Free Ball Volleyball Tactics Lower Body Positioning For Better Passes

Here are a few volleyball tactics on how you can increase your free ball passing accuracy so that your setter can speed up or slow down the offense in a match.


Here are a few volleyball tactics on how you can help your setter change the pace or control the speed of the game to effect the rhythm of the match.

One of the simplest volleyball tactics to help your setter control the speed of the game is to pass the ball in a low body position. 

In girls volleyball, often one team will get a free ball pass from their opponents, and they are so excited to get this "gift" that they rush to pass the ball.

Since a free ball is a gift that you've just received from your opponent, you want to take full advantage of this situation because it doesn't happen often. 


Ball Control Volleyball Drills: Free Ball Passing and Setting in Breakfast Club with Coach April


When it does happen, you want to make absolutely sure that this free ball turns into a point or sideout for your team, especially since you don't know when the opposing team will give you another free ball opportunity. 

To take full advantage of this opportunity, the goal should be to give yourself and your team time to run a free ball play perfectly so that you can run the offensive play that will help you score points.

The last thing you want to do is give the setter a bad pass especially on a free ball opportunity.

By playing the ball in a low but balanced position you increase the possibility of your pass getting right to the setter's hands.


Just because you've been given an easy ball to pass, doesn't mean you can throw your perfect passing technique out of the window. 

During a free ball pass, its even more important for a player to use perfect passing technique to insure the pass gets to the intended target. 


If you are a free ball passer, you should use the few more inches it takes for the ball to descend, to get yourself in a good low position, really squat underneath the ball to deliver a perfectly passed ball to the target. 

Those few seconds that you allow for the ball to descend to a lower point before you pass it, not only gives you time to gain more control of the pass, but it also buys time for your hitters to get further back in transition.



The more time a player can give her hitters to get back in transition, the more time they have to get to the ten foot line -- or behind it and prepare themselves to run the team's free ball play.  

This allows you to control the speed of your next play and so it affects the tempo at which your team plays the game.

Here's how.


Volleyball Tactics:
Slow Down Your Pass


With the hours you put in practicing how to pass a ball, you know that a normal pass reaches about four to six feet above the height of the net before reaching your setter's hands.

You can control the speed of your team's free ball or down ball counterattack by raising the height of your pass so that the ball has a much higher arc.

If you pass the ball so it reaches 18 - 20 feet in the air above the height of the net, you will slow down the pace and rhythm of the game.



A good time to pass the ball higher in a game is when your team is having trouble getting a sideout. 

Either in serve receive or when your team receives a free ball, you would probably want to slow the game down, when the opposing team is running a faster offense and it feels like your team just isn't establishing it's own team rhythm.

By slowing things down on your side of the court,

  • it gives your setter time to think about what play she wants to run.
  • It buys her a few seconds of time to recognize what the opposing team's block is doing and where they are being the most effective.

Now your hitters have a bit more time to take their best spike approach that allows them to see the block and the open spaces to hit to on the opponent's court. 

Also, teammates have a little bit more time to concentrate on performing their basic skill well, which will help your team re-establish their own rhythm.


Smart Volleyball Tactics: 
Where Do You Go Now?


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

  1. Learn more about Smart Volleyball Tactics 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 Strategy section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started.


Learn more about volleyball tactics in the pages below!



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Volleyball Plays Why A Setters Sets Vary In Speed, Height And Location
  4.  ›
  5. Free Ball Volleyball Tactics Lower Body Positioning For Better Passes



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