It’s time for beach volleyball season to start, so it’s time to get out of the gym and onto the sand.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert player, there are some essential things that every beach volleyball player should know.
We’ve compiled 12 tips to improve your game this summer – read on to find out more.
12 Useful Tips For Beach Volleyball Players
1. The critical skill: net clearance
The most critical and oft-neglected volleyball technique is net clearance.
If you want to be good at the game, developing your skills in the air will help you immensely.
When I was first learning to play, some of the more experienced players took my head off when they’d catch me leaving my feet and not clearing the net.
Spend time working on this technique – it may not be easy at first, but keep trying, and you’ll get better every day.
2. Use your hips to block
One of the best ways to improve as a volleyball player is to take advantage of your body’s natural mechanics.
An excellent way to do this is to learn to use your hips while blocking.
What happens to the rest of your body when you dig a ball? In almost every case, it will follow the momentum established by your hips.
This means that if you get low and push off from the ground with your hips, you’ll have more incredible momentum going upwards when you dig the ball, allowing you to block it with greater force.
3. Improve your aim
The common mistake I see beginning players making when practicing passing is needing a well-defined target.
Passing can be one of the most challenging skills to master. So make sure you have a spot where you want the ball to go before jumping up to pass.
4. Maximise your vertical leap
Improving your vertical leap will not only help your passing game – it will also help your beach volleyball game.
The higher you are when you hit the sand, the easier it will be for you to clear the net.
If you want to improve your vertical leap, try ball-handling drills and shuttle runs (where you run back and forth between two lines marked on the ground).
Another great agility exercise is “the crab walk,” where you get down on all fours and move sideways.
Don’t forget to mix in some squats and crunches, too.
5. Know how to do a bump set
A bump set is an essential volleyball skill that you must learn how to do if you want to play the game effectively – and it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your bump set – try doing it with your arms out to the side, or try angling your body slightly differently each time.
6. Practice spiking
One of the most exciting things about beach volleyball is that you can get plenty of height when you spike.
That said, if you don’t know what you’re doing, then getting too high can cause you to lose your balance or spin around, which prevents you from controlling the ball properly.
Spend time on your spiking technique – it’s an exciting skill in your arsenal.
7. Mastering two-on-ones will make you a better player
Two-on-one situations can be intimidating, but they’re also an excellent way to improve your game.
The first step is to decide who will rotate where – once you’ve done that, it’s time to get out and practice.
There are tons of drills on YouTube that outline how to do two-on-ones, so check some out and start practicing.
You won’t regret it.
8. Don’t get too “three-dimensional.”
It can be tempting to use your whole body when you’re playing, but don’t – it’s unnecessary.
There are plenty of ways to hit the ball without extra muscle or energy, so stick with what’s simple.
For example, use your wrist instead of getting lower and angling your legs out to hit the ball.
9. Master defensive positioning
It all comes down to where you are on the court when the other team is hitting. Your blocking game will be effective if you’re in the right spots.
But you’ll let some easy points slip by if you’re not there.
A good rule of thumb is: “If you’re in their sight, then you’re in their way.”
Try to learn where each blocker should stand during different situations. That way, you can spend less time thinking about positioning and concentrate more on your blocking.
10. Practice against a wall
Finding a wall that matches your height might be challenging if you’re practicing on the beach.
If you can’t find one, lay out some beach towels and practice against them.
Practicing against a wall will help you get used to where the ball should go if you miss blocking it.
If the ball has gone behind you, moving a step or two in that direction is a good idea when you’re playing.
11. Get your hands on some foam
Another great way to train is with soft foam balls – they help improve your hand-eye coordination.
For this exercise, you’ll want to find a soft ball that you can use to fake out your teammates.
With this drill, two players go back and forth, hitting the ball with just one hand – if they hit it with both hands or not hard enough; then they need to do it again.
12. Don’t take yourself too seriously
One of the best parts about playing beach volleyball is having fun. Don’t get too worked up about mistakes.
Instead, focus on how much better you’ll get next time. If you want to take your game to the next level, then make sure that you follow these tips.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is beach volleyball?
Beach volleyball is played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by a net. It has been an Olympic discipline since the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Where did beach volleyball originate?
In Santa Monica, California, on the warm beaches of the Pacific Ocean, it all began back in 1964.
Who invented beach volleyball?
William Morgan created the game of Mintonette in the year 1873. It quickly spread all over the world.
The rules of Beach Volleyball were founded by William “Pete” Waite and Glenn Morita from California during a competition at the Carson Country Club in 1968.
What is a bump set?
Short for “set and bump,” it is the second contact a player makes with the ball in volleyball following the serve.
The first contact is not considered a hit but rather part of the service action, including footwork and body position.
A set is an “attack” of the ball, which involves a player’s hitting motion and must have minimum knee bend.
Following a successful service, the attacking team gains the right to take one uninterrupted opportunity to attack the ball for a second time.
Beach volleyball is a great way to stay in shape and have fun with friends. It’s also a sport that anybody can pick up and play.
If you’re new to the game, start by practicing these essential tips. And before you know it, you’ll be playing like a pro!