Volleyball Basics:
Six Essential Skills Varsity Players Have To Know

Trying out for varsity? There are 6 volleyball basics, essential skills you need to learn beforehand: setting, passing, serving, hitting, blocking and digging.


Let's review these six essential skills 

basic rules , rotations, terminology and court information you need to know if you intend to try out for the varsity team.


Essential Volleyball Basics:   Serving in Volleyball


What is the serve?

The serve is your first opportunity to score a point against the opposing team. Its the only skill out of 6 that you perform by yourself and don't depend on anyone else to help you score a point. 

To serve the ball is sent over the net to start the rally by the player in Zone 1, the right back area of the court either with an over the head contact after tossing the ball in the air or with an underhand serve technique. 



Essential Volleyball Basics:
Passing in Volleyball

Volleyball Basics on Passing: The pass or the bump is used to describe the most commonly used technique to transfer the ball from one player to another or over the net. (April Chapple)Volleyball Basics on Passing: The pass or the bump is used to describe the most commonly used technique to transfer the ball from one player to another or over the net. (April Chapple)

The pass or the bump is used to describe the most commonly used technique to transfer the ball from one player to another or over the net.

The pass is traditionally used to make the first contact of the ball after its been served into your court by an opposing team.


How do you pass the ball?

The pass is a service reception technique usually made when your team is on offense done by

step 1.

  • clasping your two wrists together

step 2.

step 3.

  • keeping  elbows straight by pointing the thumbs to the ground 

step 4. 

  • contacting the ball on your forearms below your elbows and above your wrists, not on your closed fists 

step 5.

  • making contact under the bottom third of the ball to lift it in the air directed to another player or over the net


Essential Volleyball Basics: 
What is Setting? 

A set is a way you contact the ball over your head to get the ball to travel from you to another person or over the net . (Ralph Aversen)A set is a way you contact the ball over your head to get the ball to travel from you to another person or over the net . (Ralph Aversen)


What is a set?

A set is a way you contact the ball over your head to get the ball to travel from you to another person or over the net .

  • Both arms are outstretched above your head with shoulders close to your ears.
  • Both hands with palms wide open face the target you are setting
  • Once the ball contacts the fingertips of your hands you push it back up into the air towards your target, setting the ball up for the next person to contact it. 

The set is usually the second contact in a rally and the person who sets the ball the most is called the setter. 



Essential Volleyball Basics: 
What is an Attack Hit? 


Volleyball Basics on Spiking

An attack hit can be a spike which describes the technique commonly used for the third contact in a rally that sends the ball over the net with power. 

A spike starts with an approach of three but quite often four steps.

The first two slow and the last two bigger and faster steps that propel you in the air gathering momentum as you go, to lift you above the top of the net so you contact the ball at its highest height to attack or hit it down into the opposing court. 

As you become a better spiker and your hitting technique improves, you will learn to spike faster and quicker sets that are lower to the net. 



Essential Volleyball Basics: 
What is a Block? 


Volleyball Basics on Blocking

A block is the first opportunity for a team on defense to keep the team on offense from hitting into their court. 



The three defensive players in your front row are blockers standing with their hands at their shoulders watching the opposing team pass the ball then set the ball, then hit the ball..

When they hit its the job of the blockers to block the ball back into their court so that it doesn't come over the net. 


If the block stops the ball at the net and the ball goes back to the opposing teams floor, that's a point for the block, your team, your team gets to rotate and serve. 

If the block does not stop the ball, then your three players in the back row have to dig the ball up to keep the rally going. 


Essential Volleyball Basics: 
What's a Dig?


A dig is what happens when the ball gets past the defensive team's front row blockers who couldn't stop the ball at the net. 

Now its the responsibility of the three back row players on defense to keep the ball off the floor. 

They do that by "digging the ball". 

The dig" is an underhand technique that describes the first contact of a ball in a rally that's been sent over the net with power.

To "dig a ball" you are in a defensive position, most frequently in the back row, with wrists and thumbs clasped tightly together creating a platform with your forearms which contacts the underside of the ball.

The "platform" arms are angled toward the area where the ball needs to travel to. 




Volleyball Basics:
Where Do I Go From Here?


What you just read was just  a warmup!

Just like in volleyball practice, you do a little stretching to warm up your muscles before getting into the real meaty part of practice.

Here you go through a light review of everything before you really begin to dig deep and take each rule, each position, each skill and really explore it.  

Learn to do tons of reps and go over each drill repeatedly until you get it right. 


Volleyball Basics 
Where Do You Go From Here?


Where do you need to go now? Here are two options: 

  1. Learn more about How to Play Volleyball by exploring the Related Links below. 
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page  Learning How To Play (Sitemap)


You might like these articles about the volleyball basics. 

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