wikiHow to Communicate in Volleyball

Is your volleyball team doomed due to lack of communication? Communication is possibly one of the most important skills in all sports. You need to know who's going to hit the ball, and in order to do that, you need to communicate.


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    Know who is getting the ball at all times. It happens all too often: two guys run to the ball, and they both assume the other will get it, so in turn, no one hits it. "I thought you had it!" The main reason this happened: lack of communication.
    • Call the ball. Say something like, "I got it!"or "Mine!". Make sure it's loud enough for everyone to hear.
    • Don't say "You got it!". The person will most likely have thought you were going to call it, and will not be prepared to hit the ball. Instead, if it's coming at one of your teammates and they don't notice, yell their name to get their attention.
    • If you and someone else go for the ball at the same time, try to call them off. Yell "Mine mine mine!" Before you both reach it so they realize that you can get it, so you don't bump into each other and lose the ball.
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    Make sure there is no uncovered space. Within minutes of the game, people tend to move closer to each other, leaving a lot of ground open. This can result in a point loss.
    • Tell your players where to go. You don't need to be bossy, but if you find that everyone is moving inward, say something like, "Suzie, make sure that spot's covered!" Make sure you say this before the next serve, or people will think you don't pay attention.
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    Say the score before you serve. Say it loud enough so that people on the other side can hear. If enough people forget to say the score, you will most likely lose track.
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    Praise good plays. If someone makes a dive, and hits the ball up for the next play, don't stay silent. "Nice play, Bob!" is a good way to get your point across, and it will make them feel good about themselves. If someone misses the ball, don't yell at them for it. Give them a tip, but don't try to shove it on them. You can say something like, "Good try, next time, just spread your legs apart a little. Good job!" This will praise them for their effort while telling them what to do next time.
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    During the game usually you get three hits to get the ball over the net, and the last one is usually the hit/attack. But, if the ball is being tipped, set, or forearm passed, you need to call "FREE" That requires the people at the net to move back, and the back row players to move back as well. Essentially you should form a W because the setter will be hidden in her position. If this confuses you your coach is the best person to ask. (This is a more advanced way of playing.)
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    If the opposite team is serving the ball to you, and the serve isn't going directly to the back row players, you call "SHORT" so the back row know to move up and adjust there position. And likewise if the serve is a long one, call "BACK!" and everyone will know to move back.
    • Watch certain servers and find where they usually serve, and how far. Once they come up to serve, if you remember their strategy, yell to your teammates "Short Server!" or "Hard Server!" so they know where it is coming.
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    Whenever you are on serve receive, make sure when the server tosses the ball up to serve you say, "Ball's Up!" However, this can be seen as unsportsmanlike because it distracts the server.
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    Tell the coach if you're getting tired. If you're afraid to go out because you're letting the team down, the truth is, you're letting the team down playing while you're tired. It's better if you simply call in a substitute, and rest. This is especially important if you feel sick or injured. You might be suffering from dehydration, making it even more necessary that you rest. If you're injured, you could be making the injury worse by flexing your muscles.
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    If and when you get pulled out, you're still on the team. Remember that. Now you can do twice the cheering! So for whoever goes in for you, be sure to keep support. "Come on, Lacey, you got this!" Or whatever. You're still a part of the team and cheering is communicating.


  • If you call it, you have to get the ball. If you and another person call it at the same time, go for it still.
  • Try not to get frustrated during a game, it only makes things worse and you can't play as well when you're frustrated.
  • Have a good attitude about mistakes. Even when your teammate frustrates you at times, it's no good reason to be rude.
  • Call the ball, but only if you can get it in time.
  • Stop for a drink every fifteen minutes or so, even if you don't think you need one.
  • Praise people for their effort, even if it isn't enough.
  • Tell the coach if you feel tired, sick, or injured.
  • If someone messes up, don't put them down. Be careful what you say though, because some people actually feel worse when someone says "nice try."
  • Honestly just call the ball pretty loudly so you your teammates and possibly even the other team can hear you and if the ball is set up perfectly for you just call them off by saying "ball mine got it" or whatever, just remember to have fun and don't get mad it never helps.
  • If you call the ball, and hear another teammate call for it also, yell "Mine, mine, mine!", so they know that you want it and have the ball under control.


  • Stretch before or you may pull a muscle, and after so you won't be sore the next day.
  • Don't criticize people if they mess up, not even mentally. They, and you, learn quickly from it, and/or brush it off.
  • Don't call the ball if you won't be able to hit it in time.
  • If you feel tired, sick, or injured, take a break to rest.

Things You'll Need

  • A volleyball net
  • People to play
  • A volleyball

Article Info

Categories: Volleyball