The Beach Volleyball Ready Position Your Athletic Stance Is Everything

Your beach volleyball ready position is important because the primary function of your arms when you pass is to redirect the volleyball to your intended target.

Your beach volleyball ready position is important because the primary function of your arms when you pass is to redirect the volleyball to your intended target. (Ralph Aversen)Your beach volleyball ready position is important because the primary function of your arms when you pass is to redirect the volleyball to your intended target. (Ralph Aversen)

Where and how your arms are positioned before your pass is an important part of your volleyball ready position.

Your beach volleyball ready position is important because the primary function of your arms when you pass a ball on the sand is to redirect the ball to your target.

You should consider your arms -- as a wall or a tabletop that you put up for the ball to rebound off of so that it goes directly to your setter or a predetermined place where your setter will be so she can give you the best set possible. 

Although different players have different starting stance styles for passing a ball on the beach, they often adopt the stance which allows them to react to a tough serve very quickly.

Some adopt a running stance which means they have one foot straddling an imaginary starting line and their shoulders are erect but turned perpendicular to the player who is serving the ball on the opposing team.

I believe the rationale behind starting this way is that in theory when you could turn and run towards the net or away from it to pass a volleyball that's served deep in the court, a lot faster by starting in this runner's stance.


The beach volleyball ready position pro players use has their arms extended in front of them 
elbows bent at 45 degree angle with palms of the hands facing upwards towards the sky. (Aversen)The beach volleyball ready position pro players use has their arms extended in front of them elbows bent at 45 degree angle with palms of the hands facing upwards towards the sky. (Aversen)


The majority of players for the most part, adopt a beach volleyball ready position similar to the one used by indoor volleyball players.

The traditional one with shoulders and upper body parallel and square to the net and facing the server when beach volleyball passing.

The beach volleyball ready position pro players use is for arms to extend in front of their body at a 45 degree angle with the palms of the hand facing upwards towards the sky. (Aversen)The beach volleyball ready position pro players use is for arms to extend in front of their body at a 45 degree angle with the palms of the hand facing upwards towards the sky. (Aversen)

Typically, the beach volleyball ready position pro beach players use is for their

  • arms to extend in front of their body towards the net
  • elbows bent at around a 45 degree angle with the palms of the hand facing upwards towards the sky
  • pretty much looking as if they were holding an invisible baby but with their arms closer to their waist line.


Guys have a tendency to start the same way or they will rest their hands on their thighs or the hem of their board shorts until the server serves and/or the ball is just crossing the net.


Beach Volleyball Ready Position: Guys have a tendency to rest their hands on their thighs or the hem of their board shorts until the server serves. (R. Aversen)Beach Volleyball Ready Position: Guys have a tendency to rest their hands on their thighs or the hem of their board shorts until the server serves. (R. Aversen)

One other beach volleyball ready position that elite volleyball players use was made popular by American Steve Anderson coach of the Australian women's Olympic gold medalist Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst, bronze medalist in Atlanta and gold medalist in Sydney in 2000.  

The Australians, Natalie and Kerri, when adopting their beach volleyball ready position for passing has their shoulders parallel and square to the net but instead of holding their arms in front of them in a cradle position they would hold them straight out from their sides with elbows very slightly bent.


They do this for two reasons

  • to make the court look smaller
  • to bolster the passers confidence in being able to quickly get to any served ball

To make the court look smaller...

...to the opposing team's server, the court size looks much smaller making it more difficult for the server to pick a wide open space to serve to.

To bolster passers confidence...

...It bolsters the players confidence in helping them to believe that they can get to any spot quickly while passing since the court seems smaller with their arms spread so widely.

Famous beach volleyball players who are or who have been coached by the Australian Olympian Kerri Pottharst like

  • Tyra Turner
  • Rachel Wacholder
  • Angie Akers 

have a tendency to adopt a wider-arm beach volleyball ready position starting stance or a modified version of it while passing in the sand.


This has been an important message by your favorite volleyball coach! That's me!!

Thanks for visiting.

Be sure to check out more of my volleyball articles by clicking one of the links below!  (April Chapple)

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Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap to improve your game even faster!

I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 






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