Q: I'm the worst on my team, even when we just practice they try to avoid picking me to serve just because I'm not the best at it. I really want to play, it's just difficult controlling the ball and serving it overhand. I feel like I'm not improving at all. I'm putting in 110% effort. Is volleyball just not for me?

See, I refuse to believe that ideology. If that were the case, then only natural born basketball players would play, or natural born painters would paint. I think it’s a cop out, “maybe it’s just not for me so I don’t have to try anymore”.

Now I’m not saying that’s what YOU’RE saying, that’s just my take on “not for me”.

First of all, your teammates suck. No offense. If they wanted you to actually get better, they would encourage you to serve. It’s so unbelievably cliche but it’s so undeniably true: practice makes perfect. Repetition is how you master a skill. The more times you go through the motions of serving CORRECTLY, the better at it you’ll be. Same with any skill (in volleyball and in life). 

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asked by Anonymous
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Q: what do white and red mean in volleyball? the hitters always call those and idk what it means! thanks :)

Where are they on the court when they’re calling it out? It’s just like the numbers I explained, so the setter knows the play to run.

I’d assume they’re for back row attacks. I’ve heard a lot of different things for back row. I’ll call D (right back), Pipe (middle back), and A (left back), but I’ve also heard colors be used. It just depends on where you are.

asked by Anonymous
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Q: howdy, I recently went to a clinic and the coach assumed that we knew how to use numbers? like the setter and hitters call out numbers and I have no idea what they mean

I’m assuming you mean for hitting. When you run plays, the numbers are really important so the setters and hitters no where to be or where to put the ball. Some people will still just call “outside” or “middle” but numbers are used quite frequently.

Problem is, certain places call the same sets different things. I’m going to tell you what (I think) is the most commonly used.

4- typical high ball to the outside
2- high ball in the middle
5 or 9- high ball to the right side
1- quick set in the middle
3- high ball in between middle and outside
31- same placement as a 3 except it’s quick tempo, so the same height as a 1 (also just shortened to a 3)

There’s a butt ton more but those are the basics. If this isn’t what you were talking about, send me another message.

Ciara x

asked by tooteyy
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Q: I am trying out for the 8th grade volleyball team in about 3 months. I already know majority of the girls who were on the team and who's trying out for the next year. The coach shows a lot of favoritism between students regardless of their skill. I also feel like i need to work on my overall skill level to be able to make the team. Do you have any suggestions on how I can vastly improve my skills to be ready for tryouts?

do you have any advice on try-out tips, practicing, and skill improvement? Im trying out for my eight grade girls team in August.

I’m answering both of these in one. First of all, also see here for anything that I might not have covered. 

There’s nothing you can do about the coach. You can’t change the fact that he plays favorites. If he wants to be stupid, that’s on him, and does it affect whether you’re on the team or not, yeah maybe, but it sure as heck doesn’t affect how you try out. 

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asked by Anonymous
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Q: how would you improve communication? the ball barely comes to me. i don't really know when to call mine cus it would literally be between me and the other person next to me. you can say I'm just not so aggressive :\

I would say you’re too passive, first of all. Granted, there are times that you should back off and let someone else pass (ex. On serve receive, let the libero take the ball if it’s in between you two). There’s actually a good solution to the passiveness (in regards to serve receive) that involves talking and communication.

I don’t know what level your at, but on serve receive there are lanes and the three passers (typically three) call their seams. “I have your short, you have my deep”. This makes the in between balls much easier bc you can criss cross behind each other to more efficiently play the ball. By communicating and calling your seams, you should get more touches on the ball, as well as improving with communicating itself.

That being said, you do not need to be touching the ball to communicate. You do not need to be on the court to communicate. That is a major problem I see with people who don’t have good communication. You don’t only talk when you’re calling for the ball. You talk before the serve, as they’re serving, as the ball is crossing the plane of the net, you call “mine” or the person’s name next to you, you say the setter’s name, you say “cover” so everyone knows to cover the hitters, you say “on” or “off” when the other team passes so you know of they’re in system or out of system, you call where the setter sets, you read the hitter and call tip or line or roll or push. You say what you see. You could be in the stands watching the game and still do this. There is so much that can be said in a volleyball game.

It’s hard (and awkward) to communicate if the rest of your team isn’t. But if you force it, they will follow, and it will become second nature to you.

asked by Anonymous
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To the person who asked me to make a video about passing/setting form, I did see your message, I just have to find time to sit down and make the video.

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Q: i'm going into high school next year, so do you have any tips before tryouts?? p.s. love your blog!

