There are 5 main skills in volleyball: serving, digging, blocking, setting, and spiking.
–Setting is giving an assist to another player.
–Spiking is pushing the ball over the net after you have received an assist.
–Digging is keeping the ball in the air after the other team has attacked, you might need to dive to do this.
–Blocking is stopping the ball just after the net to stop the attack on the other team.
–Serving is starting the game again behind your court after you have scored a point.
Each of these requires a lot of practice to get it right. If you don’t hit the ball in the right way, you will not be able to get it over the net. You also have to be agile and run a lot if you want to catch the ball and pass it to your team members. Volleyball is a team sport so you have to be able to play together with other people. Let’s discuss which of these skills are the easiest to learn.
Setting: the most easy skill?
Setting is quite easy because your ball control doesn’t have to be that good yet. The main challenge is that you have to be able to communicate with other players. You have to receive the ball from one player and pass it to another one. If your team members are great players, setting is quite easy. They will make sure that you can easily catch the ball and also indicate where they want the ball. You have to control the ball and send it in the right direction and height. Given that you don’t have to jump and often have some time to perform the pass, setting is the easiest volleyball skill in my opinion. By no means is setting easy and you still will have to practice a lot to get it right. Especially sending the ball in the right direction can take a lot of tries before you nail it.
Let’s take a look at how this is done:
Setting is often one of the first things that you will learn in volleyball practice. You can also easily practice at home with a friend or even with yourself. You just need a ball. A lot of the other skills require a court and a net. Setting can be trained at any moment of the day. You can even practice it in your own room if you are allowed to do so.
Spiking: even easier?
Spiking is just pushing the ball over the net. This might seem quite simple. If the ball is coming your way, you just have to reach over and give the ball a small nudge. If you get the perfect pass and you are quite tall, this can be easy to do. The challenge is that the ball is often not arriving where you want it and you have to lean forward or backward to get it. Furthermore, you might have to jump as you often want to push the ball to the end of the court of the opponent. You also have to change things up because if your attack is always the same, it will become easy to defend against. Spiking also needs to happen fast as the ball is coming your way and you can’t drop it or send it in the net. You are also not allowed to touch the net. All of this makes spiking quite challenging.
Blocking: the easiest skill?
It might seem straightforward: you just have to jump and keep your arms in the air. The main challenge is finding the right timing to do so. You also shouldn’t touch the net. If possible, your arms should go over the net so that the ball doesn’t fall between you and the net. The problem is that volleyball goes very fast and you often have to jump quite high. Therefore blocking might be easy if you get your timing right but it will take a lot of practice to get it right often. You might get lucky and block the ball a few times but if you want to be successful with this during a whole match, you will have to practice a lot.
If you miss your block, your opponents can often score easy points so you have to be sure that your block is working out. It is possible that another team member will join in and also place a block. You have to make sure that you don’t run into each other and block the ball. A lot of newer players are struggling with this skill. It might come naturally to you but for me, it was difficult to get this right.
Digging: spectacular dive to save
Digging is keeping the ball in the air after the other team has attacked and passed it to a team member. The challenge is that you often have to run and jump when you do this. Controlling the ball and passing it to someone else is, therefore, a challenge. If the ball lands close by and you are on stable footing, digging can be quite easy. In reality, however, you will see that you often have to catch the ball while you are moving or standing on one foot. This makes it a challenge to slow the ball down and still send it in the right direction. A lot of players just drop the ball in the beginning as they are not able to control the ball well enough to do this. It often takes a lot of practice to get this just right.
Let’s take a look at some spectacular actions:
Serving is difficult as you have to send the ball over a big distance, cross the net and make it land in just the right place. It might feel natural to some players but most are struggling with it. It also comes with a lot of pressure as everyone is looking at you and you can make or break the game.
If you are lucky and everything falls in place, spiking can be quite easy but in reality, it is often challenging to do.
To conclude, we can say that each skill in volleyball is quite challenging. Spiking and setting might be easier to learn but they are hard to master as well. If your team members are great, you can get away with a mediocre set. If you are lucky, your spike might score you a point as well. Blocking, severing, and digging is quite difficult as you need a lot of timing and ball control skills to get these just right. This requires a lot of practice and you won’t be able to get this completely right after your first month of playing volleyball. After a while, everything gets easier and you might find serving quite straightforward as well.