Tag Archives: Volleyball

How to Improve Your Volleyball Skills

If you are looking for the magic bullet to take your Volleyball Skills up a notch, I am sorry to disappoint you. There simply isn’t a ‘get pro fast method’ in Volleyball. Talk to the professionals, and they will all tell you that it takes the right technique combined with hours and hours of solid training. Of course, there are longer ways to go about getting good at playing Volleyball. If you are learning the wrong technique then you will certainly take longer to get good than those that have the right technique from the beginning.

You wouldn’t believe how much the attitude and mental side of sports plays in learning, improving and performing at your best. There are coaches that focus entirely on this side of sport, and its worth looking into. Above and beyond that though, it comes down to your attitude to putting the hours in, and ensuring that you are learning the right technique.

I will suggest that placing a video camera on a tripod during every game (well away from anyone that could run into it) and recording each game is the fastest way to improve. You can watch the whole game, and if you do it soon after then you will remember the individual moments. Its easy to see on camera silly mistakes that were made, and you can easily correct these majority of the time. Even better, if you watch it with your team then you will be able to constructively criticize their performance, and they can do the same to you. Of course, you have to be careful this doesn’t get too serious that people are put down, but creative and intuitive suggestions are usually welcome amongst team mates.

The other thing to remember is that if you really want to get good you just copy someone else. Go to as many top level Volleyball games and watch what the players do. You will very quickly see how the best of the best play, and they have done the hard work. There’s nothing wrong with copying them either, its the fastest way to learn and you will even surprise yourself!

Above all though, have a positive attitude, be willing to listen to others and spend a lot of your time implementing good suggestions. If you have a good coach, then you will have no problem in taking huge steps forward with the right attitude. I’d also recommend combining the Volleyball Skills with weight training to ensure you are fit and perform at the highest level possible.

Volleyball Drills for Blocking and Defense

There are many aspects to the sport of volleyball. To many coaches, the most important skill to work on is defense. Creating and running volleyball drills for blocking will help your team become much stronger in their defense. If your team has strong defensive skills, they will be able to keep their opponents from scoring. Any lack of score on their side makes it that much easier to score, and ultimately, win on your own side. Here are a few volleyball drills designed to help with blocking that will go a long way toward building that winning team.

When running volleyball drills to strengthen blocking skills, it is important to remember that most blocking will take place right at the net. It is often a one on one play, with the blocker and the hitter virtually face to face. Anticipating where the player in front of the blocker is going to go, going to be, and going to hit is paramount to success. This is just a simple matter of being able to read the hitter. To that end, one of the great volleyball drills to use is the mirror drill. In this drill, two players face each other on either side of the net. They will actually both be playing the part of blockers. The players must mirror the movements of each other. This helps with anticipating where the opponent is going to be, and what he is going to do. Have each player take turns being the lead, so the other blocker is the mirror. Breaking the mirror, or not being able to keep movements symmetrical, three times will result in a penalty. You will find that your players begin to motivate themselves to do the best they can. Be sure to have your players mix things up quite a bit and throw in some surprise moves to be sure the players are kept on their toes.

Another of my favorite blocking volleyball drills is the joust. Jousting is a simple game that pits two blockers against each other. Have your blockers stand on either side of the net. You will then toss the ball in such a way that it will be centered over the net between the two defenders. The defenders then have the option to decide if they want to defend the shot of go for the kill. Ultimately, either way is going to have the ball get through one of the players. The players score one point for each successful block, and one point for each successful kill. The first player to 10 points wins. The loser will be penalized. For added interest, you can divide the team into 2 teams and keep a running total of the team score, penalizing the losing team. The reason that this drill works so well is because it teaches the players to look at the dynamics of their opponent. A shorter player will find that their strategy, whether to block or score, will change if they are facing a taller player. Two players of roughly the same height will have to decide what to do based on what they feel their opponent is going to do. To this end, it is important that you mix up the couplings, to give each player a variety of opponent types to face off with.

A good set of volleyball drills for blocking will help your team go a long way toward becoming a winning team. These two drills alone will help your blockers have the edge over any other team in your league. They will help build anticipation and analysis skills, which count for so much more than simple brute strength and repetition of basic skills. There are many more defensive volleyball drills that you will learn, but adding these two in your practice book will ensure that you have some of the best blockers in the game.

Volleyball Drills You Can Do Alone

Volleyball is a team sport. It requires the effort and support of everyone on the team in order to be successful. To this end, most volleyball drills are designed for the team to work together on. However, much like any other sport out there, the more an individual can practice, the more they will bring to the team as a whole. Because most players don’t live with each other, it is important to work on a set of volleyball drills that a player can work on when alone. These are drills that can be done between practices or even in the off season. While they are generally beginning drills, they will help even advanced players stay sharp the year round.

