How to Get Better at Volleyball

How to Get Better at Volleyball? Step by Step Guide

Being a volleyball player, I am of the view that regular practice is necessary to become master in the game. Beyond honing techniques on the court, maintaining physical fitness off it was equally crucial.

But what stood out was the bond with my teammates. We learned from each other about the value of feedback after each and every game.

Mental strength helped me to perform well in crucial matches. The set goals also provided motivation to deliver my best in the game. All of above, the dedication, passion and teamwork make me better in the volleyball.

The discussion is not end here. I am going to hand down some techniques, that will be beneficial for you in improving your volleyball skills.

How to Get Better at Volleyball?

By adopting following steps, you can improve your skills in volleyball: –

1- Improve the Physical Fitness

Volleyball game requires reflexes, strength and endurance. To excel, players need to have not just the technical skills but also the physical fitness to back them up. By adopting the following steps, the players will be able to develop fortitude and the explosive strength for quick plays.

i- Cardiovascular Endurance

Volleyball involves short bursts of high-intensity activity followed by moments of rest. Improve your cardiovascular health by:

  • Running: Start with jogging, then incorporate interval training. Sprint for 30 seconds followed by a minute of walking. Repeat.
  • Jump Rope: This also helps with footwork and timing, which are essential in volleyball.

iI- Strength Training

Enhancing your muscle strength can improve your game significantly. Focus on the following areas:

  • Legs: Squats, lunges, and calf raises will help with jumps and quick movements.
  • Core: Planks, sit-ups, and Russian twists can strengthen your abdominal muscles, essential for powerful hits and serves.
  • Arms and Shoulders: Push-ups, dumbbell presses, and shoulder raises can help with serving and spiking the ball.

iII- Flexibility

Being flexible can prevent injuries and help with movements in volleyball. Incorporate:

  • Dynamic Stretching: Do these before your workout. Examples are leg swings and arm circles.
  • Static Stretching: Do these after your workout. Stretch each muscle group for 15-30 seconds.

iV- Plyometrics

These are jump training exercises and can help improve your vertical leap. Examples:

  • Box Jumps: Jump onto and off of a sturdy box or platform.
  • Broad Jumps: Jump forward as far as possible from a standing position.

V- Agility Drills

Volleyball requires quick reactions and directional changes. Drills like:

  • Cone Drills: Set up cones in a zig-zag or square pattern and practice quick cuts and turns around them.
  • Ladder Drills: Quick footwork through agility ladders can improve your speed on the court.

VI- Balance

Having good balance helps in maintaining posture during play. Try:

  • Single-Leg Stands: Stand on one foot and try to balance. For a challenge, close your eyes.
  • Bosu Ball Exercises: Stand or do exercises on a Bosu ball to work on stability.

VII- Practice Skills

Along with fitness, refining your volleyball skills is essential:

  • Serving: Practice different serves like topspin, float, and jump serves.
  • Setting & Passing: Regularly practice with a partner or against a wall.
  • Spiking: Work on your approach, jump, and hand contact.

VII- Recovery

After all the hard work, ensure you recover well.

  • Rest Days: Allow muscles to heal and prevent overuse injuries.
  • Hydration: Drink enough water before, during, and after play.
  • Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet to fuel your body.

VIII- Mental Fitness

Volleyball is also a game of strategy and teamwork.

  • Visualization: Imagine yourself making the right plays.
  • Team Bonding: Spend time with your team outside of practice to build chemistry.
  • Stay Positive: Keep a positive mindset, even when things get tough.

2. Practicing Serve

The serve is often considered the first line of attack in volleyball. A consistent and powerful serve can put the opposing team under pressure from the outset. While underhand serves are more beginner-friendly, mastering the overhand serve can give players an edge. Here’s is a guide on how you can improve your practicing serve: –

  • Consistent Toss: A consistent toss sets the foundation for a good serve. Focus on tossing the ball at the same height and spot every time. Practice just the toss multiple times without actually serving.
  • Use Targets: Place targets (like cones or hoops) in various parts of the court. Aim to hit these targets with your serve to improve accuracy. Adjust targets regularly to practice different serve placements.
  • Vary Serve Types: Don’t stick to one style. Practice underhand, overhand, float, and jump serves. Each type will help develop different muscles and techniques.
  • Film Yourself: Use a camera to record your serving. Watching yourself can help identify any technical flaws in your stance, toss, or swing.
  • Strength Training: Strengthening the muscles used in serving can help increase power. Focus on exercises that work the shoulders, core, and triceps.
  • Serve Under Pressure: Simulate match situations. For example, challenge yourself to make 10 successful serves in a row. If you miss one, start over. This can help improve concentration and nerve.
  • Feedback: Practice with a partner or coach who can give you feedback on your technique, speed, and placement. External viewpoints can catch mistakes you might not feel or see.
  • Flexibility and Warm-up: Ensure you’ve properly warmed up before practicing to avoid injuries. Incorporating flexibility exercises, especially for the shoulder, can improve the range of motion and power of your serve.
  • Mental Visualization: Before serving, visualize the ball going where you want it to go. This mental preparation can help with accuracy and focus.
  • Practice Regularly: As with any skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Set aside dedicated time regularly to practice and refine your serve.
  • Work on Your Footwork: Believe it or not, your feet play a significant role in a good serve. Your weight transfer and step into the serve can add power. Practice stepping forward as you strike the ball.
  • Stay Relaxed: Tension can affect your serve. Keep your grip, arm, and shoulder relaxed for a smoother serving motion.
  • Set Goals: Whether it’s increasing the number of successful serves in a row or mastering a new type of serve, setting goals can motivate you to push yourself.

