Hey Jude – Set and Pass High

This is my second installment of ultra-basic volleyball instruction. Since there were no questions emailed to me, my first piece was:

a) So brilliantly concise that it explained away any possible questions before they happened.

b) So incredibly simple that everyone who reads the web page is at a much higher level in volleyball.

c) So boring and poorly written that readers were either asleep or had to leave the room retching before they got to my email address.

I apologize if this stuff is too simple, but I have coached a lot of adults, and these things really do make the game easier (and more fun!).

HEIGHT – In almost all the skills of volleyball it is important to get the ball high in the air. As you improve, certain skills evolve and the height can be reduced, but as a beginner:

Pass high: If you are a good passer and you can consistently pass to the setting spot, you can help your setter (and your hitters) by allowing him/her to get underneath the ball. If you are a weak passer, instead of focusing on the target (setter), try to put the ball high in the middle of the court. You can email me to get tips on exactly how this is done.

Set High: A bad set is too low. Almost any other flaw in a set (with the exception of a set that goes over the net) can be overcome by setting high. The more time hitters have to make an approach, the better their results will be. There are so many variables in hitting that it is close to impossible for a beginner to be successful without a high set.

Dig High: When you dig the ball, there is often chaos on your side of the net. The blockers are turning around to look for the ball AS they back up to become hitters. The setter is scrambling around bumping into people trying to get the second ball. A low dig almost guarantees a bad set and a bad hit, or even worse, no hit. Put the ball as high as you can in the centre of the court.

In order to be successful in volleyball, teams must learn to control the ball. Perfect passes, sets and hits are difficult, especially when you are inexperienced or have never been taught how to perform the skills. One easy step to improved ball control, as a player and as a team, is to increase the height of your passes, sets and digs.

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