Whats A Dig in Volleyball? Tips On How To Keep The Ball Off the Floor

Whats a dig in volleyball? Discover the most powerful secrets, tips, drills, skills I've written about blocking, liberos and digging skills on ImproveYourVolley 

Whats a dig in volleyball? In simple terms, a 'dig' is a key defensive move by a player that describes how they attempt to keep the ball from hitting their team's court floor after an opposing team's player spiked, tipped, down balled or roll shot it into their court. (photo by Al Case)Whats a dig in volleyball? To "dig a ball" you use your forearms to create a platform, which then deflects the ball upward and keeps it in play so another teammate can set, pass or hit it over the net or to another teammate. (photo by Al Case)


In simple terms, a 'dig' is a key defensive move by a player that describes how they attempt to keep the ball from hitting their team's court floor after an opposing team's player spiked, tipped, down balled or roll shot it into their court.

To "dig a ball" you use your forearms to create a platform, which then deflects the ball upward and keeps it in play so another teammate can set, pass or hit it over the net or to another teammate.


Volleyball Digging Drills: The Hit And Dig Drill We Do In Boot Camps, Practice and Private Sessions is used in warmups to improve digging technique (and hitting technical) skills. 




The term 'dig' comes from the action of looking like a player is "shovelling" or in other words  using the digging action you'd use if shovelling... the ball keeping it off the ground before it makes contact  with the court floor.


Man shoveling snow probably at Hotel des Cedres, Cedars of Lebanon LOC matpc.22695 Matson Collection, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The dig is mostly used when the ball is attacked by a player on the opposing team, who's aiming to hit it with such power and at an angle that forces the ball to hit the floor on your team's side.

The intent of the digger, that would  be you, is to 'defend' your court - by keeping that attacked ball off the floor so the other team doesn't score a point.

The dig is your team's second line of defense against spiked balls that get past your blockers which is your team's first line of defense.



How To Dig in Volleyball

When contacting the ball, do not swing your arms to meet the ball. The attack hit is hard enough and you don't need to add additional movement to get the ball up


Digs not only prevent the opposition from scoring, but they also set the stage for your team to counterattack with a combination of dig-set-hit offensive plays that give your team a chance to score.

In other words, a well-executed dig "transitions" your team from defense to offense which creates opportunities for counter-attacks and scoring.

Now that I've outlined what a dig in volleyball is, let's dig deeper (see what I did there?)  into the

  • digging technique
  • digging skills 
  • dig drills
  • rules for digging

and other important elements you need to know about this defensive volleyball move.


How Do You Dig A Ball?


1. Starting Position:


You should be in a balanced athletic position with feet just outside your shoulders knees slightly bent, and shoulders in front of your knees, with arms extended and palms open and facing upwards towards the ceiling. 

With this balanced and proactive 'ready position' you're able to react quickly to either side of your forward or behind you in order to move in any direction as needed.

Volleyball Digging Drills: The Hit And Dig Drill

With this balanced and proactive 'ready position' you're able to react quickly to either side of your forward or behind you in order to move in any direction as needed.

Charlie works on digging in the Hit and dig drills done in private training clinics and practice. 


2. Reading the Ball:

As the opposing team's hitter contaacts the ball, the digging player should track 9with their eyes watching the speed, pace and path of the ball) also called the ball's trajectory, in order to anticipate, also called "reading" what path the ball is taking and where its going to land.

The player must then quickly move to place themselves in the path of the incoming ball.




Watch 7th grader, Izzy my client since 6th grade, who is digging two hitters at a time. She has to quickly read the first hitter's arm and then track the path of the "attacked ball" from them so she knows where her feet and then her platform need to be before she digs their ball...BEFORE looking for the next hitter's arm to do the same thing again...and still dig the ball to the intended target.


3. Forming the Platform:

As the ball approaches, the player creates a 'platform' with their forearms by clasping their hands together and straightening their arms. This platform is what the ball will contact.


How Do You Create Your Platform? By wrapping your left hand around your right fist, with your thumbs pointing straight down to the ground.How Do You Create Your Platform? By wrapping your left hand around your right fist, with your thumbs pointing straight down to the ground.


4. Lowering the Hips and Making Contact:

Just after the fast incoming ball crosses the net and before the ball arrives to your area of the court or right at you, you must lower your hips, ensuring they are lower than the ball.

As the ball connects with your platform (the forearms), your arms should 'give' a little, without bending your elbows, to absorb the ball's power, while guiding the ball up into the air, without swinging your platform, but with a platform that's angled towards your intended target area or player where who can then set up the next play.


5. Re-position Back To Base:

After the dig, the player should immediately return to their base position on the court and be in their ready digging position to prepare for the next play in that same rally. This could be another dig, a set, or perhaps even an attack.

