How to Be Good at Volleyball

Five Methods:Practicing Basic TechniquesPracticing Your TechniquesImproving Your Vertical Jump HeightGetting Your Body in ShapeLearning from Others

Whether you’re playing volleyball at school, at a community center, or on the beach, strive to be the best player you can be. Developing from an average player to a good player demands patience, dedication and a focus on improving your skills. You can hone your skills by being willing to constantly learn, change tactics and practice a lot.

Method 1
Practicing Basic Techniques

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    Acquire good equipment. In order to practice volleyball, you need access to good equipment, including a comfortable outfit that allows a range of body motion, shoes specifically designed for volleyball, and a good quality volleyball. As well, you should have access to a volleyball net and court.
    • Men, especially taller men, may need to opt for a basketball shoe instead of a volleyball shoe.[1]
    • In order to do some volleyball drills, it can be helpful to practice against a tall smooth wall or a basketball hoop.
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    Practice the basic volleyball stance. When you play volleyball, you will assume a basic ready position. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees. Make sure your body weight is more on the balls of your feet so that you are ready to move quickly.[2] Hold your arms loosely in front of you
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    Practice shuffling your feet. Many volleyball moves require you to move quickly from side to side. Minimize the amount of movement (and the amount of energy required) by shuffling your feet side to side. Stand in the basic ready stance and move sideways in a straight line. Keep your body low to the ground.[3]
    • Do not cross your feet over one another while shuffling. You might trip.
    • Once you’ve got the hang of shuffling your feet, start integrating it into other drills, such as passing the ball to another player.
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    Learn how to serve the ball. Serving the ball is done from one back corner of the court. The ball is hit over the net. This puts the ball in motion in the game. To serve the ball, toss the ball straight up into the air with one hand. Bring your other arm up over your head to hit the middle of the ball. Make sure to fully extend your arm, and make contact with the ball when your arm is extended. It is also important to make sure the ball is in front of you when you make contact with it. Keep your arm moving downward in order to follow through with the hit. Your footwork is also very important here, as it can determine how hard you hit the ball, and if it even goes over the net. you can either start with the foot opposite of the hand you're hitting with, or on the same side as your hitting hand. If you start on the same side that you hit with, you will take another step, and lean on that opposite foot for leverage.If you start on the opposite foot you hit with, you will simply toss the ball, and lean in as you hit. You will need to see which works best for you, and also practice your timing.[4]
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    Learn to pass the ball. Stand in the basic ready position as the ball is moving downward. Position yourself just behind where the ball will land. The earlier you’re ready to hit the ball, the more time you have to make minor adjustments.
    • Put your arms together in front of you with your elbows close together. Hold the back of your hand in the palm of your other hand and press your thumbs together. Don’t swing your arms; rather, move your shoulders to pass the ball.[5]
    • Use the force of your core and lower body to power the ball in the right direction.
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    Learn to set the ball. Setting the ball is a maneuver in which one player makes contact with the ball, setting it up for another player to spike the ball. Set the ball by raising your arms above your head. Touch all of your fingertips together and then pull your hands apart so there is just enough room for the volleyball. When the ball comes down over the net or is passed from another player on your team, get under the ball and bounce it up with your fingertips.[6]
    • Do not touch the ball with your palms. A correct set uses only the fingertips of the thumbs, index fingers and middle fingers.
    • Work up to properly setting the ball by first catching the ball in between your fingertips. Once you’ve mastered the ball settling into your hands smoothly and with balance, then work on springing the ball into the air with your fingertips.
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    Learn to spike the ball. Spiking the ball is a technique to hit the ball forcefully over the net so that the other team has a hard time recovering the ball. Spike the ball after another player on your team sets the ball. As the ball moves upward in the air, jump up to meet the ball at its highest point. Hit the top of the ball with the middle of your hand: this will give the ball a solid top-spin, sending it over the net.[7]
    • Spiking the ball effectively requires good timing. If you jump too early or too late, you’ll miss hitting the ball at the best position. Practice spiking frequently to hone your timing.
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    Develop a good sense of timing. Volleyball is a sport that demands keeping your eye on the ball at all times and knowing when to pass, spike or hit the ball over the net. Having a good sense of timing will strengthen your defense.
    • Develop your sense of timing by practicing drills that emphasize timing, such as blocking the ball at the net. Blocking the ball will demand that you watch the ball carefully and keep your eye on other players’ movements.[8]

Method 2
Practicing Your Techniques

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    Practice serving to a target. Set up a target such as a ball cart at an opposite back corner of the court from where you’re standing. Practice serving the ball to the target. Count how many balls hit the target or land in the ball cart.[9]
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    Practice with a basketball hoop. A basketball hoop is a good partner for practicing techniques such as passing, setting and serving.
    • Pass or set the ball towards the hoop. Stand at the foul line, or about 15 feet (5 m) away. Toss the ball into the air and pass or set the ball towards the hoop. Try making a basket with your passes.[10]
    • Serve the volleyball at the hoop. Start at the foul line, or about 15 feet (5 m) away. Aim for the square on the backboard. Try hitting the square 10 times in a row.[11]
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    Practice against a wall. When you don’t have a partner, you can still use a solid, smooth wall as an imaginary partner. Use the wall by passing the ball towards the wall. Hit the ball when it rebounds to you.[12]
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    Practice like you’re in a game. If you are able to practice on a volleyball court with a net and a partner, always practice like you’re playing in a game. For example, if you are working on passing the ball, have your partner send the ball over the net to you. If you are practicing spiking the ball, do so over the net.[13]
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    Practice other drills. There are many combinations of drills that integrate serving, passing, setting and other skills. Search online for suggestions, or talk with your coach or trainer to learn more drills.

