Volleyball is a sport in which you are not allowed to hold the ball and you also can’t touch the ball two times in a row. You have to keep it in the air by passing to each other. If you drop the ball on your part of the court, the other team scores a point. So both in attack and defense you are not allowed to hold the ball in your hands.
This means that you have to be able to keep it in the air at all times. This requires a lot of ball control as you should be able to send the ball in the right direction, with the desired speed, and in the expected height.
If you don’t do this, you will make it difficult for your team member to receive the ball and do something with it. Each team has only three passes during each attack so you have to use them well. Let’s discuss why ball control is important for both offense and defense in more detail below.
Defense: don’t drop the ball
The opponent will send the ball over the net and you need to catch it. This is a big challenge as the ball can come at a high speed and you don’t know at which part of the field it will fall. This means that every player on the field has to be able to catch the ball. In some instances, you will need to dive to get the ball as it is coming down quite far from you.
Being able to keep the ball in the air while you are moving is a big feat. This means that you need ball control to do this. The goal is to keep the ball in the air and also to pass it to a team member.
So you have to slow down the ball, change its direction and send it with the right amount of speed to your team member. All of this needs a lot of precision and feel for the ball. This can only be done if you have the right technique. You also need to practice over and over again to get this right.
You have two types of passes: underhand and overhand. When players defend, they often pass underhand. Let’s discuss how this works.
Players fold their hands in a specific way so that they are to catch the ball with their forearms. This gives a lot of control over the ball as you can bend these to adjust the angle that the ball will go in. Be sure to receive the ball on your forearms as you need to be able to push the ball in the air again.
Slowing down the ball is only the first step, you also need to make it change its direction and push it to your team member. If you drop the ball often, the other team will start to target you and your team might lose a lot of points or you might end up on the bench. You will have to practice a lot if you want to avoid this. This is further explained in the video below:
Offense: Let’s score that point!
In offense, one player often gives an assist (or set) to another player. The last player then has to push the ball over the net and attack. The assist is often given overhand. This is often easier for beginners as you can see the ball coming. Let’s discuss how this works.
You bend your arms and once the ball comes, you place your palms under the ball. Then you push the ball up in the air towards your team member. Make sure that the ball goes high enough if your team wants to attack. You have to communicate well with the other plates on your team so that everyone knows what is going to happen.
You can play this part of the attack quite slowly if needed. This can help if players are still new and learning how to control the ball. This is further explained in the video below:
The final attack needs to happen with a lot of precision as well. You are not allowed to touch the net as a player. Furthermore, you have to try and find a weak spot in the defense of the other team. If your attack is not strong enough, the other team will be able to send the ball back very fast.
Therefore you need to be able to touch the ball in the right way so that it goes fast. This makes it harder to defend. You have to hit the ball with the palm of your hand when you push the ball over the net (this is often called spiking).
To conclude, we can state that you will need ball-handling skills in both offense and defense if you plan to play volleyball. It can take a lot of practice to develop this. You need to keep the ball in the air at all times and are not allowed to drop it on the floor. Since you are not allowed to hold the ball and can’t touch it two times in a row, you have to make sure that your ball touches are good.
You have to pass to your team members and do so in a way that makes it easy for them to receive the ball. Small nuances such as the position of your fingers and arms can have a big impact on the speed and direction of the ball.
You have to keep this in mind when you are training your ball control skills. It is essential to have good ball-handling skills if you want to play volleyball. From afar this looks like an easy sport but you might need to work on these skills for several months before you finally nail this skill.
Ball control is important for volleyball players. It can take a long time before you are able to get good at this. Be patient and practice often!