If you are a girls volleyball player either in high school or on a club team,
then you know that sometimes the speed of the volleyball game can be
so fast that sometimes you can feel lost on the court.
I know that many times it may seem like the other team is establishing
the speed of the game, but there are ways for a girls volleyball player to
help her team establish its own rhythm.
You can play a part in determining the speed at which your team should
play the game. Here are a few suggestions on how you can change the
pace or control the speed of the game so that you can effect the
rhythm of the match.
One simple way for girls volleyball player to control the speed of the
In girls volleyball, often one team will get a free ball pass from their
opponents, and they are so excited to get this "gift" that they rush to
pass the ball.
Since a free ball is a gift that you've just received from your opponent,
you want to take full advantage of this situation because it doesn't
When it does happen, you want to make absolutely sure that this free
ball turns into a point or a sideout for your team, especially since you
don't know when the opposing team will give you another free ball
To take full advantage of this opportunity, the goal of a girl's volleyball
player should be to give herself and her team, time to run their free ball
play perfectly. In order to do that, she will need to take control of the
The last thing a volleyball player wants to do is give the setter a bad
pass especially on a free ball opportunity. By playing the ball in a low
but balanced position you increase the possibility of your pass getting
to the setter's hands.
Don't stand up to pass the ball. Too many times I've seen free ball
passers stand up to take the easy free ball up high at their shoulder
level. Or even worse, they pass the ball with almost straight legs.
Just because you've been given an easy ball to pass, doesn't mean you
can throw your volleyball passing technique out of the window. During a
free ball pass, it's even more important for a volleyball player to use
perfect passing technique to insure the pass gets to the intended
If you are a girls volleyball free ball passer, you should use the few more
inches it takes for the volleyball to descend, to get yourself in a good
low position, really squat underneath the ball to deliver a perfectly
passed ball to the target.
Those few seconds that you allow for the ball to descend to a lower
point before you pass it, not only gives you time to gain more control of
the pass, but it also buys time for your hitters to get further back in
The more time a volleyball player can give her hitters to get back in
transition, the more time they have to get back to the ten foot line--or
behind it and prepare themselves for the team's free ball play.
This move will also allow you to control the speed of your next play and
so it affects the tempo at which your girls volleyball team plays the
With the hours you put in of passing the ball in your girls
volleyball practice, you know that a normal pass reaches about four to
six feet above the height of the net before reaching your setter's
As a talented girls volleyball player, you can control the speed of your
team's free ball or down ball counterattack by raising the height of your
pass so that the ball has a much higher arc.
If you pass the ball so it reaches 8 to 10 feet in the air above the
height of the net, you will slow down the pace and rhythm of the
A good time to pass the ball higher in a volleyball game is when your
team is having trouble getting a sideout. Either in serve receive or when
your team receives a free ball, you would probably want to slow the
game down, when the opposing team is running a faster offense and it
feels like your team just isn't establishing it's own team rhythm.
By slowing things down on your side of the court, it gives your setters
time to think about what play she wants to run. It buys her a few
seconds of time to recognize what the opposing team's block is doing
and where they are being the most effective.
Now, your hitters have a bit more time to take their best spike approach
that will allow them to see the block and the open spaces to hit to on
the opponent's volleyball court.
Also, your teammates have a little bit more time to think about
concentrating on performing their basic volleyball skills well, which will
help your team get back into the volleyball game.
Just like you can slow down the rhythm of the game, the opposite is
true as well.
Does your team need to speed up the pace of the game?
By purposefully passing a ball that is one to three feet above the height
of the volleyball net, a volleyball player can deliver a well-targeted ball
right to your setter's hands at a lot faster pace.
From the passer's platform to the setter's hands the speed of the
pass can determine how fast a team run's a play.
The setter is not the only volleyball player who can control the rhythm
of the game. You, as a passer can too.
You should practice this with your team's free ball attack and transition
In practice, with free balls you can purposefully speed up your free ball
or even down ball passes, as long as you pass the ball from a low
balanced position, without sacrificing accuracy, precision and control in
order to run a faster paced attack.
Your girls volleyball team can run pre-determined plays that can be
called by the setter when she sees an easy high free or down ball
coming over into your court. But remember, the play will work only if
your setter gets the ball passed right to her.
Accuracy is the key.
Depending on your coach and your team's free ball passing ability, it
may be best for your setter to be the one to call the free ball play to
If the setter calls the play when she sees the easy free ball coming over
to your court, then your serve receivers, your libero and/or your
defensive specialists in the backrow will all know that she expects to be
in position to set the ball for the fast counterattack.
Also, the middle blockers will be ready to speed up their spike approach
in order to make this faster paced free ball counterattack play effective.
Be sure to check out more articles on volleyball strategies.