See here and here. If you need anything more specific, send another ask and I’ll help you out :)

asked by Anonymous
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Q: I need help on my vertical jumps. I'm only 5 foot so I need help on trying to make them higher.

Hello, I just made a post about how to improve your jump.

I don’t know how old you are or how far you want your volleyball career to go, but 5 foot hitters are very very very rare. I’m not saying don’t hit, because hitting is fun and there are some very good short hitters. Just make sure you focus on passing as well because if you’re looking to play in college, there’s a possibility (depending on where you go) of you being replaced by someone who’s 6’5”. 

asked by Anonymous
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Q: im 5'5 i am a freshman < sophomore to be ive always really wanted to be libero but a couple of girls from the school i attent tell me i am to tall, they also say i should be like an outside hitter but i suck at spiking :O

I mean, it really doesn’t matter that you’re tall. If you look at the Division 1 schools, the libero can be like 5’10. Libero isn’t about who’s the shortest, it’s about who’s the best passer. 

Being an outside isn’t a bad thing though. Outsides are huge passers as well. But if you’re not so good at hitting, then screw what they other girls are saying and try out for libero. Just keep in mind that liberos aren’t just the best passers, they’re also a huge source of energy for the team. 

asked by californiaaaa-diamonnnnd
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Q: Hi I was wondering if you have any tips on how to work on your vert

Yes! Jump. All the time. Hang a string from the ceiling that you really have to jump for to touch. Every time you walk past it, jump up and try to touch it. Once you can touch it, cut it slightly shorter and repeat the cycle. 

Do leg workouts. Squats are your friend. Wall sits are good. Do lunges, do calf raises. Box jumps are good too but those can be rough on your knees and if you miss the box, you kinda bust ass. 

Playing in the sand will make your legs stronger as well. Find a sand court and start where an outside would approach from. Take an approach, once you get to the net, block. Then transition off to where the middle hits, approach, and then block. Transition to right side, approach, block. And just repeat that. Do sprints in the sand, run uphill, go biking. Anything that will make your legs more powerful. 

Hope this helps!


asked by Anonymous
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Q: hey i really wanna play volleyball but i cant find anywhere to go thats free, do you have any suggestions

Yeah, that’s very difficult to do. School volleyball is usually free, but I’m not sure how old you are. I know there’s Rec ball, but I’m not sure if that’s free or not. There’s volleyball on Monday nights at a Church near where I live, so you could look around for something like that in your area.

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asked by manymoonstaken
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Q: I have just finished my 8th grade year and I still cannot OVERHAND SERVE. I refuse to go in freshman year an UNDERHAND SERVER. HELP ME!!!

Also see here

A lot of the time when someone gets frustrated because they can’t make an overhand serve, they’ll just stop trying and serve underhand. The problem with this is then you aren’t getting practice or repetition. The more you do something, the more comfortable you become with it, and the better you’ll get at it. Just keep that in mind. 

It all goes back to your form. I’m assuming you’re right handed, if not, just flip everything I’m saying.

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asked by wiggles31800
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Q: I'm going into the 6th grade next year and I want to know if school season and club season are ever at the same time. Plus how do I find out when the tryouts are. Thanks!!

This is dependent on your school. For my middle school, the first month of club conflicted with the last few weeks of middle school volleyball, which made it difficult. But this is also dependent on when club starts. I know a lot of clubs don’t start until January whereas mine starts last month of November. Coaches are usually pretty lenient though about ending school volleyball and starting club, they understand that sometimes there’s conflicts. 

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asked by weisthepeople
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I”m trying to get back in the habit of posting but I really need your guys’ help! Also, for my male followers, if you can think of anything that’s specific to mens volleyball, let me know because I want to start making posts for that as well. 

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Q: This is my first year in club and I'm 5'8" so I automatically got middle hitter. But I have a lot of trouble with, we'll everything. I'm definitely the worst on my team and I can't get my serve down either. I'm in shape for volleyball it's just the technique I can't get. Please help with my serve and approach form!

First of all, don’t think of yourself as the worst on your team. You’re probably just the least experienced, there’s a difference. 

There’s a lot of really fixable things that seem small but actually affect your serve a lot. The first is before you even toss the ball. *I’m assuming you’re right handed, if not just reverse everything I’m saying* Make sure you start with your right arm already up, instead of down at your side. It should be back behind you at a 90 degree angle, with your shoulder high. Make sure it stays there until you’re about to contact the ball. A lot of people let it creep up or have it do some sort of floppy thing which takes away from the power and control you’ll have on the ball. 

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asked by itsaphasedontworry
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