For the best movement in volleyball, strength is the foundation. Young and new players learn to move correctly through training progressions. However, these progressions are just the beginning of learning how to move efficiently and stay in control. Training reps and the work a player does off the court to get stronger are factors that determine how well a player can move.
Always try to keep your feet as wide as your shoulders. This gives you a stable base. As you earn more achievements as a player, your base will expand as you get stronger. If possible, keep your head between your knees as you move to maintain balance when moving sideways. When moving forward or backward, keep your body weight evenly distributed on your feet and not on your toes or heels. Keep your head slightly in front of your trunk. If you lead with your head, your body will follow. If you fall backwards with your head, your body will follow you again and you will be out of position. Your feet should be pointing forward. Avoid having your toes stick out like a duck or stick your toes in like a pigeon.
To maintain a stable body position, keep your knees in line with your toes. Beginners are often not strong enough to hold this position. This is one of the reasons we focus on strength being your foundation. Beginners tend to have sunken knees and don’t stay in line with their toes. Your knees should be slightly bent so you can easily move in any direction. The size of the step you take when moving towards the ball depends on how far you have to move. It’s always best to take the first step with the foot closest to the ball in the direction you want to move. Otherwise, you will most likely cross your feet, which gets you nowhere on your first step and costs you valuable time.
When you think of the greatest athletes in the sport and how smoothly and gracefully they move, what do you think of? These players are so efficient in their movements that no movement is wasted. They seem to slide as they move. As you gain more achievements and experience in volleyball, you will notice that you will also move much better. You learn that if your knees are not bent you cannot move. If your body weight isn’t balanced on both feet or you lean more in one direction than the other, you don’t have time to reach a ball moving in the opposite direction. This awareness comes with experience, moving over and over again.
When moving to play a ball, try to look towards your target or the position or player you are sending the ball to. Follow the ball coming towards you by focusing on the bottom half of the ball. You must get the ball to the place on the court it is moving towards by working to keep the ball between you and your intended target.
Different types of moves and stances for blocking, defending, attacking, passing and setting allow you to quickly get to the ball. It’s important to note that so many things can happen at once during the game, the faster you can get set up correctly, the better chance you have of making the move.
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