Step-by-step Instructions On Performing The Volleyball Dig Technique

Master the volleyball dig technique with my comprehensive guide. Learn step-by-step instructions, tips, and common mistakes to avoid for great defensive plays

Enhance your digging skills on the volleyball court with our in-depth article. Discover the purpose and technique behind the dig, along with expert tips for success. Boost your defensive game today!

Alt text for a photo demonstrating the volleyball dig technique: "Player executing a precise volleyball dig technique during a game."Enhance your volleyball dig technique on the court with my in-depth article. Discover the purpose and technique behind the dig, along with expert tips for success. Boost your defensive game today!


Welcome to my comprehensive guide on mastering your volleyball digging skills.




That's me training with clients that are working on their volleyball dig technique for balls that are coming right at them.

Reserve your private one-on-one or small group training at https://www.improveyourvolley.com/volleyball-classes.html. Contact info@improveyourvolley.com


Whether you're a beginner looking to develop a strong defensive foundation or an experienced player aiming to improve your digging skills, you've come to the right place. 

In this article, I provide you with a detailed breakdown of the dig technique, including its definition, purpose, step-by-step instructions, tips for execution, and common mistakes to avoid. 

When you understand the fundamentals and implement best practices, you'll be well-equipped to make strong defensive plays and contribute to your team's success on the court.

Let's dive in and work on improving your digging game!


Let Me Explain The Definition and Purpose of The Volleyball Dig Technique


The volleyball dig technique is a defensive move used to receive an opponent's attack or spike.

It is performed to keep the ball from hitting the ground and keep the play alive. 

The dig is typically used when the ball is approaching at a high speed from an elevated level in the air and as it approaches close to the floor, a player must learn how  to return a ball with very specific technique to keep the ball off the floor.


Volleyball Digging Drills: Cross Court Digging Reps in Breakfast Club Warmups with Coach April


The goal of the dig is to control the trajectory of the ball and direct it towards your team's setter so they can run an offensive play.


Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Perform the Volleyball Dig Technique


How to Dig in Volleyball

To dig a volleyball up in defense you keep an attacked ball by the opposing team off your court floor by extending your arms and hands under the ball to deflect it back in the air before it hits the floor. 


1. How to position yourself

Start in a low defensive stance with your

  • knees bent
  • back straight 
  • shoulders in front of knees
  • weight balanced on the balls of your feet 
  • keep your arms straight but relaxed and ready in front of you
  • palms turned up towards the ceiling



2. Read the hitter to anticipate the attack

  • Observe the opponent's body language, 
  • the speed and direction of their spike approach, 
  • the speed of their arm swing
  • the trajectory of the ball that they've been set (or that they're about to attack) 

to anticipate where it will be hit.

This will help you react quickly and move into position.


Alt text for a photo illustrating proper footwork for the dig: "Player demonstrating quick footwork while positioning for a successful volleyball dig."

(libero vb digging photo by denis wright)Read the hitter to anticipate the attack Observe the opponent's body language, the speed and direction of their spike approach, the speed of their arm swing the trajectory of the ball that they've been set (or that they're about to attack) to anticipate where it will be hit. This will help you react quickly and move into position.


3. Move to the ball

Take quick and compact steps towards the anticipated contact point.

Maintain a low, balanced athletic stance as you approach the ball


Defense is an attitude!
Watch Japan dig after dig, amazing volleyball defense! 




4. Establish a platform

As the ball approaches, form a solid platform with your forearms by bringing them together, wrists locked, and hands firmly clasping one another. The platform should be angled slightly upwards to direct the ball upwards and towards your target.

Alt text for a photo displaying a solid platform for the dig: "Player forming a strong forearm platform to control the trajectory of the ball during a dig."Enhance your digging skills on the volleyball court with our in-depth article. Discover the purpose and technique behind the dig, along with expert tips for success. Boost your defensive game today!


5. Absorb the impact

As the ball makes contact with your arms, keep your legs bent underneath you to help absorb the force of the ball you're contacting while keeping elbows straight and thumbs pressed together on both hands.

This will help control the direction and speed of the ball as it bounces of your digging arms and back up into the air...into the direction of where your platform is angled. .


6. Extend and follow through

Once you've made contact, keep your elbows straight and thumbs pointed to the ground and follow through with your wrists to direct the ball to your desired location. Keep your eyes on the ball throughout the entire motion.

7. Recover quickly

After executing the dig, prepare to transition back into your base  defensive position or to transition to your offensive position by staying light on your feet so you're quickly ready for the next play.

By mastering the volleyball dig technique, you can contribute to your team's defensive efforts and keep the rally going.

Practice these step-by-step instructions to improve your ability to react, control the ball, and set up your team for a successful attack.


