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!

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.

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.

Why Use Volleyball Shoes

There are specific reasons that you should use the right kind of shoes for the right sport. Today I’m going to talk about volleyball shoes in particular. Why are they important? What makes them different? Can you use a different type of shoe such as a basketball or running shoe for volleyball? These are questions that get asked a lot about different training shoes. I hope this article helps you understand a little about the difference in shoes.

I did some research on volleyball shoes and asked a few people some questions about their thoughts and feelings on the subject. They gave me their feedback, some really good information and also answered the questions that I had.

The first question I asked was simple. Why are shoes so important? Shoes are some of the most important equipment that you will use. You need to have shoes that have good arch support and keep the foot stable. I know from personal experience that poor support can cause pain in the feet, knees or even the lower back. You also need to make sure that the shoe fits properly so that your foot does not move or shift around inside of the shoe. Not choosing wisely can result in injury.

Next I asked what makes them different. The sport of volleyball puts stresses and wear and tear on certain points of the shoe. For example, the toe area is reinforced which is the first area to wear out on these shoes because of the way your foot drags after serving the ball. The ventilation is also important. Each shoe has been designed with a ventilation system to help keep your feet dry and cool during the game. This helps prevent chafing and reduces the chance of fungus growth like athletes foot. They also have specially designed cushioning in the sole of the shoe. It helps to reduce impact on the athlete’s body after running or jumping. The shoes also have a specially designed rubberized out-sole that helps with traction on the court. This helps the athlete to change directions faster and more easily. Finally the support and stability of the shoe is designed around the rigors of the sport.

The final question was can you use a different type of shoe such as a basketball or running shoe? The simple answer is yes. Those types of shoes will work, but they probably won’t last as long. Also they will not perform quite as well on the court. You have to remember that basketball shoes were developed for basketball and running shoes were developed for running. Although sometimes people feel more comfortable playing in shoes they are more familiar with, that is OK even if it was designed for other sports.

Volleyball Rules: Player Behavior

As a volleyball instructor, you need to display control by supplying your players a set of rules and requirements which they have to know and comply with. Setting down the law during the initial week will be crucial if you want to run a well-oiled machine. I have produced a summary of some tips i believe would be the essentials.

UNACCEPTABLE Behavior

1. Engaging in anything other than watching and cheering when players are on the bench. The players should not be chatting about Jersey Shore or their boyfriends. They need to be paying attention to the game.

2. Distracting a player that is attempting to play a ball. This is along the line of good sportsmanship. Do not let your players fall into this as you really do not want to unliked by other teams. You will quickly make a name for yourself.

3. Yelling or swearing in anger. Once again, sportsmanship. I had a player yell the “F” word during a tight match with lots of people watching. The most unfortunate aspect was it was so quiet because it was such an exciting play. An extremely uncomfortable instant no doubt.

4. Questioning or criticizing an official’s call. Almost nothing bugs me more than watching players ask for a call after every play. Do not allow your players to do that. Let them understand that that is your job.

5. Hurling or kicking the ball in anger. If you have ever coached boys, you realize what I am talking about. They really like to kick the ball as far as they can. Plus, isn’t this like the very first rule of volleyball you ever learned? That and rolling the ball under the net (I really like throwing it over to the person serving).

6. Talking to the officials. You definitely need to make certain everyone knows only the captain can talk to the officials. It really is not entertaining to receive a yellow card at a critical part of a match.

7. Negative cheers. Recall this one?: We want a pitcher not a belly itcher. None of that please.

8. Blaming teammates. Another thing I feel that I observe way too much. Every team has that one player that loves to look at the person who screwed up and say some thing. That is the coach’s job. Do not allow that to get beyond control.

9. Pouting following a bad play. In the event that this happens, just take the player out. This is not really going to benefit the team.

Here is a list of points to encourage:

1. Help teammates off the floor
2. Compliment teammates and opponents on great plays
3. Roll the ball under the net
4. Run to get an errant ball and bring back to the server or referee
5. Cheering at the conclusion of each point (win or lose the point)
6. Cheering from the sidelines (“Jenny’s on fire, Ooh, Ah”, “Keep it up Sara, keep it up”, “Here we go Red, here we go”)
7. Motivating player which makes an error (“Don’t worry, you’ll get it next time”)

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.

