What is the ideal volleyball player? Surprising conclusion

A lot of my players ask me what the perfect volleyball player is. I always tell them that they have to start where they are at now and identify their weak points and work on these. No one is perfect but professional athletes are really good at the five main volleyball skills.

Most volleyball players focus on one skill. They pick offense or defense as their main specialization and then further choose what skill they will excel at. This allows them to get great at defending or attacking. All of these skills require great ball handling and hand-eye coordination. This can only be improved by repeating some drills over and over again. There is no shortcut to success here. You have to be willing to put in the work.

The perfect volleyball player plays with a lot of heart. In volleyball, you can often catch balls that other players wouldn’t if you really go for it. It can take a lot of energy to dig for a ball. Especially once players get tired, they might not want to jump around anymore. Therefore it is important that you remain in shape and you can still give it your all at the end of the game. There is often a deep and personal motivation that the best players have.

Someone told them that they couldn’t do it, they come from a rough neighborhood or they just want to prove themselves. You have to find out what motivates you and use this to push yourself through difficult moments. Everyone is excited at the beginning of the game but players show their true colors when they are tired and everything hurts. A winners mentality can really push a team over the edge when the game is tight. Tim Grover talks in his book Relentless about Cleaners.

These are players that are able to tip a game just by their hard work and dedication to winning. They inspire the team to work harder and win every point. It can be hard to keep fighting when you are down a lot of points but there have been some great comebacks in volleyball just because some players didn’t want to give up.  Let’s take a look at a great comeback below: 

The best players are able to keep their attention on the game. There is a lot going on before and during the match that can distract a player. From an injury, broken equipment, a loud audience to a hot sports arena. All of these things can make it hard to focus on the game itself. You have to be able to tune out the noise and only pay attention to the essentials.

The ball, your team, and the other team are all that counts during the match. Don’t get intimidated by the audience or the other players. You have practiced for the match so you are able to perform the required movements.

Reaction time is also important for a volleyball player. If you can start running slightly earlier, the chance that you can catch the ball increases by a lot. This can be a big advantage as not a lot of players are working on improving it. Professional players pass very fast so you have to be able to react in an instant.

Being a team player is essential if you want to become great at volleyball. This is more than just being able to pass the ball to another player. You have to know their preferences (for example some players want the ball high, others prefer to receive the ball lower) and it is necessary to anticipate their actions. This can take a lot of time to learn but most teams play together for several years so players start to know what everyone expects.

If you really want to be a great team player, you also have to know what is going on in the lives of your team members. Maybe their dog ran away or they have other things going on in their life. If you know this, you can talk to them and make sure that everything is fine. You can also defuse potential conflict in the group and make sure that everyone feels great. This is the role of the coach as well but he or she can’t see everything that a player can. The team captain is therefore very important on a volleyball team.

There are several drills to work better as a team:

Strategy is essential in volleyball. If you can surprise the other team with a well-timed attack, you can score a lot of points. A lot of teams play too predictable and this allows other teams to block their attacks. Great volleyball players are able to see patterns in the game that allow them to build fast and unique attacks that are very hard to defend against. Often only advanced players are able to do this as you need a lot of experience playing volleyball before you start to see what is possible.

The main difference between amateurs and professional volleyball players is the speed at which the game is played. Some professional players are able to attack in the blink of an eye. They can add effects to the ball so that it can change very rapidly.

This makes an attack very hard to defend against and can push the other team to the brink. You can’t play the whole game at full speed but if you find the right moment to switch gears, you can score a lot of points. 

Let’s listen to what legend Karch Kilaray has to say about the perfect volleyball player here. Karch is often considered to be one of the best volleyball players ever as he had success with indoor volleyball and beach volleyball as well. At the moment he is a coach for the female volleyball team of Team USA. He has won the gold medal during the last Olympics with them.

In this article, we have discussed some characteristics that a perfect volleyball player would have. From fast reaction times, ball handling, a strong spirit to being a team player, all these things are important for a volleyball player.

No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Touching the ball in the wrong way or dropping it. It happens to the best of us. You can only start from where you are at and try to improve every day. These characteristics can give you some insights into what you can work on.