One of the skills taught be volleyball drills is accuracy. A good solo drill you can work on is simply standing in front of a wall and hitting a certain spot on the wall. This sounds simple enough, but in practice there is much more to it than this. The player will pick a spot on the wall and aim to hit it. They will want to work on perfect form to get the most out of this drill. While a simple exercise, the wall-hitting is one of those very versatile volleyball drills that a player can do alone. They can work on spiking, serving, and even setting. Each type of hit will present the player with a set of challenges that ensure the ball travels to the spot they have chosen.

Before leaving the wall behind, your players can use the wall for other volleyball drills too. The wall-block is a very good drill that can be accomplished solo. The object of this drill is to start in a blocking position, jump and “block” the wall at a spot that is higher than the height of the net, and land in the block position again. Players should change the height and angle of the spot they hit in order to remain flexible. One of the best parts of this drill is that it teaches your players how to block a ball without causing a net foul. If your player isn’t careful performing this drill, they will scrape their arms and elbows on the wall. Since this would equate to the net in a real situation, you will find that your players learn very quickly the correct form to use when blocking. That means that they will drag their arms across the net a lot less.

Volleyball drills for passing and setting are a staple in any coach’s repertoire. Unfortunately, most drills require at least two people in order to pass the ball back and forth. A player can work on this alone, however. The player should toss the ball up in the air and bump it back up with both arms. Then they can rotate hits, switching to individual hands, setting the ball, and even using their forehead. This will teach total and complete ball control for them. The object is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible using only legal moves to do so. Just the ball control learned from this is worth the time invested in teaching this drill.

It is important for your players, as well as coaches, to learn that they can work on some volleyball drills on their own. The more that a player drills, the better their performance will be. A team is made up of the sum of each player’s individual performance. Using solo volleyball drills will also show the team that a player feels the sport, therefore the team, is important enough to put in a little extra effort. The effort will pay off for the team as a whole when it comes to game time.

How To Be a Good Volleyball Coach

Connect positively
Connect in a way that is encouraging and that proves that you have got the very best interests of the players at heart. Communicate with mothers and fathers, officials and also other coaches in a proactive, respectful and constructive method.

Teach volleyball essentials
Instructing method and form now prevents players from creating undesirable habits. Remember that we desire the players to like volleyball and have fun. Include things like games into just about every practice to ensure that players have fun and learn skills.

Coach the rules and method of volleyball
Teach the rules of volleyball and include them into individual instruction. We likewise want the players to grasp the way to shake hands pre and post matches, the way to switch sides, how to rotate and how to understand the referee’s signs. You need to plan to look at the rules any moment an opportunity occurs in practices.

Direct players in competition
Your duties include figuring out lineups, conversing with officials and rival coaches and players, and making reasonable tactical choices during games (when you should call a time out). Do not forget that the main objective isn’t on winning at all costs, but on coaching the kids to participate good, do their utmost, increase their volleyball skills, aim at win within the rules and above all, enjoy it! We would like you to encourage the players to try and use three hits on a side mainly because in the long-term that is the way they will be competitive. A team concentrating on this method could actually win a lower number of games than a team that simply plays the ball over. But remember, our club chooses to develop players to be good when they’re more mature therefore being focused on three hits is going to be emphasized during the entire season.

Be a fantastic role model
To players in elementary school, older people and high school players are observed closely and imitated. These players will recall their coach for a long-time (maybe a life time). They will remember the pros and cons. Remember to set a great example for the kids: be positive, be diligent, be excited and be encouraging.

Help players become excellent team members
Train them to cheer for each other, back one another up, talk with each other, support each other and celebrate together. These intangible characteristics are no less necessary to teach than the skill of hitting the volleyball. For example, in teaching very good team defense, stress to young players the relevance of playing within the rules, displaying respect for their competitors, and learning how to back each other up.

Care about your team and players
An additional crucial aspect is to have authentic concern for your players. Make an effort to know every player on your team and exactly what drives them best. Remember that your players are learning brand new skills and it may perhaps be hard for them. Be understanding, encouraging and passionate. Address your players as you would like to be treated. Show that you get pleasure from coaching and spending time with the team both on and off the court.

The Basic Skills Used in Volleyball

There are six primary skills in the sport of volleyball. They are as follows:

Serving – Every play in volleyball starts with the serve. It is the only skill of the game which is completely in the control of the individual player. The serve may be executed either from a standing position or while jumping. The two primary types are float serves, which are hit with no spin so as to knuckle in the air, and top spin serves, which are struck so as to cause the ball to dip down toward the end of its flight.

