How to Dig In Volleyball

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A volleyball game cannot be won by just depending upon the attackers of the team. The defensive play is as crucial as the attacking on the court. Thus, it is imperative for each team to learn about how to dig in volleyball, as this will give them recovery from the spikes from the opposite side of the court.

How to Dig In Volleyball?

If a team is not good at their defensive play, it will be challenging for them to survive in the game. There are a certain number of tactics that the defensive players should learn to step up their defensive play on the court. Here is the step-by-step guide for aspiring defensive players to improve their dig.

Volleyball players playing on sand

Step 1: Study Your Opponent

To get into the best position for a dig in volleyball, it is really important to study your opponent first. Here are some reasons and pointers to do so.

  • Start by studying the attacking patterns of your opponent, as it will allow you to plan a perfect position for your dig.
  • You can study the opponent’s style by keeping an eye on their swing and spike approach when warming up or performing a comfortable hit during the game.
  • Do not commit too quickly to what you see; the opponent can be clever enough to mask their moves and even the direction of the attack.
  • Keep an eye on the shoulders of the player. The direction of the shoulder is the key direction towards their intended hit.

Thus, by studying the shoulders, you can analyze the opponent’s play and prepare yourself for a perfect dig.

Step 2: Becoming Adaptable and Ready

Sports have always been unpredictable. Thus, one should always work towards becoming adaptable and ready to tackle anything that can come during the play.

  • Sometimes the ball might not fall in the direction it was intended to. In this case, you need to work on your reflexes to overcome these challenges.
  • If most of the players are ready and adaptable to the situation, then anyone can recover from a hard spike through their dig.

Step 3: Active Position

A player should always be active, as you never know where the spike may head. This is where defense drills come in. This will prevent blunders and losing any points to the opposing team.

  1. Keep your body weight forward and remain in an athletic position to tackle any sudden attacks from the opponent. The position will help you in moving freely during the play.
  2. Once you are ready to get a dig, make sure, your body is low and leaned forward. This is an ideal posture for a good dig.
  3. Place your hands and arms in a position like you are about to give a pass. Make sure your thumbs and hands are pointing towards the ground.

Step 4: Adjusting the Ball

After getting into the position to dig, it is time to move towards adjusting the ball.

Volleyball player doing the dig
  • You have to make sure that your position is under the ball; your feet should be planted at that position creating a platform for the ball to bounce off.
  • If the ball is not in your direction, do not dive into it, as it will result in an unpredictable pass.

Step 5: Digging the Setter

Since you are ready and in a position for a perfect dig, it is time to start digging the setter, as the ultimate goal here is to prevent the opponent from scoring.

  • Mostly the diggers set the ball in the air and go for a defensive play.
  • The really skilled diggers chose to dig the ball in the direction of their setter to go for a seamless attack and score a point.
  • You can aim the ball towards the setter by positioning your body at the angle of your setter.

Here is the link to a video guide about how to take a perfect dig.

Step 6: Absorb and Reset

If you are a digger, you certainly do not want to attack the ball. Thus it is time to absorb and reset.

  • To go for a defensive play, it is really important to absorb the ball, thus not make any sudden arm movements and allow the ball to bounce off the platform.
  • After the dig is completed successfully, do not stay idle as the ball may still head towards you until it really has ended.

Breakdown of the Dig

Here is the breakdown of the dig to understand the methodology in a better manner.

  • Make sure to keep your hands apart, as it will provide you freedom of reacting to any sudden attacks from the opposing team.
  • After decoding the ball’s direction, make sure you get into the position of receiving the ball. Keep your hips low that you can allow a controlled pass.
  • Make sure the direction of your thumbs is towards the ground, and the contact with the ball is handled with both arms for a controlled hit.

By mastering the dig, you may become the libero of your team.

A dig is performed by setting the hips low with arms positioned to predict where the ball is coming and get under it

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Objective of Volleyball?

Volleyball is a game that involves a lot of skill, and the objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net without letting it touch the ground. Each team gains and loses points, spending on the errors made by each of them in the court.

What Is a Court Area?

The court area, also known as the zone, is the place on the court where a player stands. Since there are six players, there are a total of six zones on the court.


Learning how to do a perfect dig is a challenging task; in fact, volleyball as a sport, in general, is a challenging one as it demands a lot of skill and physical strength from the players. As a reminder, it is always good to start from the basics.

The players have to go through several drills daily to learn those skills and make a certain improvement in the sport. Consistency is the key in volleyball.

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.