Method 3
Improving Your Vertical Jump Height

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    Measure your current vertical jump height. Having a high vertical jump will enable you to be a more formidable player, giving you an advantage over your opponent. Achieve high jumping with plyometrics, which are movements that are completed with a lot of force very quickly.[14] Measuring your current jump height will give you a good indication of how much you are improving. To measure your height:
    • Ask someone to observe you. Jump up as high as you can next to a wall while reaching your arms upward. Have your observer mark on the wall how high you jumped and measure the height.
    • You can also put a bit of chalk on your hands. As you jump up against a wall, extend your arm upward and touch the wall at the highest point you can reach. Measure that height.
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    Jump onto a box or bench. Use a surface that is about 2 feet off the ground, such as a jump box or bench. Face the box and jump on it with both feet landing flat and balanced. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions every day. When this height becomes easy for you, add more height and challenge yourself further.[15]
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    Do jump shrugging. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold 10-pound weights in each hand at your sides. Bend your knees and jump up in the air. At the same time, shrug your shoulders to help lift the weights. Land back down with both feet firmly balanced on the floor. Complete 3 sets of 25 repetitions every day.[16]
    • When this weight becomes easy, increase your weights in 5-poumd increments.
    • Alternately, use a medicine ball instead of weights. Lift the ball above your head as you jump up. Bring the ball back to your chest when you land on the ground.[17]
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    Try jump roping. In between other exercises, jump rope as quickly as possible for 30-second intervals. This will not only improve your ability to jump quickly and with height, but it will also improve your endurance and cardio performance.
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    Strengthen your leg muscles. Training your leg muscles will help you jump higher with more force. Do squats, deadlift weight training, and other strength training for your legs 2-3 times a week.[18]
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    Re-measure your jump height after 2 weeks. After spending two weeks on these types of jump training exercises, re-measure your jump height to see how much you have improved. If you haven’t improved as much as you’d like, keep working at these drills.

Method 4
Getting Your Body in Shape

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    Get regular exercise. Doing a variety of exercises, from cardio to strength training, will help you get your body in shape to play volleyball effectively. Plan to exercise for an hour 4-5 times per week.
    • Consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.
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    Strengthen your upper body. Having a strong upper body is essential so that you are able to block and spike the ball with force. Do exercises that build muscle strength in your chest, shoulders, arms and core, such as rowing, bench pressing and push pressing. Doing core strengthening exercises, such as Pilates, will also help.
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    Strengthen your leg muscles. Training your leg muscles will help you jump higher with more force. Do squats, deadlift weight training, and other strength training for your legs 2-3 times a week.[19]
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    Schedule rest and recovery days. Your muscles will need breaks from intense training that you will do, so be sure to schedule days off to allow your body to recover. Have an intense training day on Friday, for example, and give yourself rest days on the weekend.
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    Get lots of sleep. Being well rested will replenish your energy level every day so that you are ready to give it your all on the court. Get about 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and 1-2 additional hours per night if you are a teenager.
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    Eat well. Feed your body with foods rich in nutrients and vitamins. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with protein and whole grains. Avoid refined sugars and refined carbohydrates.
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    Drink lots of water. Keep your body hydrated, especially when you are exercising rigorously every day. Before you exercise, drink an extra 25-30 ounces of water, and then drink 8 ounces of water for every 15 minutes you exercise.[20]

Method 5
Learning from Others

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    Work with a coach or trainer. Find a qualified coach or trainer who can work with you one-on-one to help you with drills and technique. Talk with the coaching staff at your school, community center or at a volleyball camp in your area to find a person who is willing to take you on.
    • Alternately, find a player with more years of experience than you. This person may be willing to mentor you and help you improve your skills.
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    Join a team. Volleyball teams are organized through schools, community centers and YMCA centers. Join a team or league to get regular practice and to participate in scrimmages or matches.
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    Attend summer camps or clinics. Ask your coach or other teammates about summer camps or clinics that they might recommend. These range from one day clinics to week-long camps. Search online for a camp or clinic in your area.[21]
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    Watch volleyball matches in person and on TV. Watch how professionals play the game. Pay attention to their strategies, strengths, weaknesses, and interactions with other players.

Tips

  • Be patient when practicing volleyball. Volleyball skills are mastered through repetition and drills. This will take time, but with dedication and focus, your practicing will pay off.[22]

Warnings

  • Check with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Sources and Citations

  1. http://sneakerreport.com/features/how-to-pick-the-perfect-pair-of-volleyball-shoes/
  2. http://www.volleyballadvisors.com/volleyball-skills.html
  3. http://www.volleyballadvisors.com/volleyball-skills.html
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Article Info

Categories: Volleyball