Improve Your Forearm Passing in Volleyball

Volleyball passing, learn how to do it correctly with these tips!

Volleyball passing why do it?

Passing in volleyball occurs most commonly when you're a player trying to get the ball to another player or if you're trying to get the ball over the net.

Passing in volleyball: How is it done?

You keep your hands and wrists pressed together with the fist of one hand inside the other hand while the thumbs of both hands point down to the ground.

Keeping the thumbs pointed to the ground when contacting the ball keeps your arms straight.

Your arms need to be straight in order to maintain a flat surface like one you would see on a table top. As we say in volleyball, this is your "platform."

You would then use your "platform" to make contact with the ball, angling your arms to your target, which guides the ball to your setter or to another hitter or even across the net, depending on where you want the ball to go.

Improve Your Passing in Volleyball:
What Is The "Ready" Position?

Before the rally starts, a player will position her body in an athletic stance, which many coaches call the "ready position."

When done correctly this stance prepares you to move quickly to the ball so you can forearm pass a ball accurately and to your intended target. 

Different players adopt varying styles but generally your ready position should be an athletic stance which allows you to move quickly in any direction.

Your feet should be slightly wider than the width of your shoulders, and your knees bent slightly. Your shoulders and upper body should be leaning forward a bit and parallel and squared to the net while you face the server.

Many college and professional volleyball women choose to extend their arms in front of their body or out to the sides with their elbows bent at a 30 degree angle with their palms open towards the sky.

I believe that whether you keep your elbows in front of you, keep your hands on your knees  or have them out to the side is a personal choice.

I teach my players and students to place their hands on their knees as the resting ready position in serve receive.

In my career I've tried both and I found that the one that I used the most was the one that allowed me to use my arms in a running motion, faster, so I could quickly run to the ball if I needed to, before presenting my platform to pass it.

For me, holding my arms in front of me or putting my hands on my knees allowed me to do this faster.

The key to remember is that when you have your arms down by your sides in a ready position, it takes a lot of time to bring them up to pass in volleyball.

You want to be as quick on the draw as possible and you want to take the least amount of time to go from your ready position to actually contacting the ball, so you need to figure out which stance will allow you to do that.

To Summarize What Passing in Volleyball Is

When you pass a volleyball, you are transferring the ball from one player to  another, or over the net

  • without letting the ball come to a complete stop,
  • while clasping both hands together at the wrists and 
  • contacting the ball on your forearms

I pass the ball well volleyball t-shirt by VolleyBragSwagI pass the ball well volleyball t-shirt by VolleyBragSwag

Whether you call it the volleyball bump, the serve receive, the underhand pass or the forearm pass  every player needs to master the art of controlling the ball while passing in volleyball.

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

Your three options are: 

  1. You can learn more about Setting.
  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. 

Related Links: 

How to Play

Learn To Play








Serve Receive


Meet Resee the Kangaroo and Passing Specialist on
VolleyBragSwag's All Beast Team

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