Volleyball Passing
 Three Tricks To Improve Your Passing Skills

Learn How to Pass A Ball Consistently

Volleyball passing, also known as bumping the ball is a way of contacting the ball with both of your arms held together so the ball lands on your forearms which are used to guide it to a specific target, either getting it to another player or to transfer the ball over the net.

Passing the ball is a skill which does take a lot of practice. 

When you hear a player say they practice how to bump a volleyball, you  don't have to worry, its not a medical condition.

What they are telling you is that they need to practice their passing skills and consistency.

The following information is for you if you are a player looking for tips on how to improve your individual volleyball passing skills.

Out of the six new skills, that you need to master, if you want to learn how to play volleyball, passing a ball ranks up there as one of the top three that will probably take the most  time to learn.

Volleyball Passing Tips: Stay Low in an Athletic Stance

One of the best ways you can improve your volleyball passing accuracy when you bump a volleyball is to stay in a low body position before and during the performance of the skill.

In my article "11 Ways to Sharpen Your Serve Receive Game" for Active.com players can learn how to improve their passing while in volleyball serve receive.  

Whether you are a defensive specialist, a libero or a front row player who has to bump the volleyball you will increase your chances of getting the ball to your intended target, if you maintain a low position while you are in the process of passing.

Once the referee blows their whistle blows, if you're passing the ball, you shouldn't stand up.

You should keep your knees bent in a loaded position and shoulders hunched so they are over your knees when passing the ball so that you can move quickly in any direction in order to receive the serve.

Keep your knees bent in a loaded position and shoulders over your knees when passing the ball so that you can move quickly in any direction in order to receive the serve. (Photo by AJ Bullock)Keep your knees bent in a loaded position and shoulders over your knees when passing the ball so that you can move quickly in any direction in order to receive the serve. (Photo by AJ Bullock)

How Does Staying In The Athletic Position Increase Passing Accuracy?

Why does this increase your chances of passing a ball accurately to your target?

Well, first if the player on the opposing team who is serving the ball, serves you deep or short its easier for you to move forwards, backwards or laterally, if you remain in a slightly crouched athletic position.

Secondly, if you insist on trying to pass the ball while standing erect, the ball will more than likely hit you in the chest or if its a floater serve that you are trying to pass, the ball will be harder to pass.

Kent State Passers Staying Low Ready To Bump A Volleyball In Serve Receive Photo by David WilsonKent State Passers Staying Low In Serve Receive Photo by David Wilson

So, if you have a problem with accuracy while you are passing a ball then remind yourself to stay low as the ball crosses the net and travels towards you.

Watch the Opposing Server's Body Language

Another way you can improve your volleyball passing skills is to pay attention to the body positioning of the server on the opposing team.

Here's the deal.

When a player is ready to serve the ball, she will give you some indication of where she plans to serve.

If you are on the team that is receiving the serve, you should be checking the position of the opposing team's server's lower body, her feet and especially her hip position which will provide you some clues as to where the server will serve.

For a few more clues as to where the server may serve the ball, you can also check out where the server's shoulders are facing and where her tossing arm is pointing.

Illinois Passer In Serve Receive Watching Penn State Server Photo by Richard YuanIllinois Passer In Serve Receive Watching Penn State Server Photo by Richard Yuan

A lot of servers when they want to serve the ball short to the opposing team's front row hitters will step right up to the serving line as close as they can.

That's a clue, Sherlock!

This is a pretty good indication that a short serve is coming.

When you notice the server doing this, then you want to adjust accordingly, by taking a step closer to the net so that you won't be taken by surprise by a ball landing just inches from the net.

You position yourself to be ready to cover any short serves that come in your area.

Talk About Who's Going To Pass The Ball

Another way, to increase the accuracy of your volleyball passing is to be ready to communicate and talk to your teammates about who is going to pass the next ball that comes in or around your area.

There's no getting around it, if you play volleyball, then you are going to have to learn to be vocal and communicate on the court with your teammates.

You need to be ready to take responsibility for balls that are served or passed into your area.

That means balls within one or two feet of you and balls that are served between you and the teammate next to you. 

First, you should be ready to call the ball, by calling "me", "mine' or 'I got" in a loud clear voice so your teammates know that you are taking responsibility for passing that ball.

Taking vocal responsibility allows your teammates to set up early for whatever they need to do next.

You can also tell your teammates something else. You can communicate to them what type of serve you think the opposing team's server is about to serve.

If you see someone stepping up really close to the service line then you should tell your teammates in a loud voice "Watch out for the short serve!"

Cal State Fullerton Titan Passers Calling The Serve Cal State Fullerton Titan Passers Calling The Serve "Out" Photo by Big West Conference

This mentally helps your teammates to prepare to move quickly if the short serve comes. This way you are doing your part to let your team know that the short serve is possibly coming.

Another side benefit is to let the opposing team server know, that you know what she is probably about to do and so it puts more pressure on her to serve the ball accurately.

I hope these tips for bumping a volleyball helps you to improve your passing skills.

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

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

Your three options are: 

  1. You can learn more about Passing in volleyball by visiting 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. 

Related Links:

Improve Your Forearm Pass With Our Five Ball Control Tips 

Volleyball Passing: 3 Tricks To Improve Your Passing Skills

Improve Forearm Passing in Volleyball

The Volleyball Pass in Serve Receive

Pass A Volleyball Consistently: Three Ways To Hold Your Hands To Pass 

Passing in Volleyball Fundamental Skills For Receiving The Ball Better

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