If you’re just getting into playing volleyball, then you’ve got a lot to learn. Luckily, most volleyball rules and skills are fairly simple to grasp. In this article, we’ll go over the most basic volleyball tips so you can start enjoying the game and developing your skills.
After reading this, you will know the rules of the game, how to position yourself, and the core skills that can make you a valuable member of your team.
Wearing The Right Attire
When playing volleyball, it is important to wear clothing that will not impede your movement. Loose clothing can get caught on the net or on other players, and tight clothing can restrict your range of motion. Many volleyball players opt for clothing that is form-fitting but not too tight, such as spandex shorts or a tank top. Have a look to see what clothing is typically worn for playing volleyball comfortably.
Synthetic fabrics that allow your skin to breathe are a good choice, and you may also want to wear a sweatband or headband to keep your hair out of your face. By dressing appropriately, you can help ensure that you have a fun and successful experience while playing volleyball.
Volleyball is made up of two teams that play on a court. The court is split by a net, which height is determined by the players involved. A lower net makes it easier to play. A higher net is typically for more competitive players.
The court is boxed in with lines that are considered the boundary for each team’s side of the court. Players are allowed to move freely anywhere on the court once play has started.
The goal of the game is to get the ball into the other team’s side of the court and to fall within the boxed boundaries, resulting in a scored point for your team.
A typical volleyball game is played to 25 points. A game is not won unless you beat the other team by two points, so you may end up playing past 25 points.
Play starts when one player serves the ball from the back line of their court. The opposing team must receive this serve and try to send it back to your side. If you are receiving a serve, you cannot block the serve. You have to let it go over the net.
When the ball enters your side of the court, your team is allowed to make contact with the ball three times. Each time you touch the ball, it counts as one contact. You can’t make contact two times in a row, so you’ll have to pass to a teammate.
If you want to make contact again, your teammate will have to pass it back to you. Ideally, every time a ball comes into your court, you’ll want to make all three contacts as this gives your team control and time to make smart decisions. Hit the ball over the net and try to avoid passing to your opponent. Hit the ball within the lines of their court to score a point.
There are essentially six positions you can play in volleyball. When playing as a beginner, you only need to know some of them. Let’s talk about who is serving, setting, and hitting. The person who is serving will get a chance to initiate the play. So long as your team keeps winning points, that person continues to serve.
A setter is a person you pass to when receiving the ball from your opponent. Their role is to receive your pass and set the ball nicely for another teammate to hit the ball as effectively as possible. A good set will give a hitter the time they need to get into position and hit the ball as hard as they can.
The hitter is the person who typically hits the ball last. They wait for a pass from the setter and will jump as high as they can to hit the ball into the opponent’s court. If a set is not perfect, they might just volley the ball to the other side. The key to winning points long-term is control of the ball.
When your team loses a point, the other team gets to serve the ball to you. If you win a point, you get to serve to them. This back and forth initiates rotation between teams. Players will change positions during each rotation. This gives every player a chance to serve, set, and hit. Rotation is clockwise and only happens when you become the team that gets to serve.
Blocking is a fairly advanced technique that requires being able to jump high as well as timing your jumps. Your hands should be held up high and firm. A strong hit can break through a block if it isn’t ready to receive the hit. Improve your blocking by learning how to increase your vertical jump for volleyball and you’ll become a more valuable team member.
To be able to block a ball effectively, you can practice with some simple drills that will help to improve timing and footwork. They’ll also help you to get used to how firm to hold your hands when attempting a block.
Common drills for blocking in volleyball require at least two other people, who can focus on their own drills while you practice blocking. A hitter on the other side of the court will pass the ball to a setter. The setter will set a ball for hitting. You can try blocking the hit that comes after.
Passing is one of the most valuable skills you can learn in volleyball. Without a good pass, a play is as good as dead. It’s easy to practice passing as you’ll only need one partner. Stand about ten feet apart and start bumping the ball to each other. Alternate between bumps and volleys and try getting to a point where you don’t need to go chasing after the ball all the time.
A good hitter can score dozens of points for their team. Hitting is hard to master, but anybody can do it. You don’t always need to jump to hit, and you don’t always need to hit like a cannon. A hit is simply a good attack against the opponent. Hitting can be all about placement.
A good hit comes from a good set and a good approach. If you receive a good set, then you can focus on your approach, which is how to wind up to hit the ball. Ideally, you’ll want to come in from the outer side of the court, allowing you to hit the ball inwards and across your opponent’s court.
Hitting can also be done from the back row. If your team is having a hard time passing the ball well, you can step in to hit the ball from the back row.
Hitting drills can be worked on with a partner who sets you or you can simply throw the ball up to yourself and hit the ball that way. The benefit to having a partner to set you is being able to practice your approach as well.
Setting requires a lot of technique. It’s not enough to just pass the ball to your teammate, you have to provide them with enough time to make an approach and jump in the air. A good set is placed high in the air and has lots of control. The ball should be a little bit off the net but not too close.
Working on your setting is easy when you focus on doing some drills. Just like the passing drills, you’ll want a partner you can pass to. Instead of being ten feet apart, try standing five feet apart (or less). The closer you are, the harder it will be to control the pass. You can also work on setting by helping a hitter with their hitting drills. They will pass the ball to you and you can set the ball to them.
One of the hardest things to do when starting out is getting a consistent serve. For most people starting out, getting the ball over the net is the hardest part of serving. As you progress, you’ll focus on aiming your serve and adding power to your serve.
There are essentially two kinds of serves and both are equally effective. You can choose to serve underhand or overhand. An overhand serve is more difficult to perform as it requires much more control. It’s how players can serve a ball with more power, but an underhand serve can be just as good. Remember, if you can’t control the ball, you’ll lose the point. So focus on control over power.
Serving drills are the easiest to do. You can do it by yourself and you don’t need to move too much. If you can get your hands on plenty of balls, you can serve over and over until your shoulder gives out. If you only have one ball, you can stand a few feet off the net and serve into the net.
Receiving a serve is about reading your opponent and being in position. The easiest way to read your opponent is to look at their shoulders. Which direction are their shoulders facing? There is a good chance that’s where the ball is going. Just by knowing the ball’s direction, you can be in position before the ball is hit toward you.
When the ball is coming, put your hands together to get ready to bump it. Bend your knees and point your shoulders towards your setter. The ball will pop up and your setter will get a good enough pass to set your hitter.
Lessons, Camps, and Clinics
One of the fastest ways you’ll learn to improve your skills is to participate in a volleyball clinic. Clinics are short lessons hosted by professionals that teach a small group of people some core skills. They’ll also give you some time to play where they’ll watch your form and technique. You’ll learn better positioning, better footwork, and better technique in as little as one hour.
There are also volleyball camps where you can learn in a class setting. Look up some local camps and clinics to see what kind of programs are available near you.