skills.

Finally, it's important to remember that volleyball is not just about the individual; it's a team sport. No matter how good your skills are, teamwork is the secret ingredient to a successful volleyball game. As you venture into your volleyball journey, embrace the camaraderie and community spirit that this wonderful sport fosters.

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to step onto the court and put these techniques into practice. Happy playing!

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