Volleyball Positioning Tips

Volleyball positioning shouldn't be taken for granted. "Positioning" really is the key to executing the play.  

Skills for Positioning

The ability of a player to get in the right position to make the play is the key to success in volleyball. 

No matter what the skill, the better you are at getting in position, the better you'll be at executing the play. 

First, players need to understand the end result of a certain skill. 

For example, the end result of the spike is 

1) Contact the ball high,

2) Spike the ball with the right trajectory, and

3) Make the ball spin (topspin)

This is the position players are working towards getting in every time a player wants to spike a volleyball. 

The more consistently a player is at getting in this position, the more consistently a player is going to have spiking a volleyball. 

Volleyball Positioning

Getting in Position to Attack

Drills that Focus on Volleyball Positioning

For each skill, players should focus on master the correct position. 

Players need to perform the skill in good position over and over again if they want to learn what position is best. 

You've likely seen players standing on a box at the net spiking volleyballs. Drills that involve spiking volleyballs from a high box at the net will help players learn about positioning. This kind of drill will help a player learn what position is best for spiking. 

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How to play volleyball positions

Anticipation Skills

Anticipation skills are unique to each skill. For example, for the skill of spiking, you need to anticipate where the ball is being set. The better you are at reading the setter, the easier it will be to get in position to spike the ball.

You've probably noticed that the more a spiker has hit off of a certain setter, the better they are at spiking her sets. This has a lot to do with the fact that the spiker has learned to anticipate the setter. The spiker knows the setters tendencies and is able to recognize where the ball will be set in certain situations. 

Technique and Skills

Basically, there is a technique for every skill in volleyball. With spiking, the technique that gets the most attention is the volleyball approach. The better your approach, the easier it will be to get in good position to spike.

This is the purpose of the approach.... make it easier to get in position to spike the ball. A good approach gives a spiker more options which makes the skill of spiking much easier. 

Good Positioning for Passing a Volleyball

Defensive Positioning

Volleyball positioning for playing defense involves keeping the body in an athletic position, ready to move. 

The following are keys to being ready to dig... 

1) Keep your feet about shoulder width apart. 

2) Have one foot slightly in front of the other. 

3) Your weight should be on the insides of your feet. 

4) You should be bending forward at the waist, flexing the hips. 

5) Your back remains in a 60 degree position. 

7) Your arms are roughly parallel to your thighs. 

This is the defensive positioning you need for digging because this is good positioning for covering balls that are in front of you. 

This is also good for being ready to move your hands up to dig balls hit at your face! 

Digging a Volleyball

Setter Position

Remember, for each skill, learn proper volleyball positioning first before working on anticipation skills and techniques for getting in position

Setter Volleyball Position

Hand position technique for setting a volleyball… 

1) With your hands down in front of you, put all ten fingertips together (thumbs touching each other, index fingers touching each other, etc) with the fingers spread wide. 

2) Raise your hands up above your head with your fingers still touching. 

3) Pull your elbows out to your sides. 

4) Pull your hands apart just far enough so that a ball fits between them. 

This is the proper hand position for setting. 

Next, you should perform drills focusing on contacting the ball in a setting position. 

1) Catch the ball in correct position. Toss the ball to yourself, then just catch the ball with your hands in the correct position. 

2) Catch and push the ball. After a slight pause, continue through a setting motion, pushing the ball up into the air. 

3) Shorter and shorter pauses with each repetition. Concentrate on catching the ball with correct hand positions and gradually make the pauses shorter. 

Also, with each repetition, focus on taking spin off the ball. The less the ball spins, the more likely the setter won't be called for an illegal contact. 

Technique for Positioning is Important

These steps may sound really simple and elementary, but don't overlook them. It's very important to learn proper positioning first before trying to execute skills correctly. Don't be the coach or player that gets impatient and plays chaotic without learning proper technique. Always focus on mastering volleyball positioning first! 

› Positioning