Essential Skills in Volleyball

While playing the game of volleyball primarily aims to bring back the ball to your opponent’s court, there are some skills involved to effectively deliver and score a point. Before you start practicing them, I highly suggest you consider investing in the best mens volleyball shoes to be secure and safe.


Let us start with the Serve. Before the start of any play ball, the serving player will go the outer line called as the service area where he will toss and hit the ball going to the opponent’s area. Serving the ball has different styles. Considered as the easiest way to serve, the underhand allows the player to hit the ball using the wrist. A skyball serve is a specific type of underhand serve where the ball travels in a loop and comes down almost in a straight line. The topspin is an overhand serve where the player tosses the ball high and hits it with the wrist span giving it a spin. A jump serve is a type of overhand serve where the ball is tossed up high and the player makes a perfectly timed approach to hit the ball while jumping. Jump serve is the most popular type of serve especially in tournaments where it gives the most impact to the receiving player. If the serve lands directly inside the opponent’s court or goes outside after being touch by the opponent, then that serve is considered as a service ace.

Termed as the reception, the pass is the way a receiving team handles the opponent’s serve or any form of attack. A proper pass does not just include handling the ball while preventing it from touching the ground, it also makes sure that the ball is directed to the setter in preparation for an attack or spike. Passing involves and underarm pass or a bump where the ball touches the internal part of the joined forearms.

After a successful pass, the set comes in. Usually made as a second contact with the ball, the primary aim for a set is to place the ball in the air in such a way that it can be hit by a desired spot of the attacker or spiker. Since there may be one or more spikers available for an attack to include the back-row spikers, the setter will have the decision where he wants to position and gives the ball to a specific spiker. But this is not always the case. There are some setters that aims the ball directly to the opponent’s court specially for a vacant or unmanned space. This technique is called a dump.

Known as the spike, an attack is often the third and last contact before the ball goes over the net going to the opponent’s court. The main objective of the spike is to hit the ball hard making a direct land on the opponent’s court. Often, if a spike is executed well, it is often hard to be defended. During the spike, an attacking player makes a series of steps then jumps while swinging his arms for a hard hit to the ball. When an attack is not defended, or returned by the opponent, then it is called a kill where a point is awarded to the attacking team.

As a preparation for an opponent’s attack, a block is usually made by the defending team to stop or alter an opponent’s attack. An offensive block is aimed to completely stop an attack while the ball stays at the attacking team. A defensive block, also called as the soft block, is aimed to minimize the impact of a solid spike making it easier to perform the pass.

In cases of a dump or when a spike was not blocked, the dig comes in where it prevents the ball from touching the ground. A dig is similar to a pass, but it only differs on its flexibility and reflex. A perfect example of this is a dive where a player leaps in a forward movement in an attempt to save a ball from hitting the ground, otherwise a score is awarded to the opponent. A dive or any sudden attempt to save a ball is followed by a roll to prevent the player from possible injuries.

In a tournament or international competition, mastery of all the skills is not just the important aspect but teamwork still remains to be most effective formula in winning a game.