Bump A Volleyball Better Track It Early When Its In The Server's Hands 

Some of your passing problems happen when you bump a volleyball because you watch the ball when its on your side instead of when it's in the server hands.  

Learn how to bump a volleyball better by watching it earlier when its in the server's hands and tracking it so you move earlier when it crosses the net into your court.  (A. Chapple)Learn how to bump a volleyball better by watching it earlier when its in the server's hands and tracking it so you move earlier when it crosses the net into your court. (A. Chapple)


Since the ability to bump a volleyball is such an important skill especially for high school players like yourself, who's trying to make a freshman, JV or high school varsity team you should understand how important it is to track the ball early, while it's in the opposing server's hands.


Check to see if you get distracted by taking your eyes off the ball between the time the server serves it and the time the ball crosses the net.


The pass is usually the first contact a player makes when their team is receiving the serve of the opposing team so its super important for you to be able to do this offensive skill correctly.  

This is one of the first things your coach will judge you on, your ability to consistently pass a volleyball to the target...a skill that will definitely get you regular playing time on the court. 

So, pay attention to what I'm about to tell you. So you learn how to earn more court time. 


When you bump a volleyball you should watch the ball closely while its in the opposing server's hands. 


While in serve receive some advanced and even collegiate players make the mistake of not watching the ball and tracking it early enough as it travels from the server's hands into their court, so they get caught by surprise and move late to the ball once it crosses the net to their side. 

If you are an indoor middle school or high school player having a problem with your ability to bump a volleyball consistently to the target one thing you can do is check to see if you get distracted by taking your eyes off the ball between the time the server serves it and the time the ball crosses the net.


Focus on the ball early so you anticipate minor adjustments you may need to make with your platform or with your feet to control a late breaking floater serve. (Keith Allison photo)Focus on the ball early so you anticipate minor adjustments you may need to make with your platform or with your feet to control a late breaking floater serve. (Keith Allison photo)


Keep your eyes on the ball.

Visually track it as it leaves the server’s hand, crosses the net, and all the way into your platform. 

  • Many passers get distracted, taking their eyes off the ball or tracking it once it crosses the net, which is late 
  • Focusing on the ball early lets you anticipate necessary minor adjustments you may need to make with your platform or with your feet to be able to control a late breaking floater serve

If a server has a great float serve, that ball will float back and forth and dip and move all over the place before it reaches you and then...it will drop right to the floor in front of you.

If you aren't tracking the ball closely, watching every move it makes..that ball will just drop right to the floor before you have a chance to make a move for it. 


As a passer you should get in the habit of visually tracking the ball all the way into your arms before you bump a volleyball.As a passer you should get in the habit of visually tracking the ball all the way into your arms before you bump a volleyball.


You should get in the habit of visually tracking the ball all the way into your arms when possible.

Now here's a question, as a passer, what is the best thing for you to focus on when the opposing team is about to serve the ball?


To bump a volleyball more consistently what should you be focusing on before the referee blows the whistle to start the rally?

How to bump a volleyball better: Track the ball early, if you start tracking it once the ball gets to your side of the net then that's too late to react to it. (Matt Duboff photo)How to bump a volleyball better: Track the ball early, if you start tracking it once the ball gets to your side of the net then that's too late to react to it. (Matt Duboff photo)


Once the referee has blown the whistle to initiate the play and the server bounces the ball, before she serves it,... its at that moment  that players should focus on the ball in the server’s hands.

Focusing on the ball while it’s in the server’s hands, then while it crosses the net and keying in on it all the way into your platform will help you anticipate where you need to be in order to position yourself behind the ball in order to pass it.

You might be taking too long to begin visually tracking the ball, and if you start tracking it once the ball gets to your side of the net then, against a tough server... that's too late to react to it.

That's when you increase your chances of getting aced or shanking the ball because you've moved too late to it. 


Good passers move quickly to the spot they think the ball is going to land before it gets there. To do this well, you need to track the ball early, watching it closely before it crosses the net into your court. 


Focus on the ball in the opposing server’s hand, not on the server’s face. 

  • It's the ball you need to pass
  • Focus on it as soon as the server gets it in her hands to serve


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



How To Play Volleyball: 
Where Do You Go From Here?


Your three options are: 

  1. You can learn more about Volleyball Passing by visiting the Related Links below.  
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page   Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the How to Play Volleyball section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started. 
  4. Before leaving this page Say "Hi" to  Ms. Resee the Kangaroo, wearing the #11 jersey below. She's a left side hitter with precision passing and a member of the VolleyBragSwag All Beast Third team. 
Say Say "Hi" to Ms. Resee the Kangaroo, wearing the #11 jersey below. She's a left side hitter with precision passing and a member of the VolleyBragSwag All Beast Third team.

Explore More Volleyball Passing Information


Check Out More Volleyball Bump and 
Passing Information





  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. How To Play Volleyball So That You Improve And Make Your Varsity Team
  4.  ›
  5. Passing in Volleyball: What, When Where, Why and How To Serve Receive
  6.  ›
  7. Bump A Volleyball Better Track It Early When Its In The Server's Hands


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