What is the Ready Position in Volleyball

What Is The Ready Position In Volleyball and How Is It Used?

The ready position in volleyball is the starting pose that players use before the ball in the play. It helps players be prepared for the action. When in the ready position, players stand in a stance that lets them move fast in any direction. This helps them be ready for anything – catching a serve, returning a spike, or blocking.

What is the Ready Position in Volleyball?

The ready position means a player is set both physically and mentally. His body is in the best position to react. The mind is focused and alert. Being in the ready position also means that a player is ready for any play that comes his way. It’s like saying “Bring it on!”

Breaking Down the Position

  1. Feet placement: Players should stand with their feet shoulder-width apart. This provides balance and enables them to move in any direction swiftly.
  2. Knees bent: Bending the knees is crucial. It serves as a spring for jumping, diving or lunging. It offers the agility required in the fast-paced game.
  3. Weight on the balls of the feet: By keeping their weight forward, players can react promptly, especially when there is a need to move forward or side-to-side.
  4. Hands out in front: Arms should be extended but relaxed in front, with hands ready to receive a ball. This stance prepares the player for a pass or dig.
  5. Upper body posture: The torso should be slightly forward-leaning, ensuring that a player is always in motion and never static. This lean is instrumental in maintaining momentum.

Different Ready Positions & their use in Volleyball

1. Front Row Ready Position

During front row ready position, the players in the front row need to be prepared for both attacking and blocking. Their stance should reflect this readiness. In this position, the legs are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with knees bent deeply. The weight is on the balls of the feet. Upper body leans slightly forward. Arms are bent with hands at chest level, prepared to swing for an attack or raise to block.

A middle blocker might use this position while waiting for the setter to decide whether to send the ball forward or back, so they can quickly jump to block or attack.

2. Back Row Ready Position

Players in the back row are primarily concerned with digging (defending against) attacks and receiving serves. In this position, the legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. The weight remains on the balls of the feet. The upper body remains upright but relaxed. Arms are extended in front, with palms facing upward, ready to form a platform for passing.

A libero, specialized in defensive plays, would adopt this position, focusing on the hitter’s arm to anticipate the ball’s trajectory and respond.

3. Setter Ready Position

The setter’s primary role is to deliver accurate sets, usually aiming for the outside, middle or right-side hitters. The body position is staggered stance with one foot slightly ahead of the other. Knees are bent, and the body leans forward a bit, ready to move in any direction. The arms are bent with hands in front, fingers spread, and thumbs pointing towards each other, creating a triangular window.

4. Serving Ready Position

Players preparing to serve must focus on ball control and precision. The feet shoulder-width apart, one foot slightly ahead of the other, body weight shifted onto the back foot. The ball is held in the non-dominant hand at waist level. The dominant hand is pulled back, ready to strike.

5. Outside Hitter Ready Position

The outside hitter needs to be ready for attacks, blocks, and occasional back-row plays. The position of the player is similar to the front row ready position but with a more dynamic stance, anticipating a quick approach to jump and hit. The arms are relaxed by the side but ready to swing back for momentum during the approach.

6. Middle Back Defense Ready Position

In this position, the players are in the middle back, need to cover deep attacks and tips over the block. The arms are slightly bent and in front, palms up, ready to form a platform or dive for a save.

7. Short Serve Receive Ready Position

Preparing for a short serve or a serve that drops quickly. The body position in this serve is more forward than usual, knees bent more deeply, and lean slightly forward. The arms are extended but slightly downward, palms facing forward, ready to push the ball upwards. In this position, a player expects a crafty server to serve short, so they shift forward to pick up the ball quickly.

8. Blocking Ready Position

This is for front-row players ready to jump and block the ball. In this position, the arms are bent at a 90-degree angle with elbows in front, ready to extend fully upon jumping. A tall middle blocker anticipates the outside hitter’s attack, prepares, and jumps to deny the hit.

9. Transition Ready Position

After blocking or attacking, players must transition off the net to prepare for the next play. In this position, a player is quick, choppy steps backward, then adopting a stance similar to the front row or back row ready position. The arms of the players can either be at the sides or in front, depends on proximity to the net and the play’s progression. After attempting a block, a player quickly transitions off the net, preparing to hit or cover a teammate.

10. Tip Coverage Ready Position

In this position, the legs of the players are slightly wider than shoulder-width, leaning forward, ready to move quickly. The arms are extended in front and low, prepared to scoop the ball or dive if needed. For example, when an opponent’s hitter is off-balance, players prepare for a tip rather than a powerful hit, adjusting their stance to cover the dink.

Why is the ready position important in volleyball?

The ready position in volleyball is fundamental for several reasons, ensuring players’ optimal performance and the team’s cohesive functionality. Here’s why the ready position is important:

  1. Quick Reaction: Volleyball is a fast-paced game where the ball can change direction in a split second. Being in a ready position ensures that players can react quickly to spikes, serves, tips, and blocks.
  2. Optimal Movement: Proper ready positioning offers better mobility on the court. Whether moving laterally, forward, backward, or transitioning from defense to offense, the ready stance facilitates smoother and more efficient movements.
  3. Prevention of Injuries: Being in the correct posture reduces the risk of injuries. A proper ready stance ensures balanced weight distribution, reducing undue strain on muscles and joints and making it safer to dive, jump, or roll.
  4. Building Foundation: Before learning advanced techniques and strategies, players must master the basic ready position. It forms the foundation for all other skills in volleyball.
  5. Enhanced Anticipation: Being in the right position allows players to read the game better. They can more easily predict opponents’ actions, whether it’s a powerful spike or a sly tip over the net.
  6. Consistency: Regularly adopting the ready position breeds consistency in a player’s game. Over time, this stance becomes instinctual, allowing players to focus more on strategies and less on basics.
  7. Improved Defense: A proper defensive ready position ensures players can cover more court area and reach balls that might otherwise be considered out of play.
  8. Efficient Offense: For attackers, an appropriate ready stance facilitates a better approach, jump, and swing, leading to more powerful and accurate hits.
  9. Enhanced Team Play: When every player is in the right position, the team functions like a well-oiled machine. Players can cover for each other, reduce gaps in defense, and set up effective offensive plays.
  10. Boosted Confidence: Knowing and consistently adopting the correct ready position instills confidence in players. When a player feels prepared, they are more likely to make decisive plays and less likely to hesitate during crucial game moments.
Ready Position in Volleyball
Ready Position in Volleyball

Ready Position’s Importance in High School varsity Volleyball

The ready position is a key skill in varsity volleyball. It helps players in many ways:

  • It lets players react and move faster to match the high game speed.
  • Players can transition smoother into hits, blocks, and defense. This saves crucial milliseconds.
  • Proper stance reduces injury risk from dives, rolls, and jumps.
  • Regular practice builds muscle memory so movements become instinctual.
  • All players should know general ready positions, not just specialists. This gives coaches more options.
  • Coaches emphasize ready positions early in training. By varsity level, it’s consistent in gameplay.

Bottom Line

In essence, the ready position is the volleyball equivalent of a sprinter’s starting stance or a basketball player’s defensive shuffle. It’s the fundamental posture from which all actions originate, setting the tone for a player’s performance during the game.

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