<- View More Blogs

How to "Dig" in Volleyball - Essential Defensive Volleyball Plays

July 14, 2023

In the heart of Toronto, amidst the gleaming lights and high-rise buildings, a certain recreational activity has been catching the interest of many - drop-in volleyball. Whether it's a weekend rendezvous or a post-work stress-buster, volleyball is sweeping across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), becoming an integral part of the city's recreational culture. Today, we're focusing on one particular skill that can elevate your game – digging (AKA, forearm passing). Welcome to the fantastic world of defensive play in volleyball!

Understanding the Dig

In volleyball, digging is the first line of defence, a technique employed to prevent the ball from hitting the court after a spike or attack, particularly a ball that is nearly touching the ground. Mastering the art of digging can dramatically transform your defensive play, and it is indeed a critical aspect to focus on when playing drop-in volleyball in Toronto.

1. The Ready Position:

Before you can dig, you must learn the ready position. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bend your knees and lean forward. Your arms should be held out in front of you, ready to make contact with the ball. This position enables quick reflexes and easy mobility, both crucial when it comes to digging.

2. Platform Creation:

The next step in the process is to create a "platform" with your arms. To do this, extend your arms, hold one hand in the other, and keep them straight. The correct platform provides a large, flat surface for the ball to bounce off, making it easier to control the ball’s trajectory.

3. The Dig Execution:

The dig's execution requires keen observation, quick reflexes, and precision. As the attacker hits the ball, you need to move swiftly to position yourself in its path. Keep your eye on the ball, and use your legs to drive your movement. As the ball contacts your platform, absorb the impact by allowing your arms to swing back slightly. Remember, the goal is to 'dig' the ball upwards, giving your team a chance to set up an attacking play.

4. Positioning and Timing:

Positioning and timing are everything in passing. Being in the right place at the right time can often be the difference between a successful dig and a missed opportunity. This is where practice comes in. Participating in drop-in volleyball games in the GTA can provide ample opportunities to enhance your positioning skills and improve your timing.

5. Communication is Key:

Volleyball is a team sport, and communication on the court is essential. Always call out when you're about to dig. This lets your teammates know that you have the ball covered and also provides them time to prepare for the next move.

Now that we've covered the techniques let's turn our attention to the importance of the right mindset.

Embrace the Challenge:

Digging can be intimidating, especially for beginners. When an opponent sends a powerful spike your way, it's natural to flinch or step away. However, part of mastering the dig is embracing the challenge and stepping into the ball's path. Yes, there might be mistakes and missed digs, but with every game, every error, and every save, you grow as a player.

Patience and Practice:

Mastering the art of digging takes time and patience. Regular practice is crucial, so be sure to take advantage of recreational volleyball leagues or drop-in volleyball sessions in Toronto. These platforms provide valuable real-game situations that can speed up your learning process.

Learn from Others:

Observing and learning from seasoned players is another great way to improve your digging skills. Take note of their techniques, their movement, and their positioning. Every player brings something unique to the court, and there's always something to learn.

Check out this video from the Olympic YouTube channel of volleyball player Rachel Adams providing tips and tricks to improve your dig: 

How to Improve your Dig feat. Rachael Adams | Olympians' Tips

While the art of digging might seem complicated at first glance, with persistence, practice, and a positive mindset, you can master this vital defensive technique. Whether it's a high-stakes tournament or a casual drop-in volleyball game in the GTA, a good dig can often be a game-changer. Remember, every volleyball legend was once a beginner who decided to step onto the court and give it their all. So, head out, dig in, and let your volleyball journey in Toronto be one of growth, learning, and, most importantly, fun! The city's thriving volleyball scene awaits you!

Looking for an easy way to find pickup volleyball games? Javelin is the easiest way to find volleyball pickups near you!
Latest POSTS