Volleyball Drills for Positions

Volleyball drills consist mainly of various ways to hit a ball. The classic formula of pass, set, spike is the main theme of these drills. Volleyball has a lot more finesse than just knowing HOW to hit the ball correctly. Knowing when to hit it, where to hit it, and where to be to hit it correctly are probably the most important fundamental skills that all players must possess. Devising volleyball drills that will help instill these facts into your players’ mind becomes of utmost importance.

When looking at the design of realistic volleyball drills, it is essential to get your team to understand the difference between their rotational positions and their playing positions. After each volley, the team all rotates one position clockwise. This gives each team member several chances to play at each rotational position, including server. It is important for your players to know where they are playing in the rotation, as that is the spot they have to return to after each play. After the team rotates, this is the position that the players will stand at until the ball is served. Having your players scatter on the court, then quickly return to their positions is one of the basic volleyball drills that will help instill this into your players.

After the ball is served, the players will then change to their played positions. Volleyball drills that stress the importance of being mobile are the key to getting these movements down. As you coach your team, you will invariably find a few players that are better at setting than the rest, while you will find strong spikers and passers from other players. Obviously you want your strongest players with each skillset to play in to their respective strengths. You may find that your strongest setters have been rotated to an outside blocker position. Since you want those players to be able to quickly get to the center of the court, you can run volleyball drills that will teach the players how to quickly move from any position in the rotation to their respective played positions. This will help your team members know how to get to their played positions quickly.

One for the best volleyball drills that will work on player position control would involve going through he standard rotation, then holding it for a bit while waiting for the ball to be served. You can start out fairly small and have a single player run through all positions in a rotation, then running to be in position to cover their played positions, then quickly returning to their rotation place. As your team members become more confident in their movements, you can begin to have more of your team join in on these volleyball drills until you have your whole team in on the rotations. At this point, you can even start throwing the ball over the net to simulate an actual play set in a real game.

Each player on your team needs to work hard on your volleyball drills while you are showing them how to play their rotational and played positions. This will help keep their mind focused on where they should be at pretty much any given moment in the game. The purpose of all volleyball drills si to instill a sense of automatic movement in your players. The same holds true in these movement drills. You want your team to be able to move and cover either of their two simultaneous positions at a moment’s notice. The less your players have to think about these things, the smoother their play will become.

Volleyball Serving Drills – Getting the Ball to Go Where You Want

Serving is the one skill in volleyball which is not at all reliant upon the actions of another player. It is completely in the control of the individual. In that way, it is generally the easiest one to develop to a reasonable level. For a new volleyball player, simply getting the ball in the court consistently is a major hurdle, but once that is overcome, being able to place serves with accuracy is the next challenge.

Getting the volleyball to go where you want when serving comes down to one simple, but critical thing – consistency. There are two aspects of this consistency. One is the toss. The other is the ball contact. Put simply, if you cannot toss the ball in the right spot and strike it properly each time, you will struggle to serve the ball where you intend.

Additionally, accuracy is almost always well-served by being pointed at your target. That means face your target from the beginning and make sure all of your motion – your step, your toss, and your armswing – all move in that line. When all of those things are moving in the same direction, the ball is much more likely to go that way.

Alas, there is no magic bullet for becoming an accurate server. It all comes down to repetition. Any drill or game involving serving is one which allows you to work on consistent tosses and ball striking and having everything moving on the line of your target. You just need to make sure you focus on those key points each time you toe the service line.

That said, there are many ways to train accurate serving. Most serving drills can be adapted to require serves into certain areas of the court. For example, rather than doing a simple 10-in-a-row in the court type of drill, you could require that all serves be in one designated half of the court. Naturally, as accuracy improves, the target zones should be made smaller.

Being a really good server, though, isn’t just about being able to hit targets. It’s about being able to put the ball where you want it when called upon. That means having the ability to hit any target at any time. This is critical in trying to take advantage of weaknesses in your opposition’s serve reception and giving your team an advantage. An excellent way to work on this sort of situational accuracy is in drill and game situations where targets are indicated in some fashion (like a coach call) prior to service.

What accurate serving comes down to is the same as with most things – repetition. Given the proper focus and intention, any drill can be effectively used to develop accuracy.

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.