Most Important Skills of Volleyball 

These are 5 skills of volleyball you likely aren't familiar with. I'm not talking about the playing skills such as serving, passing, setting, blocking, and spiking. 

These are the mental skills necessary to be successful when competing at a higher level. 

Anticipation - Skills of Volleyball

To be successful at volleyball and also to be successful at sports in general, the athlete needs to develop skills for anticipation. 

Anticipating is basically reading.

This involves reading the opponent and also reading teammates. 

For example, the best passer is the one that reads the server or attacker.

The best setter is the best at anticipating the pass. 

Anticipation involves watching and figuring out what is going to happen before it happens. 

This might sound really difficult, but it's actually not that hard. It just takes awhile to learn.

You may be thinking, "becoming better at figuring out what is going to happen sounds great, but how do you teach this?"

Here are 5 tips for how you can go about improving your anticipation skills.

  • Prepare for everything that can happen. For example, if you want to improve your teams serve receive, have your team practice receiving every type of serve. Have the receivers focus on the server. Have them try to predict what serve is coming. Anticipation may seam hard, but usually athletes struggle at anticipating because they just aren't in the habit of paying attention to what is happening. If you're intimidated by the thought trying to prepare for everything, just start with something easy at first. For example, just start with creating a plan for how you are going to move to the ball. 

  • Train to improve individual playing skills and come up with a plan for how you are going to move to the ball in each situation. When a teach individual playing skills, I'm really training the skills of volleyball so that my athletes will have a plan for how to move to the ball and make the play. For example, the purpose of teaching footwork is the athlete has a plan for how to get in position to make the play. An advanced setter has many options for how to move to get to the ball to set. A spiker has planned footwork (left-right-left for right handers). Passers have planned footwork (shuffle steps, crossover steps, etc)  

  • Learn as much as you can about how to play volleyball. The more you know, the more information you will have to make better decisions. For example, if you're a setter, learn everything you possibly can about setting and what it means to be a good setter. And learn about all the other positions. The more you know about other positions, the better you will be at anticipating what both your teammates and opponent are going to do.

  • Learn about your teammates. The more you know about your teammates, the better you will be at anticipating what your teammates are going to do. For example, do you have a hitter on your team that freaks out when the game is on the line? If you're a setter, knowing this is important because you need to know when it's the best and worst time to set certain players. 

  • Learn about your opponent. Especially if you play the same teams over and over again, it's important to learn about what their tendencies are. 

  • Study the best athletes. All the best athletes have at least one thing in common. They all anticipate really well. Anticipation isn't a talent. Anticipation is a skill that takes years to develop. All the best athletes have spent years developing their anticipation skills. There's a book titled, The Talent Code that's all about how talent isn't born, it's grown.  

Social - Skills of Volleyball

To have a successful volleyball team, players need to know how to communicate with one another. Leaders are good at making their teammates play better when they are struggling. 

Especially in girls youth volleyball, social skills are really important. 

Social skills in tied into anticipation. The people with the best social skills are the ones that anticipate how people are going to react to certain situations. 

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Volleyball Skills Tips

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