In volleyball, the same ball touches are needed over and over again to attack and defend. Without these, you won’t be able to play volleyball at a high level. The five basic skills in volleyball are the following: spiking, serving, setting, blocking, and digging. If beginners are able to learn these, they can join any volleyball game. Professional players use these skills as well but are able to play much faster. They also add several strategies such as rotations to make it harder to defend against their attacks. Learning the five basic skills as a beginner is a great step towards volleyball mastery. Let’s discuss each of these basic skills in more detail.
What are the activities of volleyball?
The following activities are repeated over and over again during a volleyball match:
Spiking is pushing the ball over the net with the intent of scoring a point by sending the ball in the court of the other team. This is often done from the front row as the ball needs to get over the net. Professional volleyball players use a lot of force, precision, and effect when they spike the ball. In a lot of instances, they have to evade a block or other type of defense and find a part of the court that is not well defended. You can also tip the ball and this means that you don’t use a lot of force and just drop the ball over the net.
Setting is giving an assist to the spiker. Each team has a player dedicated to setting as this requires special skills. The ball has to get at the right height at the correct moment. There are often multiple setters per team as this gives more options to the team. If there is only one setter and this player is not able to receive the ball, the libero often has to take up this role. You only get three ball touches per attack so in some instances the setter is giving a weak assist and the spiker has a lot of issues with pushing the ball over the net. You have to work as a team in volleyball and try to correct the mistakes of your team members.
Digging is a defensive maneuver in which you receive the ball after the other team has attacked. The goal is to control the ball and slow it down so that it can be passed to the setter. This can be challenging as you sometimes need to dive to keep the ball in the air. In this instance, you are moving and sliding over the floor so it is hard to control the ball. You have players that are specialized in this such as the libero or defensive specialist. These players are often standing on the second row as most attacks arrive there.
Serving is restarting the game after your team has scored a point. This requires a lot of skills as the player needs to stand behind their own court and push the ball over the net and inside the court of the other team. This needs the correct amount of power and precision. You have multiple types of serves (such as the float serve and jump float serve). They differ in the way that you touch the ball (flat hand or hand around the ball) and if you jump or not before touching the ball. A great server can score a lot of points for a team.
Blocking is a defensive skill. The goal is to jump just behind the net so that you can stop the ball from going over it. This stops the attack of the other team and allows your team to counterattack. Sometimes multiple players are blocking at the same time but this is risky as there are fewer players available to dig or recoup the ball down the field.
You will have to master hand-eye coordination and ball-handling as these are needed in each of the five discussed skills.
Each of these skills requires a lot of training and it is only after several years that you can fully master them. It is possible to specialize in one of the skills so that you can use this to help your team to score a lot of points or defend very well.
What are the types of volleyball?
There are four types of volleyball. In each of these, the five discussed skills are needed. If you master these, you can play all the types of volleyball that exist. This is why the basic skills are so useful for beginners.
- Indoor volleyball
This is the standard volleyball as we know it from the Olympics. It is played in an indoor sports arena. Each team has six players and there are also team members on the bench so substitutions are allowed. The team has to work together to make sure that they don’t drop the ball in their court. This is done by passing to each other. You are not allowed to hold the ball. Each team only can pass a maximum of three times per attack. This makes it challenging as you need one touch to control the ball after an attack, another touch to give an assist, and a final touch to attack. You can attack in less than three touches but this makes it challenging to control the ball.
- Beach volleyball
Beach volleyball is an Olympic sport. It is played in the sand. There are two players on each team, making it more intense to play. There are not as many strategies available as you have in indoor volleyball as there are fewer players on the court. The ball is slightly bigger than in indoor volleyball and some rules are different (for example going under the net is allowed in some instances in beach volleyball). The sun can affect the vision of the players so this is an additional challenge. Let’s take a look at some highlights:
- Outdoor volleyball
This is quite similar to indoor volleyball because you also have six players. The main difference is that it is played on another terrain. Instead of wood or rubber, outdoor volleyball is played on grass or concrete. Playing on hard surfaces can limit the game as you are not going to dive or slide on this type of floor as it would be too painful to do so. In outdoor volleyball, you also have to take the weather into account as the wind can change the direction of the ball.
- Pool volleyball
This type of volleyball is quite new and is played in a pool. Players can’t run as the water makes this difficult. This is not part of the Olympics and pool volleyball is often just played for fun.
To conclude, we can state that you need to master the basic skills if you want to get great at volleyball. This includes ball-handling, reaction times, and hand-eye coordination. This will allow you to develop the five main skills in volleyball: spiking, serving, setting, blocking, and digging. If you train these five basic skills, you will be able to play volleyball as you can attack and defend. These five skills are needed over and over again during a match.