Passing – Passing is the act of directing a ball coming from the other team in the form of either a serve or other non-attack form of play toward the net where it can be set. Quite often these passes are executed using the forearms (sometimes known as bumping), but they can also be done overhead (at least in the indoor game).

Setting – After a ball is passed (or dug) on the first contact, a second one is used to provide an attackable ball to a hitter. This set is usually executed overhand in the indoor game, though can also be accomplished using a forearm pass. You will see the latter – generally referred to as a bump set – in the beach game quite often where the restrictions on ball-handling are somewhat tighter.

Hitting – Also known as spiking, hitting is the process of attacking the ball into the opponents court. The objective is to score a point by causing the ball to land on the floor or to be played out of bounds by a defending player. This is generally accomplished by jumping and hitting the ball above the height of the net with a downward trajectory.

Blocking – The first line of defense against a hitter is the block. In blocking, a player (or players) attempt to prevent the ball from being played into their court by stopping it from crossing the net at the point of attack. This is executed by jumping very near the net and extending the arms above the head, and into the opponents side of the court for those with the height and/or jumping ability to do so.

Digging – Executed in a similar fashion to passing, digging is the handling of an attacked ball. It can be done either using a forearm pass or overhead, though generally speaking the ball is coming at a more rapid pace than in the case of normal passing. The idea, however, is the same in terms of playing the ball in the direction of the net to then be set.

How to Increase Your Speed in Volleyball

Volleyball is a game which requires a lot of skill and good reaction time. The extra second it takes for you to get on the ground and bump the ball up could be the difference between losing a set or winning it. In many situations, Volleyball games are extremely close, meaning the sets are played almost point for point. Make an error that could have been easily avoided and you will regret it! There are many ways in which you can improve your speed in Volleyball, and I’d like to share them below.

The first, and most obvious thing to do is practise. The more balls you have hit at you the faster you will be able to react. If you are finding you still take too long to decide whether to bump or set the ball, you need more practice. It’s just a matter of dedicating that time to practice, and you will increase in leaps and bounds.

One of the biggest problems I see regularly is the position that players stand in. In Volleyball, they often call it the ‘ready’ position, because you have the best posture for moving at the blink of an eye. Try this little experiment – stand up straight and put the weight on the rear of your feet, and have someone yell go when you aren’t expecting it. Time how long it takes you to move to a set position, whether that be forward, to the side or backwards.

Next, try the same experiment but instead of putting the weight on the rear of your feet, stand on your toes and lean forward. You will notice that you can move much quicker. Even better than this, you should be standing crouched down a little bit, with your feet spread apart and the majority of your body weight on the front of your feet. Have a look at the professionals – they all stand with the weight forward so that they can react within the shortest time.

You will find that the more time you spend leaning forward the better your posture is, and the more comfortable you become. I guarantee with practice and the correct ‘ready’ position you will be able to move considerably faster than any other technique. Most of all, don’t give up. Everyone can react quickly with the right training, and its just a matter of getting to the stage where it is second nature!

How Volleyball Is Played

Compared to other team sports, volleyball may involve less physical contact but it is still a challenging sport for the reason that the game entails constant motion. Being purely a rebound sport, no player can hold the ball but can only pass, set, hit, spike or block the ball.

The court

Volleyball is played by two teams on a court which is divided crosswise by a net. The offensive goal of each team is to send the ball – without holding the ball — in such a way that it lands on the ground of the opposing team.

The players

Each team consists of 6 players who must rotate in a clockwise position every time the team wins back service time. Three players are at the net positions and the other three are at the back. Only the players at the net can block or spike near the net. Those at the back court can also block or spike provided that they jump from behind the three-meter-line, also known as the attack line.

The starting line-up usually includes such specialists as the setter, two center-line backers, two receiver-hitters and what is known as a universal spiker. In 1998, the International Federation of Volleyball introduced a new specialist player position called the libero who is the only one that does not take part in rotation.

The libero serves a critical role in receiving service and playing defense in the backcourt. Although he cannot serve, spike or rotate into the frontline, he holds the key to making his team run a successful offense by a combination of excellent passing and ball-handling.

Scoring

Volleyball has adopted since 1998 a standard scoring system known as the Rally Point System which allows a team to score a point regardless of whichever of the two teams is serving. This is unlike the traditional scoring system in which only the team at service can score.

The ball is hurled into play by a service. Each team is allowed only 3 hits in the service reception. The ball is volleyed back and forth in what is known as a rally. The rally goes on until the ball gets grounded on the playing court, goes out of the court or is not returned properly. Whoever wins a rally scores a point.