The better you can anticipate where the ball will go and position yourself accordingly, the more chances you create for yourself to get more balls up in defense.

A successful dig depends not only on technique but also quick reflexes, fast feet, good reading skills, the ability to remember past plays and opposing player attacking tendencies and a good sense of how members of the opposing team plans to attack the ball.

Keep in mind that the goal of the dig is not simply to prevent the ball from hitting the floor but also to control the ball's direction, so you can help your team set up a successful counter-attack.


 Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide to Improved Digging Skills
Exploring the Resource Section:


Whether you're new to the game or looking to add finesse to your skills, proper guidance can go a long way in mastering the art of the dig.

That's why we've created an extensive resource section on this webpage dedicated to digging in volleyball.

From the fundamentals of digging to advanced techniques and drills, you'll find resources packed with valuable insights and tips.

This page includes a range of resources designed to answer all your queries about the dig in volleyball.

We dig into topics like the libero's role, digging rules, specific drills to improve your digs, and more.

Each resource is clearly labeled and easy to navigate, ensuring a seamless learning experience.

With this carefully curated resource collection, you're set to take your understanding of the dig in volleyball to the next level.

Whether you're a player looking to enhance your in-game performance or a coach wishing to pass on comprehensive knowledge to your team, these resources are structured to enrich your learning journey. So go ahead, dig deep and explore!


In the resource section

put all digging pages and libero pages in each section by category so

How To Play

Rules

Terms

Tips

Technique

Libero

Varsity

Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide to
Digging Basics

When you dig a volleyball on your club or varsity team, you'll need to be okay with digging and defending hard hitting attackers on the opposing team.

8 Steps On How To Dig A Volleyball Up When Your Team Is On Defense

When you dig a volleyball on your club or varsity team, you'll need to be okay with digging and defending hard hitting attackers on the opposing team.  

The volleyball dig or digging a volleyball up in defense means that you are able to keep an attacked ball by the opposing team off your court floor.

The Volleyball Dig: What Is It, When To Do It and How To Dig A Ball

The volleyball dig or digging a volleyball up in defense means that you are able to keep an attacked ball by the opposing team off your court floor. 

Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide
The Libero 

Liberos and defensive specialists are backrow defensive players who can improve volleyball digging efficiency by using these tactics in practice drills.

Volleyball Digging: Liberos Learn How to Dig A Volleyball In Backrow

Liberos and defensive specialists are backrow defensive players who can improve volleyball digging efficiency by using these tactics in practice drills. 



The libero volleyball player has specific qualities and specialized responsibilities in their defensive roles along with special rules created just for them.


Libero Volleyball Player Responsibilities, Roles, Qualities and Rules



The libero volleyball player has specific qualities and specialized responsibilities in their defensive roles along with special rules created just for them. 




Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide 
Digging Rules


The volleyball libero is a specialist in digging, passing and playing in the backcourt who wears a contrasting color jersey and has defensive responsibilities.

Volleyball Libero Facts Defensive Rules, Responsibilities and History


The volleyball libero is a specialist in digging, passing and playing in the backcourt who wears a contrasting color jersey and has defensive responsibilities.


Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide 
Digging Drills

Also called 'Hit and Dig' volleyball drills these are used frequently in our volleyball practices to work on hitting and defense technique

Digging and Hitting Volleyball Drills To Help You Sideout and Score

Also called 'Hit and Dig' volleyball drills these are used frequently in our volleyball practices to work on hitting and defense technique.


Volleyball Digging Drills:
How To Do the "Hit and Dig" Drill


Dig and Spike Volleyball Drills You Do To Improve  Your Ball Control


We do volleyball digging drills everyday in our Volleyball Voice Boot Camp classes so that liberos, defensive specialists and players who play in the backrow work on improving their digging skills.

Four Volleyball Digging Drills We Do In Our Weekly Boot Camp Classes


We do volleyball digging drills everyday in our Volleyball Voice Boot Camp classes so that liberos, defensive specialists and players who play in the backrow work on improving their digging skills.


Volleyball Digging Drills: Jacob Helps Train Carmela in Digging Consistency and Footwork


Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide 
Digging Skills


Volleyball Skills For Digging: A List of 9 Volleyball Basic Dig Steps


Improve your volleyball skills for digging using this comprehensive list of volleyball basics for before, during and after you need to dig a volleyball. 


A volleyball defensive player like a libero or defensive specialist needs to be aggressive in the backrow while passing, digging and communicating well.

4 Important Volleyball Skills A Good Volleyball Defensive Player Has 


A volleyball defensive player like a libero or defensive specialist needs to be aggressive in the backrow while passing, digging and communicating well.  



Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide
Digging Terms

The four digging volleyball terms explained for liberos and defensive players are "up" "tagged" "touch" and "lip" which describes what happens in the backrow.

