Pass A Volleyball Like A Pro: Learn Three Ways To Precision Passing

Effectively pass a volleyball with these three ways to increase serve receive accuracy

Pass a volleyball like a pro: (Photo Jaroslaw Popczyk)Pass a volleyball like a pro: (Photo Jaroslaw Popczyk)


How do you pass a volleyball?

a) Anticipate where the ball is heading and quickly move to get the middle of your body behind the ball.

b) Hold your wrists together keeping elbows straight to form a  "platform" which is what you use to make contact with the ball.

c) With bent knees and in an athletic stance with hips lower than the oncoming ball, contact the ball with your platform keeping arms very straight so the ball contacts your arms only once.

d) Angle the platform by dropping your shoulder in the direction of where you want the ball to go before you guide it to your setter, or to another hitter or even across the net.


When You Pass a Volleyball, How Do You Keep Your Hands Together? 


Here is step-by-step instruction for the three grips you can choose from, when you pass a ball.


Forearm Pass a Volleyball
Hand Position Option #1


a) First you would put the back of your open right hand into the open palm of your left hand, that way, your two opened palms are turned upwards towards the sky so your two open hands form an X.

Then you close your hands together in such a way that both thumbs remain on top of both fists and in contact with each other, side by side.

Now point both thumbs to the ground. You now have created your "platform" which you use when you contact the ball.

Watch Japan's Arisa Sato, one of the best passers in the world


By pointing your thumbs to the ground, the platform created with your arms, remains nice and flat, perfect for controlling the ball to your intended target when you make contact with it. 

Be sure to make contact with the ball above your wrists and below your inner elbows, not on your hands!

 Forearm Pass a Volleyball
Hand Position Option #2


b) You can first make a fist with your right hand, turning it sideways so you see your thumb on top of your fist.

Then place that fist of your right hand into the palm of your left hand until, once again your two thumbs meet and are lined up side-by-side.

Then, just like in forearm pass grip option #1, you would point both thumbs down towards the ground, tightly holding your the wrists and thumbs of both hands together.

This forces you to keep both of your elbows straight and will help you maintain a flat platform or flat surface when you contact the ball. 

Once again, do not make contact with the ball below your wrists, you will never be able to consistently control the ball and get it to your intended target that way. 

You do want to move your feet fast enough to get to where you think the ball is going to land, before it gets there. This is called reading and anticipating the ball.

Once you do that then you position your body to pass the ball on the part of your arms that is below your inner elbow and above your wrists.

Volleyball Forearm Pass a Volleyball
Hand Position Option #3


I don't recommend this grip for beginners. But for some college and pro volleyball players this type of grip works for them.

c) This last option is to choose to not have a real hand grip at all.

But if you can manage to keep your wrists together, so they still form the required "table-top" platform with your forearms, keeping them as close as possible when you bump the ball, you can still be a precise passer using this style of grip.

I tried option C for a while when I was playing professional indoor volleyball, but I didn't like how often my arms broke apart, which increased the risk of passing the ball with bent elbows.

So I went back to volleyball pass grip option #1 which I felt most comfortable with.


The most critical element to remember during your volleyball pass is to keep your wrists, forearms and elbows together and as straight as possible when you make contact with the ball.


Related Links:

Learn How To Serve A Ball Overhand 

The Hit

Block Tips

The Setter

Essential Skills

Girls Skills

Middle Blockers

The Pass

Precision Passing

Five Pass Tips


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