Understanding What Are Digs in Volleyball: A Defense Guide for Coaches

What Are Digs In Volleyball | Improve Your Volley` ``

Understanding What Are Digs in Volleyball: A Defense Guide for Coaches

What are digs in volleyball? Digs are defensive plays where players use their forearms or hands to save an attacked ball and prevent it from hitting the court.

What are digs in volleyball? Digs are defensive plays where players use their forearms or hands to save an attacked ball and prevent it from hitting the court.

(photo beach volleyball digging Ralph Aversen)What are digs in volleyball? Digs are defensive plays where players use their forearms or hands to save an attacked ball and prevent it from hitting the court. (photo beach volleyball digging Ralph Aversen)


Welcome to my comprehensive guide on understanding digs in volleyball.

As a coach, it's crucial to equip yourself with knowledge about this essential defensive skill to guide your team towards success on the court.

In this article,

  • we will explore what digs are
  • their significance in the game
  • the techniques that players should master to excel in this aspect of the game.

Section 1: What Are Digs in Volleyball?

Defense Volleyball Training: Pepper Drills: Increase Ball Control Drill Intensity To Improve Digging


- Definition:

Digs are defensive plays where players use their forearms or hands to save an attacked ball and prevent it from hitting the court.

A successful dig keeps the ball in play and denies the opposing team a point-scoring opportunity.

- Purpose:

The primary goal of a dig in volleyball is to control and return an attacked ball to set up a counterattack opportunity.

This aspect of the game is not just about defensive efforts but serves as a catalyst for momentum shifts and strategic advantages.

When executed successfully, a dig can

  • maintain rallies,
  • ensure that the ball stays in play and
  • prevents the opposing team from scoring easily

Every rally won brings your team closer to securing a set or even a match victory.

The ability to control the ball through digs allows your players to keep the rhythm and momentum on your team's side, putting pressure on the opponents.


Section 2: The Fundamentals of Digs


- Technique and Execution:

Let's dive into the key elements of proper dig technique in volleyball.

Coaches, make sure to emphasize these components during your training sessions to help your players excel in their defensive skills.


4 Digging Drills For Volleyball Players To Do Like This Hit And Dig Drill With Cross Court Digging



Remember there are two ways to do this drill. 

Your coach can have you dig the ball back to them or they can have you dig the ball back to the setter's spot which builds up muscle memory so this becomes an automatic move when you're digging in a game.  

In this version we set the ball baskets as targets where the setter's would be. There are actually two digger groups working one in the left back Zone 5 position and one with a right back Zone 1 defensive position. 

Hitters alternate at a steady rhythm so the drill moves quickly and diggers have a brief pause to recuperate after each dig. 


1. Correct Body Positioning:

Stress the importance of maintaining a low and balanced stance while preparing for a dig.

Advise your players to keep their knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and weight evenly distributed.

This positioning allows for quick reactions and stability to move in any direction.

2. Quick Reflexes:

Highlight the significance of agility and lightning-fast reflexes when it comes to successful digging.

Encourage your players to stay alert and ready to react to incoming attacks.

The ability to anticipate the direction and speed of the ball will enable them to position themselves optimally for a well-executed dig.

3. Precise Footwork:

Emphasize the importance of precise footwork to reach the ball effectively.

Teach your players to take small lateral steps when adjusting their position while keeping their feet light and mobile.

By swiftly moving their feet, they can maintain proper alignment to get underneath the ball and execute a successful dig.


4 Digging Drills For Volleyball Players Like A Fun Game of Hitter vs. Digger - Winner scores 10 points First




A fun game of Hitter vs. Digger: Winner scores 10 points

First the Hitter hits hard deep cross court and scores a point when digger can’t touch it or digs an unplayable ball.

Digger scores a point when they dig a playable ball.

For beginners, hitter errors may not count but for more advanced players hits in the net or out of bounds are points scored for the digger.


4. Forearm Pass Technique:

Explain that the forearm pass, also known as a bump or a platform, is the standard technique for digging in volleyball.

Emphasize the importance of forming a solid platform with the forearms by clasping the hands together.

Train your players to position their arms parallel to the ground, creating a flat surface for the ball to rebound off.


Press both wrists together when passing, without breaking them apart no matter how hard or easy the serve.Press both wrists together when passing, without breaking them apart no matter how hard or easy the serve.


5. Role of Platform and Footwork:

Highlight how the positioning of the platform and footwork work together in executing successful digs.

Encourage your players to angle their platform towards the target area while maintaining a stable lower body position.

This combination allows for better control and accuracy in directing the ball to the desired location.



By focusing on correct body positioning, quick reflexes, precise footwork, and the use of a forearm pass, your players will build a strong foundation in proper dig technique.

Regular practice and reinforcing these fundamentals will lead to improved defensive skills, allowing your team to effectively control and return attacked balls during matches.


- Keys for Success:

Encourage players to develop agility and anticipation skills to react swiftly to incoming attacks.

Teach the concept of "reading" the opponent's hitting tendencies to predict where the ball will be attacked and position themselves accordingly for a successful dig.


Section 3:
What Are Digs In Volleyball?
Developing Digging Skills


- Practice Drills:

Provide a range of practice drills and exercises to enhance digging proficiency. Include solo drills for footwork and reaction time, partner drills for practicing proper forearm passing, and game-like scenarios to simulate real-game situations.

Emphasize the importance of repetition to build muscle memory and improve consistency in executing digs.


What Are Digs In Volleyball: Cross Court Digging Reps in Breakfast Club Warmups with Coach April


- Mental Toughness:

Remind players that successful digs require mental focus and resilience.

Encourage a positive mindset, emphasizing the ability to learn from mistakes and persevere through challenging situations.


Section 4:
What Are Digs In Volleyball?
Game Strategies and Communication


- Defensive Systems:

Discuss different defensive systems, such as perimeter defense or rotational defense, and how they impact digging responsibilities.

Explain how understanding defensive systems can help players anticipate attacks and position themselves effectively to make successful digs.


- Communication:

Emphasize the significance of effective communication among teammates during digs.

Encourage players to use verbal cues, hand signals, and constant awareness of their teammates' positions to create a strong defensive unit.

Conclusion:

Understanding digs in volleyball is crucial for coaches and players alike. By mastering the fundamentals, practicing diligently, and employing effective strategies, players can excel in this critical aspect of the game.

As a coach, it's your role to guide and support your team in developing their digging skills, setting the foundation for a well-rounded and competitive team.

Remember to adjust the language and tone of the content to align with your coaching voice and provide relevant examples and anecdotes to make the information relatable to your players.


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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. 



You might like these pages for new volleyball coaches



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance With Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. How To Coach Girls Volleyball in Vegas Coach April's Guide To Coaching
  4.  ›
  5. Understanding What Are Digs in Volleyball: A Defense Guide for Coaches
  6.  ›




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