A receiving team which wins a rally not only gains a point but also wins the right to serve and the opportunity to rotate clockwise.

Matches

Matches are staged via best-of-five sets. The first four sets are all played to 25 points while the last or fifth set is played to only 15 points. A team wins a set if he out scores the opponent by at least 2 points. As there is no ceiling point, a set continues until a team wins by 2 points.

Uniform

During the early years of volleyball, the usual attire consists of baggy shirts and shorts. Today, volleyball uniforms are less baggy and more formal-looking. Shirts could either be sleeveless, short-sleeved or long-sleeved and paired with either trousers or shorts. Players also wear volleyball shoes.

Strategies for Effective Use of Volleyball Drills

Face it, volleyball drills can be a real drag, whether you are a coach or a player. The players continually drill, essentially doing the same thing everyday, while the coach watches them to see if they are working hard and doing what they are supposed to. In reality, volleyball drills are not fun, and can cause burnout rather quickly. There are many ways that you as a coach can make these inevitable occurrences a little more bearable, if not downright fun at times.

One way to relieve the boredom of volleyball drills is to make a competition of them. Throw in some friendly competition, and you will notice that your players seem to work just that little bit harder. Faster runners, harder hitters, higher jumpers, all of these can play into the overall game. A good way to promote this is to provide a grand prize that your team can shoot for. Perhaps find a way to have a weekend stay at a nice hotel at the end of the season. For every competition that a player wins, they can have their name put in a raffle. After the season, at the awards dinner, the winner is drawn from all entries. You could even have second, third ad so on winners. This gives a tangible goal for players to shoot for. To keep everyone interested, you might even have intermediate drawings for smaller prizes throughout the season. Before you know it, you will see your players working extra hard to improve in their volleyball drills.

Because your players know that they are going to be doing volleyball drills for every practice, it will be easy for them to burn out. Instead of letting them burn out, take a few days each season “off”. Rather than doing drills on a hot day, take the team to the community pool and let them just splash around and have some fun. There is no greater exercise than being in the water. Every movement is met with resistance from the water around you. This is actually a really good physical workout, disguised as a day of fun. In keeping with the sport itself, feel free to toss a ball in the pool with them to hit over the net. This can also serve a secondary purpose. Because of the resistance of the water, the players’ moves will be slowed down more than normal. Watch them and take note of little things that may need to be worked on. That will give you something to work on the next day, when you return to volleyball drills. After all, improving form and skill is the reason you practice your team in the first place.

A favorite way to make volleyball drills more enjoyable is to have the players teach them to younger players. It is a well-known fact that you can’t teach something if you don’t know it well. Teaching a set of drills to a younger player is a great way to see if your players understand exactly what the purposes of the drills are. Your players will find themselves looking at the volleyball drills from the same point of view as you are. You will shortly find that they are able to grasp the reasoning behind them much quicker when you start teaching them new and harder drills. If your players know why they are working on a particular set of drills, they will be able to understand the best way to get the most out of them. You may even find that your players begin to offer suggestions on how to make certain drills better for the team that you have missed.

In the end, the volleyball season will consist of a long stream of volleyball drills, repeated over and over. They will become second nature to your team. That doesn’t mean that they have to be boring and repetitive. Using just a little bit of creativity, you can make your volleyball drills more enjoyable and less work. Since they are more enjoyable, your team will have less reluctance to try their hardest. Before long, you will find every member of your team improving, and chances are, they won’t even realize it until their next game. When they win their next game, and see the ease with which they did it, you will find the biggest factor in making the incessant drilling more bearable: Your team’s sense of pride.

Condition Your Team With Volleyball Drills

For any team, no matter what the sport, practice is not fun. No matter what kind of fun you put in your volleyball drills, the fact of the matter is that they still involve a lot of practice, and are just plain hard work. Like any sport that requires conditioning, after the first few weeks of practices, you will find out who is really there to play. These first few weeks are generally considered the conditioning weeks. Volleyball drills and conditioning go hand in hand. It is hard for your team to understand exactly what the reason behind this conditioning is.

Volleyball is a very demanding sport. Because of this, your conditioning volleyball drills will push your players to the limits of their abilities, and beyond. One of the key components in the game is strength. A player must be strong enough to hit a blazing ball across the net. Their legs need to be strong enough to propel them into the air for that block that could mean the difference between winning and losing. However, pure strength isn’t quite enough. Your players will need to have a good dose of explosive strength. It is important to be able to go from a standing position to a powerful jump, with a blistering hit behind it. To this end, you should include some strength training into your volleyball drills, such as weight lifting, squats, or even working with a medicine ball.

