Volleyball can be a leisurely sport, but when the level of competition increases, so does the necessity of knowing the little things. Tricks can help you move into the realm of competitive volleyball, outthinking and outfoxing your opponents.
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Setting for teammates requires accuracy and correct timing, but you also can give better sets to your teammates by reducing spin. You want to make the ball float on your set. Balls that don't have spin have more propensity to float, so you need to practice corralling the ball and reducing the spin while still making an accurate and well-timed set, notes the Spikeopaths Volleyball Club. Square your body up to the ball; don't try to set from the side. Line up so that the ball would hit your head if you missed it; if you are off to the side, the ball would hit the floor.
You can give yourself an edge in quickness by reading where the offensive player is likely to strike the ball. The Strength and Power for Volleyball website advises knowing the hitter's tendencies, which requires studying and remembering situations that you see. Watch the setter, because sometimes setters try to quickly knock the ball over the net to keep an offense off-guard, and also give indications by turning their hips or raising one arm. In addition, watch the hitter's shoulders, because the direction those shoulders face is the direction the ball is most likely to go. Another trick is to watch the arm swing of the hitter, as the elbow indicates how hard the attack will be. Finally, watch the footwork of the hitter as she approaches the ball. An aggressive approach means an aggressive hit, and vice versa.
Getting the ball to your teammates is the only way to ensure points being scored, but first you must corral the opposing offense's hit. Hide behind your blockers before they jump. Once the opponent leaps to begin an attack, jump out to the area you're supposed to cover. This could confuse the attacker and lead to errant hits. This strategy works best with good hitters, as they scout out uncovered areas just before they hit, whereas not-so-great hitters just try to put the ball anywhere inbounds.
Jump serves are more difficult than regular serves but also more lethal. The first tricks, notes "Volleyball" magazine, is to "set yourself" by tossing the ball exactly like you would want it set for you. Create a ritual and replicate it exactly the same each time. Serve the ball into dead zones, meaning places where the defense will have trouble getting to quickly. And if you play beach volleyball, take note of the wind and adjust your shot to the conditions. Mix things up and hit some on hard lines and others with arc, or some short and some long. And develop an attitude: Believe that you will score with each serve.