A Volleyball Passing Tutorial: Three Ways To Hold Your Hands To Pass  

Learn three different ways you can hold your hands when you pass a volleyball to your setter during a match.   


To pass a volleyball consistently to the target you have to be able to hold your hands and wrists together so your forearms maintain a flat surface called a "platform" that you'll use to pass the ball to the target.


Learn three volleyball passing hand grips to choose from, each which will help you pass the ball to your setter consistently during your matches. 

In your volleyball practices experiment by trying each one and choose the passing grip that helps you consistently get the ball to Zone 3 in serve receive. 

Here is step-by-step instruction for all three hand grips you can choose when you pass a ball.


Pass a Volleyball 
Passing Grip 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.

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!


Pass a Volleyball
Passing Grip Option #2




b) 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.


Pass a Volleyball
Passing Grip 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.

Which decreased my chances of passing the ball to the target. Throughout your entire passing technique you want to keep your hands together and not have them break apart. 


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



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

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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 Passing in volleyball 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. 


Explore My Volleyball Player's Guide To Better Passing Skills


Serve Receive and 
Passing Information




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