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Ultimate Guide to Coaching Youth Volleyball


Teaching Basic Volleyball Skills

An important part of coaching is teaching your players the basic skills they need to play the game. In volleyball, all players should learn how to serve, set, pass, spike, block and dig the ball. If you're not sure what all of these terms mean, don't sweat it. Check out these brief descriptions to help get your head in the game.

  • Serving - A player must serve the ball to start a volley. Serving requires you to make quick, hard contact with the ball using either your palm for an overhand serve or the back of your forearm for an underhand serve [source: American Volleyball Coaches Association].
  • Setting - Sets are a form of overhead passing that can be used to send the ball to a teammate or over the net to the opposing team. To set, raise both their hands above your head and use the pads of your fingertips to make contact with the ball.
  • Passing - To receive a serve from the opposing team, you must use a forearm pass or "bump." To do so, you should bend your legs, extend both hands forward and clasp your hands together to create a flat surface for hitting the ball.
  • Spiking - Players in the front row can spike the ball over the net. To spike, you raise one arm above your head, jump and hit the ball as hard as you can toward the floor of the opposing team's court.
  • Blocking - This is another technique players in the front row can use to stop the opposing team from sending the ball over the net. To block, stand close to the net and jump up with both hands above your head to deflect the ball back to the opposing team's side of the court.
  • Digging - If the opposing team spikes the ball, a player can use a dig to keep the ball from hitting the ground. A dig is a lot like a forearm pass except that you must dive close to the floor to make contact with the ball [source: American Sport Education Program, USYVL].

Even if your players are all beginners, remember that practice makes perfect. Keep reading to learn some volleyball drills that will get your team ready to play.