How to Become a Better Volleyball Player

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Volleyball is an intense team sport that involves coordinated positioning and precise timing to spike, pass, and bump the ball successfully. You need to hone your agility, speed, and reaction time and learn to communicate effectively with other players.

Improving your volleyball skills requires the willingness to learn and dedicated effort to understand and master basic gameplay techniques. The tips discussed in this guide will help you become a better volleyball player.

How to Become a Better Volleyball Player

If you want to become a dominant force in volleyball, you’ll need to go back to the basics. Mastering the following fundamental gameplay techniques will help you improve your volleyball skills.

Improve Your Physical Fitness

Improving your endurance and stamina is critically important to becoming a successful athlete. The following are some of the workouts you should regularly perform as a volleyball player.

  • Overhead press
  • Shoulder stretches
  • Leg stretches
  • Dumbbell-squats
  • Single Leg (RDL) Romanian Deadlift
  • Overhead triceps
  • Dumbbell snatch

These exercises will help you improve your muscle strength to play to your full potential. Many volleyball players also perform 50- to 60-yard sprints running for 15 to 20 minutes with a break of 30 seconds. Since volleyball is an aerobic sport, jump rope is also a great way to improve cardiovascular health and strengthen the lower and upper body muscles.

Learn the Right Way to Serve

The volleyball serve is performed from the court’s back corner. A great serve can give your team the advantage right from the beginning by putting the opponent team on their heels. Consider practicing the following to improve your volleyball serve.

Stance

Placing your feet in the right spot is critical to performing a successful volleyball serve. Step forward with the foot opposite your hitting hand to gain leverage while striking and following through on your serve.

Overhand Serve

Bring your serving hand up and hold it at shoulder height. Then toss the ball up in the air using your other hand. As the ball starts to descend, hit it in the middle in a downward motion using your palm. You’ll need to swing your serving arm fully up over the head to hit the ball with full force.

The Jump Serve

The jump serve technique is the same as the overhead serve. The only difference between the two is that you’ll need to jump while hitting the ball with your fully extended arm in a jump serve.

Test your accuracy by practicing different force intensities and experiment with both serve types to determine the right style that works best for you.

Improve Your Passing Skills

After you’ve locked down your serving technique, the next step is to learn how to throw the ball to one of your teammates efficiently. You’ll need to make sure that you don’t send it to the ground. Practice the following drills to develop the skill of passing volleyball to a teammate with accuracy.

Fast Feet

When the other side serves the ball to you, you must swiftly position yourself right behind the location where the ball will fall. This entails quickly assessing the trajectory of the volleyball to determine its landing spot and positioning yourself in the right place.

Effective Communication

To avoid misunderstanding and confusion, you must call each shot by indicating to your team that you will receive and pass the ball. A simple “It’s mine or I’ve got” should suffice. You must indicate to your teammates even when it seems obvious.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Hold your arms out in front of you with hands clasped and elbows close to pass the ball efficiently. Allow the ball to fall toward you rather than swinging your arms up to receive it. As the ball passes right in front of you, push your thumbs together and pop the ball back up using the back of your thumbs and wrists.

The sooner you get into position after the opponent team’s serve, the more time you have to decide where and to whom you’ll pass it. You can improve your volleyball passing skills by practicing with a teammate or even against a wall.

Sharpen Your Bumping Skills

The bump is the basic volleyball pass used when you need to react to the opponent’s attack or receive a serve. You need to hit the ball up in the air with the top part of your forearms (just below the thumbs).

While bumping, it’s important to make sure that you give the ball just the right bounce that allows your teammate to perform a skillful spike or return. The impact of the volleyball on your forearms will sting a little, so it’s important to practice this pass type to toughen and strengthen your forearms.

Improve Your Setting Skills

The setting is the second step of passing in volleyball. Like a bump pass, you can help one of your teammates spike the ball effectively.

You’ll need to get under it to set the ball efficiently as it’s passed to you by one of your teammates. Raise your arms above your head with the fingers extending, hands open, and elbows bent. Use your fingers to bounce it back up as the ball falls, but avoid touching it with your hands.

To ensure correct lift, an efficient set requires the tips of the thumbs, middle, and index fingers. Don’t forget to communicate with your teammates if you plan to set the ball.

Practice Your Blocking Skills

Blocking the ball coming from the side of your opponent team effectively requires timing, anticipation, and observation. Having a great vertical leap will also help you improve your blocking skills.

The first step in attempting a block is identifying and observing the hitters before and after each serve. Tracking the front line of the opposing strikers will allow you to determine the exact moment when they’re positioned to set up a spike. Then you’ll need to place yourself in the right position to block them.

Blocking a strike requires a lot of practice, and you can ask your teammates to help you. They can set and spike the ball over the net toward you. It’ll help improve your reaction time to attempt a block instantly. We recommend box jumps to improve the height and power of your leap.

Enhance Your Spiking Skills

In competitive volleyball, the spike is considered the most dominant move. Mastering how to spike is very challenging, but it makes you a fierce volleyball player. It’s a technique in which you leap high enough towards the net to drive down a set ball over the net with full force to gain a point.

A successful spiked ball will be the one that falls on the ground on the other side of the net. It’s a difficult move as it requires so much power and the right timing. If you jump too late, the ball will drop too low and won’t clear the net, and the ball won’t be high enough if you jump too soon.

Final Words

Maintaining your physical fitness, coordinating with the team, observing, and most importantly, practicing continuously can help you improve your skills. It’s also important to follow the instructions of your coach and fitness trainer unconditionally.

We hope this guide will help you learn and master the fundamental gameplay techniques to become a better volleyball player.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.