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Volleyball is a fast-paced multiplayer sport that requires you to be responsive and agile. You also need to have a range of technical skills that can only be developed with dedication, practice, and patience.
Spending time to put in the hard work and improve your skills off the court will allow you to set yourself apart from average players. Here, we’ll discuss how to improve at volleyball to become a dominant player on your team.
How to Improve at Volleyball
If you’re a beginner, you need to keep in mind that improving your volleyball game will take time. Use the following tips to start improving at volleyball from today.
Improve Basic Volleyball Moves
The following are the four basic moves that every volleyball player must know how to perform. You should focus on improving these skills as they’ll improve your overall game.
The volleyball serve is the first move that starts the game and it’s performed from the back corner of the court. In order to perform a serve, you need to toss the ball in the air using your non-dominant hand and slap it with the dominant one.
Make sure that your middle finger’s base touches the middle of the ball. It’ll allow you to touch the entire surface area of your hand with the ball to send it to the other side of the net with more power. Observe proper protocol during serving, and avoid having the ball touch any member of the serving team.
Drill to Improve Serve
You can improve your serving skill by using the “serve the wall” drill. First, you’ll need to mark the wall at about eight feet and stand at least 15 to 20 feet away. Then, you’ll need to perform serve repeatedly to hit the marked spot. It’ll allow you to improve the accuracy and speed of your serve.
The pass is your team’s first contact with the ball after a serve or attack is performed by the other team. As a passer, you’ll need to set the ball for the setter by quickly getting into the position where the ball is falling.
To pass the ball accurately, you’ll need to join both your hands together firmly and touch the ball with your wrists.
Drill to Improve Pass
The easiest drill to improve your passing skills is to create a 2 x 2 feet square on a wall using colored tape. Ask your coach or any other teammate to toss the ball in the air. Then, try to pass the ball so that it touches the inner side of the square.
You can also ask the other person to toss the ball in different directions to make the drill more challenging. Performing this drill will allow you to improve your passing accuracy and response time.
If you’re playing as a setter, you’ll need to set the ball for the attacker after receiving it from the passer. Your hands should be in the air with your knees and elbows bent slightly. You’ll need to reach the place where the ball will drop and get into that posture.
After that, you’ll need to push the ball with the fingers of your hands by straightening up your knees and stretching out your elbows at the same time. It’s also important to make sure that you set the ball without spin. Otherwise, it’ll change its direction while it is in the air.
Drill to Improve Set
Making your body muscles strong is the most important aspect of improving your setting skills. The easiest drill to achieve that is to perform wall sets. First, you’ll need to stand about three to five feet away from the wall and perform a set.
The ball should hit the wall and come back to your location and you’ll set it again. Repeat these steps at least 50 times. Then, increase the distance from the wall and perform the same drill again. Not only will it help you improve your setting accuracy but it’ll also strengthen all your muscles that you need to perform a set.
The main job of the hitter is to send the ball to the other side of the net so that it touches the floor. As a hitter, you’ll receive the ball from a setter and need to hit it forcefully by jumping. It’s important to hit the ball’s top with the base of your middle finger and snap your wrist while hitting.
Not only will it increase the ball’s speed but it’ll also give it a top spin. It’ll make it difficult for the other team to keep it from touching the ground. Do make sure that your fingers are taped, so they are protected from any injuries.
Drill to Improve Spike
One of the most effective ways to improve your spiking skill is to toss the ball and hit it against the wall. Make sure that you toss the ball as high as possible and jump while hitting. It’ll improve your hitting speed and make your arm and leg muscles strong which you need for spiking.
Understand Your Responsibilities
Every team makes a strategy before the game and each player needs to play his/her part to execute that. You need to make sure that you understand your responsibilities. For example, if you’re a setter, you’ll need to be ready in your position when a player performs a pass.
Your responsibilities can also change during the game by your team leader. So, you’ll need to be ready for that as well.
Be Ready to Receive Every Ball
While you’re on the volleyball court, you’ll need to keep your eyes on the ball all the time. In addition, it’s also important to expect that every ball will come to you. Whenever the ball moves, you should do it as well. It’ll allow you to be ready when the ball actually comes to you in order to perform your move accurately.
Communicating with your teammates continuously is critically important. It shows that you’re a responsible player and allows you and your team to avoid confusion. It also helps your team to execute the plan successfully to win a point.
If you’re planning to pass the ball, you’ll need to call it early enough so that no one interferes. However, if any other player calls the ball before you do, you’ll need to stay away from the ball and get into your on-help position.
Improve Yourself Physically
Volleyball is a physically demanding game. If you’re not active physically, it’ll become very difficult for you to keep up during the game. You’ll need to perform a lot of training and exercise such as sprints, jump rope, jumping squats, pushups, dumbbell pullovers, frog hops, high-knee skips, and so on.
I recommend you find a good coach who will devise a detailed training program depending on your needs. A coach will also guide you to make necessary changes in your program when needed to keep you active physically.
Consider Private Lessons
Keep in mind that team coaching sessions are extremely important for every volleyball player. They allow you to understand the weaknesses and strengths of your team members and improve your teamwork skills.
However, the coach can’t dedicate all of his/her time to only one player. That’s why you can consider private lessons. Each private lesson will be personalized based on your needs. In addition, you’ll also have enough time to get all your queries resolved.
Important Note: Getting private lessons certainly doesn’t mean that you can skip the team coaching sessions.
As mentioned earlier, improving your volleyball skills will take time. Practicing for a week and then skipping a week will never allow you to become a good player.
Therefore, it’s important to be consistent and patient and keep practicing. I hope these tips will help you improve at volleyball and become a dominant force in your team.