Adding agility exercises into your volleyball drills will prove to be vital also. Agility is important in creating a winning team. Picture how boring the game of volleyball would be if there was no diving saves, or pinpoint serves. In every spike that is ever executed, agility and strength are important parts of the move. Even blocking, passing, and setting require some agility to be performed correctly. Adding such exercises as frog jumps or explosive push-ups into your volleyball drills will help your players’ agility become a stronger force with each practice.

The volleyball drills mentioned so far can be fairly tough. It is the hardest, yet most vital component of conditioning drills that will turn practice from a slight workout to a grueling thing of dread: endurance. It is great to be able to spike and serve beautifully in the first set of a game. Being able to perform the same move, with as much grace and power after playing for 45 minutes or more is what is going to make a winning team. Building the endurance of your team will make it so they can play just as well at the end of the game as they did at the beginning. Obviously, long distance running or extremely long practices could accomplish this, at least to a point. But this is where exercises like suicides and down-ups added into your volleyball drills will really pay off. These exercises are designed to cause a player to exert an amount of energy very quickly, followed by a short rest then repeating. This will help any player’s endurance become strong enough to last through an entire game.

Conditioning volleyball drills are, from a player’s point of view, the worst thing about any practice. They can be difficult to justify until an actual game is played. It is easy to see first hand what working on serving or setting will affect. These are visible gains that can be seen every time the ball is hit, either in practice or a real game. Conditioning isn’t visible, so progress can be hard to measure. That progress won’t be really shown until actual game time, at which time you and your team will see that of all the volleyball drills you worked on, conditioning can arguably be considered the most important skill to have worked on.

Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Volleyball

Volleyball is a sport beloved by many and can easily be played year-round. However, if you have the chance to hit the court outdoors when the weather’s good, why wouldn’t you try to get in some fresh air and sunshine while you play the game you love?

There are differences between indoor and outdoor (sometimes called “sand”) volleyball. These differences are not enough to be real game-changers, but there are some things to be aware of depending on your volleyball environment.

The Volleyball Court

Sand volleyball courts and indoor courts are fairly different in size. Beach courts are actually smaller than indoor courts. Indoor courts have a rule where players in the back row cannot advance behind a certain point in the court to hit the ball, whereas sand volleyball players can hit the ball from anywhere on their side of the net. The reasoning behind the smaller sand court size may be that getting any traction and running in sand is much more difficult than on a hard surface. A smaller court keeps the ball in play longer, keeping rallies more entertaining and face-paced.

Players Per Team

With the larger court size for indoor volleyball, it reasons that a larger amount of people would be needed to cover the area. Indoor volleyball requires six players per team, or side. Each player has a specialized position that rotates and switches throughout the game. Sand volleyball is usually played with two-person teams. One player hits from the left side of the court, one hits from the right. The serve is rotated between the two players. There are no specialized positions and each player is usually well-versed in all hits, blocks and digs. At competition-level sand volleyball, players can have dedicated positions such as one may block and one may dig, but both could still hit.

The Volleyball

The ball itself is one of the differences between indoor and outdoor volleyball. Indoor balls are made of leather and are somewhat heavier than balls used outdoors. These heavier indoor balls can be hit harder and tend to move more quickly than an outdoor ball. Sand volleyballs are bigger, softer and less heavy than indoor balls. The lighter weight helps them float through the air better, allowing more experienced players to use the weather to their advantage.

Keeping Score

Indoor volleyball has matches made up of five sets or games. Games are played until the first team reaches 25 points, and are declared the winners of that game. Three sets win the match. If both teams have won two sets, a tiebreaker game is played to 15 points. Teams switch sides after each game.

Sand volleyball has matches made up of only three sets or games. Games are played until the first team reaches 21 points, and if a tiebreaker game is necessary, it is played until 15 points.

In both versions, a game must be won by a minimum two-point margin.

Touches

The way the ball is touched or handled by players is different between the two types of games. Indoor volleyball allows players to block the ball without it counting as one of the three allowed hits for each team. Sand volleyball counts a block as one of the three hits allowed.

Indoor volleyball also allows open-hand tips, or dinks, which send the ball just slightly over the net, however sand volleyball does not allow these types of moves.

If you enjoy volleyball, then it probably doesn’t matter whether you play it indoors or outdoors. In fact you may find that you do prefer one way over the other, but just getting to play the game you love any time of year is a big benefit. Educating yourself about both versions of the sport will help your game-play, and hopefully your enjoyment of the sport as well.