How Do You Dig In Volleyball?
There are a number of skills that volleyball players must master if they want to achieve success in the sport. One of the lesser-known talents a solid volleyball player must have is the ability to execute digs, which are quick passes of a ball that has been struck over the net at a sharp angle. Digs require a volleyball player to get close to the ground while reacting and recovering quickly. Below, we will outline how to dig in volleyball, as well as the key skills behind a good dig, and different types and techniques involved in digging.
How to Dig in Volleyball
Follow these basic steps to perform an effective dig in volleyball:
- Keep your feet wide, with your knees bent and over your toes.
- Bend your arms and extend them in front of your body, with shoulders forward and relaxed.
- Anticipate the ball’s movement and go to where it will be.
- Position your forearms under the ball.
- Lean into the ball as it contacts your arms.
- Perform the dig within the midline of your body, if possible.
- If reaching outside your midline, angle your arms in the direction of your target.
Keys to Digging in Volleyball
When digging in volleyball, it is important to remember these key fundamentals:
- Location on the Court
- Body Positioning
- Using a Platform
Location on the Court
The key to successful digging is, firstly, being in the best position possible on the court. Players must watch the setter and hitter on the other side of the court to best prepare for when the ball is sent over the net.
Passers should face the hitter, with the midline of their body lined up with the hitter’s swinging shoulder. With this starting position, it will be easier for the player to reach the ball if it moves in a different direction. Experienced players will have a strong ability to watch the hitter’s body position and the set given to them to determine exactly where the ball is going to move once it gets to the other side of the net.
To make the most effective dig, players will place themselves not only in certain positions on the court, but also in certain body positions. Their knees should be bent, with their arms in front of them and elbows bent. Their weight will be balanced equally on each foot, ready to move in any direction. Their feet will be wider than shoulder-width apart, giving them good balance in their dig.
Using a Platform
When a player digs, they will most often use their platform, which is the term for when players reach out their arms and do a bump pass. The surface that their arms create is this platform. Players should be ready to form their platform at any time but should have the arms apart in their ready stances so that they can move properly if they need to run to the ball.
There are two key aspects to using the platform. First, players must remember not to swing at the ball with their arms. Instead, they should be more of a surface for the ball to bounce off of.
Second, players have to angle their platforms to redirect the ball to their setter. This way, the angle of the platform moves the ball and not the movement of the passer. This avoids any shanked passes, which are digs that hit the player and then deflect off to the sides of the court. If a player is moving their platform while they try to pass, rather than angling it without moving, this can happen.
Diving is often necessary for passers if they are too far away from the ball to get to it on their feet. Important to diving is getting to the ball first before falling to the floor. The player will reach their platform as far as they can, pass the ball, and then fall to the floor.
To prevent a painful fall, passers must stay low to the ground and dive parallel to the floor. They must also keep their chin up and follow through with a forward movement. This way, they keep moving forward through their dive instead of falling flat to the floor.
A pancake is a certain kind of dive that allows the player to touch the ball right before it reaches the floor. The passer will dive and place their hand flat on the ground underneath the ball. This way, when the ball lands, it bounces off their hand and back up into the air. This counts as one of three touches for the team. Often, it is hard to tell if the ball has been touched or not, so the player will call, “Ball’s up!” if they have made a successful pancake.
After diving, passers must get back up as quickly as possible to put themselves back in play. The most common way of getting back up from a dive is a roll. After passing the ball and hitting the ground, players will roll either over their shoulders or over their side in order to continue their falling movement. In doing this, they keep their momentum, and it helps them get back up.
How do you perform a dig pass in volleyball?
To perform a dig in volleyball, it is important to first try and anticipate where the hit is coming from. This will allow you to more easily move in the direction the ball is hit. When getting into position, bend your knees and try to be as low as possible. Make sure that your arms are extended out and ready to reach for any balls that are landing in front of you. Once a ball is coming towards you, use your arms as a platform for the ball to bounce off of as opposed to swinging your arms.
What is the difference between a dig and a pass in volleyball?
Both digs and passes in volleyball use similar motions and techniques, but are slightly different. The motion for both a dig and a pass involves making a “platform” with the arms by clasping the hands and extending the arms outward so that the forearms create a surface for the ball to bounce. However, digs are performed on balls which are spiked by the opposing team at a sharp downward angle. Passes, meanwhile, are performed between teammates on balls that have usually been hit at shallower angles.