As a very technical sport, volleyball may seem intimidating for beginners. However, any expert will tell you that there are five basic skills in volleyball. Once you feel comfortable with these skills, you’ll be out on the court in no time.
Serving: To start a game, players need to stand 30 feet from the net and get the ball onto the opponent’s side and over the net. A serve can be done either overhand, similar to a tennis serve or a self-tossed power hit swing, or underhand, almost like bowling. For overhand serves, make sure your hand is open, and generally, your arm should be longer (not tucked up by your ear). You can serve a float serve or a top hand. For a float serve, start as if you’re pulling a bow and arrow, toss the ball up, and hit it with a flat hand nice and hard. Topspin serve we’ll get to at a later date!
Pass/bump: The first you’ll have to do after a ball is served to learn how to receive, or pass the ball. This position is where your hands are clasped together, and your arms are straight. Once the ball is about to hit your arms, you slowly lift your arms to meet it. Make sure you don’t interlock your fingers; instead opt for a ball in a fist (one hand is balled, and the other is covering it on the side). Your arms should not be locked out, but balanced and firm, and starting only 45 degrees away from your body. Also, make sure that you’re not standing straight up! Your feet should be a little wider than your hips, and your knees bent slightly.
Setting: Setters will be the next contact after the pass. Setters will greet the ball directly over their head. In fact, it’ll be over your forehead because you wanna make sure you can see the ball. Both hands should be raised and in a triangle, with your index fingers lined up, and thumbs lined up. Your hands should be relaxed ever so slightly, with your fingers spread apart a bit. There should also be a slight bend in the triangle, like the doors of your hands will open up. Once the ball is almost to your hands, you want to cushion the ball and extend your arms like superman!
Hitting: Setters will set up the perfect lob to an attacker or hitter. There is a lot that comes into hitting, like approaching the ball, jumping, and swinging. However, you can stay on the ground and swing if you’re more comfortable with that. The swing will look like the bow and arrow in serving with a more aggressive swing, angled down. If you decide to jump, try an approach! Most attackers will start at the 10-foot line with their right foot forward (if you’re right-handed). Then, as the ball is headed towards you, you take a small step with your left foot, and then two more steps (right-left). The last two steps are facing the setter more and almost look like the passer’s feet position. From here, the hitter will jump up and get that bow and arrow ready!
Dig/Rolling: This last move is designed for returning hitters hit. Diggers will have their arms ready like a passer but typically won’t want to move their arms as much. They may have to move their feet a lot more and roll on the ground to get the ball up! Rolling is a more advanced move, but once you get the hang of it, it is quite fun! Some rolling moves are on the side and some over the shoulder. Try looking up some YouTube videos to see what these looks like, but remember to practice safe rolling!