Advanced Skills

Keith Sewell describes some difficult techniques.

The main skills you need to know are the pass, set and hit, but there are many other important aspects to volleyball skills, especially for defensive plays.


This is a defensive skill used to help players get up quickly from passing a low ball. The libero or defensive specialist is primarily the player who uses this skill the most. Extend one arm out and sprawl for the ball then roll over the shoulder of your extended arm and get back in ready position to play.

Roll body over extended shoulder

It takes a lot of practice to master this skill! You have to be confident and not afraid to hit the floor hard.


Another defensive skill, this comes into play when the opposing team is hitting. The arms extend straight up as the opposing teamís hitter contacts the ball, and you jump as high and close to the net as possible to attempt to make the ball land back on the opposing teamís side. Start with your knees bent and your hands next to your face, palms facing outward. You have to turn your hands accordingly to make the ball stay in the court, i.e. if you're on the right side of the court blocking a right-handed hitter in left-front of the opposite side of the court, turn your right hand in toward the court so the ball doesn't go out of bounds.

Hands ready to block

If you go up to block and the ball comes back down on your side of the net, your team is still allowed three contacts before the ball must be sent over the net.


This defensive skill is used primarily by setters who cannot make an effective set or front-row players who cannot execute a solid hit (or hitters who want to confuse the other team).

When the ball comes close to the net, you simply use your finger pads to "shoot" the ball back onto the other side of the court. This is most effective when a power hitter has had several strong hits; the other team is ready for it, so they back up, which leaves huge holes in the defense perfect for tipped or dinked balls.