Volleyball Basics:
Six Essential Skills Varsity Players Have To Know

If you plan on trying out for your varsity team these are the six basic volleyball skills you need to learn as soon as possible. 

Essential volleyball basic skills you need to know to make your varsity team.Essential volleyball basics, essential skills you need to know to make your varsity team.

Let's review these six essential skills you need to know if you intend to try out for the varsity team.

Essential Volleyball Basics: Serving in Volleyball

First, you'll have to learn volleyball basics like serving skills before learning how to serve a ball aggressively to score points

In order to make your varsity team you need to be able to serve consistently over the net and then to earn the right to stay on the court you need to learn how to score points with your serve. 

That takes practice and lots of reps. 

Let's learn more about serving basics. 

What is the serve?

1. The ball is sent over the net to start the rally by the player in Zone 1, the right back area of the court. 

a) to score a point directly which happens if the ball hits the floor on the opposing team's court with no one able to get it up first or you

b) serve the ball in an area on the opposing side which makes it difficultfor the opposing team to run an offensive attack

Once the referee blows the whistle to start the rally you have 8 seconds to complete your serve routine and get the ball over the net.

Essential Volleyball Basics: Passing in Volleyball

Next you'll need to learn how to pass or bump a volleyball.

What is passing a ball?

The pass or the bump is used to describe the most commonly used technique to make the first contact of the ball after its been served into your court by an opposing team. 

The pass is a service reception technique used to contact a ball that's entered your court area when your team is on offense.

The two players in the positions who pass the majority of the balls served by an opposing team are called outside hitters and liberos. 

Essential Volleyball Basics: What is Setting? 

Learning the basics to developing good setting skills is something else you'll need to know how to do before making your varsity team. 

So let's get into this...

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. 

The setter on a volleyball team is like a point guard on a basketball team who runs the offense and calls the plays. 

Essential Volleyball Basics: 
What is an Attack Hit? 

An attack hit or a spike 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 most 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? 

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

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

The three players in your front row are blockers standing with their arms above 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 get 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, or if you aren't blocking in the front row and you are positioned outside of your front row blockers as they jump to block a hard driven ball.

Learning How To Play Volleyball:
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. 

How To Play Volleyball 
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 volleyball basics. 

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