A Volleyball Dig Tutorial With Digging Basics For Defensive Players 

Learn where to make contact with your arms, where your feet and legs need to be placed and how to read hitters for better positioning in defense. 

A Volleyball Dig Tutorial With Digging Basics For Defensive PlayersA Volleyball Dig Tutorial With Digging Basics For Defensive Players


The dig is the technique used by a player in defense to keep the ball off your team's court floor once it has been attacked by an opposing team's hitter into your court. 

The action of digging a ball is modeled after shoveling or digging something out of the ground.


Learn to “drop” your hips faster in defense! Many Vegas players in defense stand too high. You need to get comfortable with dropping low to the floor...fast while keeping your shoulders in front of your knees!

You have to drop your hips fast below the level of the oncoming hard hit in order to get the ball up.
Semiprivate training with Coach April.
Watch Brooklyn get the last three up! 


By digging a ball, a player is keeping it from

  • hitting the ground so the opposing team scores
  • creates an opportunity for your team to counterattack and run an offense in an attempt to score during a rally 


A Volleyball Dig Tutorial
Where Do You Need To Be To Standing To Dig A Ball? 


To dig the volleyball you need to know where to stand in the court.

You can't dig what you can't see. 

So, you need to place yourself in a position where you can watch the opposing hitter hit the ball into your court.

As a digger, its your job to place yourself in the path of the oncoming ball that's been hit by an opposing team's hitter. 

In order to do that (depending on the defense your team is running) you need to stand outside of the block where you can see the hitter hit the ball. 


Volleyball dig tutorial: Watch the libero on the opposing side, she is taking the seam of the block to dig the ball. From this spot she can see the hitter...Volleyball dig tutorial: Watch the libero on the opposing side, she is taking the seam of the block to dig the ball. From this spot she can see the hitter...


That means you need to be standing outside of the shadow of your blockers but in the path of the oncoming ball. 


Volleyball Dig Tutorial
What's a platform and where do you contact the ball on your arms?


Where do you contact the ball on your arms to make a good dig?




In volleyball terminology, the area on your arms  used to contact and control balls that are below your waist is called your "platform." 

You want to contact the ball on your platform above your wrists and below the inside of your elbows. 

Both arms are held together at the wrists so your arms form a flat surface for the ball to bounce off of.

To keep both wrists held together, a digger places a closed fist inside the palm of the other hand and wraps the fingers around the closed fists so both thumbs are now together side by side. 



By keeping both thumbs together and pointed to the ground, keeps your elbows and arms straight throughout the entire digging action. 

At the same time, you present your platform in front of you, you block the path of the ball so it contacts your forearms and is deflected up in the air towards the middle of your court close to your team's ten foot line. 


Volleyball Dig Tutorial
Where does the ball contact your platform?


Your arms, outstretched in front of you and held together keeping elbows straight, contact the bottom third of the ball so its deflected in the

air ...This way 

a) you keep the ball from hitting the floor so the other team cannot score a point

b) your dig, sets up the opportunity for your team to counterattack and try and get the ball to the opposing team's court floor so you can score the point.




To make the correct contact on the ball we teach our players to keep their shoulders in front of their knees when digging. 

This helps you lean forward enough to insure the ball hits the right spot on your platform. 


Volleyball Dig Tutorial
Lower Body and Hips During the Dig


Just before you dig a ball, you lower your hips so they are below the level of the oncoming ball.

When your hips are lower than the ball then when you dig the ball it will go up in the air.  




If your hips are too high then you have less control of the ball and the ball will shoot out straight instead of up in the air.

When you dig a ball it needs to go up in the air so the setter or another teammate can get to it to make a play. 


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Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap 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. 



How To Play Volleyball: 
Where Do You Go Now?


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

  1. Learn more about Digging and Defenseby 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.




Read more about Digging



  1. Improve Your Volleyball
  2.  ›
  3. How to Play Volleyball
  4.  ›
  5. Three Volleyball Digging Tips To Improve Your Defense Volleyball Game
  6.  ›
  7. A Volleyball Dig Tutorial With Digging Basics For Defensive Players

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