4 Digging Volleyball Terms Explained For Liberos and Defensive Players

The four digging volleyball terms explained for liberos and defensive players are

  • "up"
  • "tagged"
  • "touch" and
  • "lip"

which describes what happens in the backrow. 


Digging and defensive volleyball terminology and words for liberos, defensive specialists and backcourt players who need to learn more volleyball vocabulary.

Volleyball Terminology and Lingo For Liberos and Defensive Players

Digging and defensive volleyball terminology and words for liberos, defensive specialists and backcourt players who need to learn more volleyball vocabulary. 


The "chester" and the "facial" are two volleyball terms used to describe how you can legally dig a ball by using your face or your chest instead of your hands.

Two Volleyball Terms Used To Describe Digging Balls Without Your Hands


The "chester" and the "facial" are two volleyball terms used to describe how you can legally dig a ball by using your face or your chest instead of your hands.


These two terms in volleyball, the six pack and the facial, describe digging actions liberos know because they explain how to dig a volleyball using your face.

2 Terms in Volleyball For Digging
Lingo Libero Volleyball Players Know


These two terms in volleyball, the six pack and the facial, describe digging actions liberos know because they explain how to dig a volleyball using your face.


Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide
Digging Tips

These 3 volleyball tips for digging a ball describe how to dig a ball without taking a step, taking one step and taking three steps away from your base in defense.

Volleyball Tips For Digging A Ball One to 3 Steps From You in Defense

These 3 volleyball tips for digging a ball describe how to dig a ball without taking a step, taking one step and taking three steps away from your base in defense. 


Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide
Digging Techniques

These 10 defense volleyball techniques are answered on how to dig a volleyball better, where to be in defense, and what to watch when the other team is hitting.

10 Defense Volleyball Techniques Used To Make Digs and Defend Better

These 10 defense volleyball techniques are answered on how to dig a volleyball better, where to be in defense, and what to watch when the other team is hitting.


Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide
How to Dig A Volleyball


Dig volleyballs that are 3-4 feet away from you by using the barrel roll technique we teach in Vegas Volleyball Boot Camp classes.

Dig A Volleyball Using The Barrel Roll Digging and Defense Technique 


Dig volleyballs that are 3-4 feet away from you by using the barrel roll technique we teach in Vegas Volleyball Boot Camp classes.


Dig more volleyballs by watching the the ball, the setter, the ball and then the hitter when the opposing team attacks the ball.  (Matt Pendleton)

Dig Volleyball Spikes By Watching The Ball, The Setter And The Hitter 


Dig more volleyballs by watching the the ball, the setter, the ball and then the hitter when the opposing team attacks the ball. 


Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide 
How To Dig Tutorials


These digging volleyball basics teach you where to contact the ball on your arms, where feet and legs need to be and how to read hitters better in defense.

A Digging Volleyball Tutorial The Digging Basics For Defensive Players

These digging volleyball basics teach you where to contact the ball on your arms, where feet and legs need to be and how to read hitters better in defense.



To make a volleyball dig both arms are held together at the wrists so your arms form a flat surface, called a "platform" for the ball to bounce off of.

A Volleyball Dig
Five Steps To Keeping A Ball Off Of The Court Floor


To make a volleyball dig both arms are held together at the wrists so your arms form a flat surface, called a "platform" for the ball to bounce off of. 


Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide
Digging Videos

To "dig" the ball is a slang term used to mean "defend" the ball up in the air which requires you to stay in a low athletic stance with your knees bent while using your forearms to deflect the ball up into the air after its been hit by a member of the opposing team in order to keep it from hitting your court floor.


Three Step Barrel Roll
Volleyball Digging Techniques


Usually done during warmups in order to get warm-up to play defense in the match.

For balls that are tipped to the middle of the court we teach the three step barrel roll technique to dig a volleyball.

The roll or barrel roll is one of the several acrobatic individual defense techniques you can use to collapse to the ground after finishing a volleyball dig that takes you off balance.


This technique helps you complete your defense action safely and most importantly...allows the play to continue without the ball hitting the floor.

The "roll" is used as a way to finish to the floor and recover your footing after digging an attacked or deflected ball you had to leave your feet and hit the ground for


One Step Sprawl
Volleyball Digging Information


Usually done during warmups in order to get warm-up to play defense in the match.

To dig a volleyball that's more than 2-3 steps away from you and low to the floor, you need to know

  • how to play balls up on the move, then
  • complete your digging action and
  • fall to the ground in a safe way that you get back up and keep playing without getting hurt.

For the balls hit or tipped close to you in defense we use the extension and pop up to drop our hips fast to beat the ball to the floor.

For balls spiked further away we teach the extension and one step to barrel roll to get to balls that go up over the block before they come down.



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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. 



Your What Is A Dig Volleyball Guide 
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