3- Perfect in Passes

A good pass is key to a successful play. It sets the tone for what follows, be it a spike, block, or another strategic move. Players should focus on the following points for perfect passes in the volleyball: –

Proper Stance

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly, lean forward a bit from the waist.
  • Keep your weight on the balls of your feet, ready to move quickly.

Hand Position

  • Place one hand open, palm facing up.
  • Lay the other hand on top, fingers spread wide.
  • Bring thumbs together, forming a flat platform.

Eyes on the Ball

  • Always watch the ball from the server’s hand until it contacts your own hands or arms.

Move Your Feet

  • Instead of reaching out with your arms, move your feet to get under the ball.
  • The ball should ideally contact your forearms, not the hands.

Use Your Legs

  • The power for the pass comes from your legs. Push with your legs while your arms stay steady.

Face Your Target

  • Shoulders and hips should be squared to the target, directing the ball.

Follow Through

  • After contacting the ball, follow through towards your target, ensuring the ball goes in the desired direction.

Practice

  • Regular drills with a partner, practicing both underhand and overhand passes.

4- Try Slow-Motion Training

Every sport has its nuances, and understanding each motion in volleyball can drastically improve a player’s game. Slow-motion training involves players dissecting each action in detail.

This technique is particularly useful for novices or those looking to fix certain mistakes in their technique. It’s like reviewing your gameplay in reduced speed to pinpoint where to enhance.

5- Learning to Block

One of the game’s defensive linchpins, blocking can effectively counter strong spikes from opponents. While a good jump can give height advantage, it’s the player’s ability to read the game and anticipate the ball’s trajectory that truly makes a block successful. Regular drills that focus on these aspects can make one a formidable force at the net.

6- Training on Power Hits

A powerful hit or spike can be a game-changer. By perfecting arm swings and quick wrist motions, and strengthening the upper body, players can hit harder and more accurately, making it tough for opponents to defend.

7- Dynamic Position Shifting

The ability to transition quickly and efficiently between different court positions can often be the difference between winning and losing a point.

Volleyball requires players to be on the move constantly, adapting to the ball’s position and the opponents’ play.

Drills that mimic real-game situations, where players shift positions dynamically, can instill a sense of fluidity and understanding of the court’s geometry.

8- Increase Your Flexibility

A flexible body can react faster, move more fluidly, and is less prone to injuries. Here’s how you can increase flexibility for volleyball:

  • Dynamic Stretching : Before practices or games, engage in dynamic stretches. These include leg swings, arm circles, and torso twists. Helps to increase range of motion and prepare muscles for action.
  • Static Stretching: After practices or games, hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Examples include hamstring stretches, quad stretches, and calf stretches. Allows muscles to relax and lengthen.
  • Yoga and Pilates: Incorporate yoga or Pilates into your routine. Both practices emphasize flexibility and balance. Poses like the downward dog, pigeon pose, and cobra stretch can be especially beneficial for volleyball players.
  • Warm Up Properly: Before stretching, ensure your muscles are warm. Jogging, skipping, or light aerobic exercises can help.
  • Stay Consistent: Dedicate time to flexibility training daily or several times a week. Consistency is key to seeing improvements.

9- Practice Your Defense

As the saying goes, “A good offense is a good defense.” In volleyball, a solid defense can stifle the most potent attacks. Key defensive moves like diving, rolling, and quick lateral movements can be the bane of an attacking team.

Regular drills that focus on these aspects, along with understanding and anticipating opponent strategies, can make a team almost impenetrable.

10- Improve Your Conditioning

A five-set match can be grueling. It challenges both a player’s ability and their physical and mental stamina. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) effectively mimics the brief, rigorous actions seen in volleyball.

When paired with extended running sessions to develop endurance, players are equipped for the lengthiest and most demanding games.

11- Perform At-Home Volleyball Drills

There will be days when accessing a court might be challenging. However, this doesn’t mean to stop the practice. Here’s how you can perform at-home volleyball drills:

  • Wall Setting: Stand a few feet away from a wall. Use your setting technique to volley the ball against the wall, focusing on hand placement and wrist action.
  • Pepper Drill Solo: Toss the ball into the air, bump (pass) it up, set it, and then spike or hit it with a downward motion. Chase the ball and repeat. This helps with ball control and hand-eye coordination.
  • Serving Practice: If you have enough outdoor space, practice your serve. Focus on your toss and hand contact. Use targets like cones or buckets to improve accuracy.
  • Balloon Passing: Use a balloon if space is tight. The slower movement of the balloon allows you to focus on forearm contact and form.
  • Wall Spiking: Toss the ball up and approach the wall, jumping and spiking the ball against it. Focus on approach steps and arm swing.
  • Shuffle Drills: Simulate the quick side-to-side movements of volleyball. Set two markers a few feet apart and shuffle between them, staying low and quick.
  • Jumping Drills: Practice vertical jumps or box jumps (using a sturdy platform) to improve your spiking and blocking jumps. Focus on explosive power from the legs.
  • Ball Control: Sit on the ground and pass the ball into the air, aiming to keep it directly above you. This helps with control and precision.
  • Core Workouts: Exercises like planks, sit-ups, and Russian twists can strengthen your core, crucial for powerful hits and serves.
  • Flexibility and Balance: Incorporate yoga poses or balance exercises. Strong flexibility and balance benefit every aspect of volleyball.
  • Mental Visualization: Take moments to visualize gameplay. Imagine receiving serves, setting, or spiking. This mental practice can enhance your actual gameplay.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a great volleyball player requires skill, planning, fitness, and mental strength. It takes hard work and dedication. Every part, from serving to defending, is important. Whether a beginner or aiming to go pro, the goal is to always learn and love the game. Every action in volleyball helps improve the player’s game.

How to Get Better at Volleyball
How to Get Better at Volleyball

More to read

Similar Posts