7 Tips and Best Practices for Doing The Volleball Dig Technique Effectively


1. Anticipate and read the attacker

Pay close attention to the body positioning and hitting tendencies of the attacker.

This will help you anticipate the direction and speed of the attack, allowing you to react quicker and make a successful dig.


2. Focus on proper footwork

Quick and efficient footwork is crucial for getting into position to execute the dig.

Practice staying light on your feet and taking short, explosive steps to quickly move laterally or towards the ball.


Quick and efficient footwork is crucial for getting into position to execute the dig.
Pay close attention to the body positioning and hitting tendencies of the attacker.

This will help you anticipate the direction and speed of the attack, allowing you to react quicker and make a successful dig.
Practice staying light on your feet and taking short, explosive steps to quickly move laterally or towards the ball.
Practice these step-by-step instructions to improve your ability to react, control the ball, and set up your team for a successful attack.

3. Maintain a balanced stance

Keep your weight evenly distributed between both feet to maintain balance and agility.

This will enable you to react and adjust to the ball's trajectory more effectively.


4. Stay low and square to the net

Maintain a low defensive stance throughout the dig, keeping your knees bent and your body facing the net.

This will provide stability and allow you to react quickly in any direction.


5. Use your legs and core

Generate power and control in your dig by utilizing your leg and core muscles.

Bend your knees and engage your core when making contact with the ball to absorb the impact and maintain control.


6. Focus on your platform

Keep your wrists locked and firm as you create a solid platform with your forearms.

This will help you control the direction and trajectory of the ball.


How Do You Create Your Platform? By wrapping your left hand around your right fist, with your thumbs pointing straight down to the ground.
Alt text for a photo displaying a solid platform for the dig: "Player forming a strong forearm platform to control the trajectory of the ball during a dig."How Do You Create Your Platform? By wrapping your left hand around your right fist, with your thumbs pointing straight down to the ground.


7. Communicate with your teammates

Effective communication is essential in a successful dig.

Prioritize clear and concise communication with your teammates regarding who will take the first ball and potential defensive strategies.


6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Performing the Dig


1. Lack of proper positioning

Failing to position yourself correctly before the attack can lead to poor timing and difficulty in executing a successful dig.

Always be ready and anticipate the opponent's movements.

2. Failure to react quickly

Delayed reaction time can result in missed opportunities to dig the ball. Stay focused and react immediately to the attacker's actions.

3. Incorrect arm placement

Placing your arms too far apart or too close together can decrease your control over the ball. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and maintain a firm platform for optimal results.

4. Overreaching or reaching too early

It is crucial not to overextend or reach for the ball too early. This can throw off your balance and positioning, leading to ineffective digs. Time your movements and reach for the ball at the peak of its trajectory.

5. Lack of communication

Failure to communicate with teammates can result in confusion and missed defensive opportunities. Keep open lines of communication and establish clear responsibilities during each play.

6. Poor body positioning

Allowing your body to collapse or lean too far forward or backward can hinder your ability to execute a successful dig. Maintain proper body alignment and stay balanced throughout the motion.

By following these tips and avoiding these common mistakes, you can improve your execution of the volleyball dig technique. Regular practice and focus on technique will enhance your defensive skills, making you a valuable asset to your team's success.


Do You Follow Me on Pinterest?

Private or semiprivate volleyball indoor/sand lessons are an excellent way for young Las Vegas high school volleyball players to quickly improve their individual skills through a private or semi-private coaching experience.

These lessons are conducted by former pro volleyball player, former USA Volleyball High Performance instructor and Evaluator and Tstreet Vegas 18s head Coach April Chapple on a weekly basis.

Sign up now!Private or semiprivate volleyball indoor/sand lessons are an excellent way for young Las Vegas high school volleyball players to quickly improve their individual skills through a private or semi-private coaching experience. These lessons are conducted by former pro volleyball player, former USA Volleyball High Performance instructor and Evaluator and Tstreet Vegas 18s head Coach April Chapple on a weekly basis. Sign up now!


Follow me on Pinterest Volleybragswag 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. 


Volleyball Techniques: 
Where Do You Go Now?

Learning how to dig a volleyball that isn't hit right at you requires you to start in a low position and finish in a low position which keeps you only inches from the floor when you start and complete the roll.Learning how to dig a volleyball that isn't hit right at you requires you to start in a low position and finish in a low position which keeps you only inches from the floor when you start and complete the roll.


Okay here's where you need to go now! There are three options: 

  1. Learn more about Digging and Defense by clicking 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 Miss O.I Gotchu the Octopus wearing the #8 jersey below.  Miss O.I. is the libero for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star team.

You might like these pages about the volleyball dig technique. 



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Volleyball Techniques Fix Your Pass, Set, Serve, Dig, Block And Hit
  4.  ›
  5. Step-by-step Instructions On Performing The Volleyball Dig Technique

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