How do you know if you’re good at volleyball? ONE THING will tell you

It is hard to tell if you are good at volleyball as there are multiple aspects to the sport. You can’t be good at everything as defending and attacking require different skill sets. Furthermore, volleyball is also a team sport so you have to fit in the way the team plays. You also have different types of volleyball, from indoor volleyball, pool volleyball to beach volleyball. How can you know if you are any good at it? We will discuss several ways to check it, from talking to coaches to checking the raw statistics. Let’s dive in and explain how you can know if you are good at volleyball and how you can improve even further.

What are your ambitions?

First of all, you should think about what your goals are when it comes to volleyball. Do you just want to have fun, win a championship, or do you want to become a professional athlete? This determines how high or low you have to set the bar to define being good at volleyball. If you want to become a professional player, you will need to be very good at the basic volleyball skills: digging, spiking, serving, setting, and blocking. It is often best to pick one of these skills to get really good at than being mediocre at all five of them. It can require years of repeating the same drills over and over again before you get great at them. You have to think for yourself if you want to make this commitment or not. 

Let’s listen to the career trajectory of Rachael Adams, who is a pro player that plays in Team USA:

Talking to coaches

You can talk to your coach to see how you match up against other players in the team and what they think you should improve on. It is also possible to send footage of yourself to several coaches so that you can get multiple opinions. Maybe your current coach doesn’t like you much or he/she has known you for a long time and is afraid to criticize you. A lot of things are subjective in volleyball and each coach can have his or her personal preferences. If you are sitting a lot on the bench, this could be feedback from your coach that he or she thinks that you still have to improve before you can add a lot of value to the team. Therefore it is a great idea to talk to multiple coaches and see what feedback keeps coming up. You might have to pay coaches to do this but this shouldn’t cost too much if you have a well-prepared video. 

You can also ask the other players on your team or even older players what they think of your performance. You might not expect the feedback that you will get so you have to approach it with an open mind. Don’t get discouraged if people criticize certain aspects of your game as every volleyball player has its strengths and weaknesses. 

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

If you are determined to get better, you can consider hiring a personal trainer that can push you to accomplish your goals. 

Looking at the data

Every match should have a match sheet that indicates who scored a point and in some instances who offered an assist. This results in a lot of statistics that you can use. Saves are not often written down. You can ask someone in the audience to write these things down for you. This will allow you to see how many times you dropped the ball and also how often you did a great job. Statistics don’t lie and you can learn a lot from this. You should have this data for multiple matches so that you can compare over time to see how you are performing. It is always possible to have a bad match that can skew your results. Therefore it is great to have data over the whole season. This will also allow you to see trends, for example, maybe you are not performing that well in away games. Let’s take a look at what info the scoring sheet contains:

You can use this data to compare yourself to other people in your team or league.

They are also working on software that is analyzing footage of your game. They already use this for professional NBA players and over time this software will become available to everyone. This will provide an objective overview of your volleyball performance. 

How do you compare yourself?

You also have to look at where you came from. Some players have innate talents and might be ahead of you but maybe you made more progress because you practiced more. You can only do your best and some things can’t be changed. Only you know if you did put in the effort to attain your goals or not. A great way to see your evolution is to film yourself from time to time. You might be astounded how much you have evolved once you watch footage from a few months or even weeks ago. You don’t always notice the progress that you are making when you are training and video footage can help you see where you came from.

It is also necessary to compare yourself with players of your age. Other players might have a lot more time to train and get better. As a beginning player, you can’t compare yourself with professional volleyball athletes. You will get there over time but you will need to learn a lot of lessons along the way. 

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you are pushing to get better. It takes a lot of practice and you have to celebrate the small wins and stack these upon each other to get better. Every player has a moment during which they are not evolving. They might feel that they are stuck in a rut. This will happen to everyone and you just have to keep putting in the work and eventually, you will outgrow this situation. 

To conclude, we can state that it can be quite difficult to tell if you are good at volleyball as there are a lot of aspects to this game, from offensive to defensive actions.