played volleyball for about 12 years and I often even
changed roles (playing most of the time in
the middle). This year I was asked to play as a
right-side player and I'm sure that this change became
even more difficult not only because I had never been
good at defence (something I'd definitely have to get
better at), but also because of my lack of motivation.
I play in a Series D league in Campania, a region of
Italy, and I thought I'd write you seeing that our
stature and profile as a player are very similar.
The only thing that sets us apart is that you are more consistent!!
I'd appreciate some advice on how I can get better in
the position I'm playing now!
I tend to bend my arm when the set is low and so the
ball ends up in the net. Even my strength, my
spike serve, has changed because of knee problems.
For now I have an average float serve. I hope you will
answer me soon and I'll take this opportunity to wish
you luck in your volleyball season.
First I'd like to thank you for writing and I hope that my
advice will help your situation.
It is normal that throughout your volleyball career, you
will change role at least one time. This can be a
positive thing to take advantage of as it will help you to
more complete volleyball player and increases your
possibilities on future teams. The transition is difficult
because it is natural that the angles you are used in
defense etc., when
playing the ball as a middle player, are different than
those of the right-side. However, often the greatest
difficulty is getting used to the idea that you will not be
in YOUR position. The most important thing to do when
the new role is still fresh, is to apply yourself 100% so as
to quickly re-solidify your grasp on all the basic
volleyball skills which may suffer while you are getting
accustomed to seeing things through the eyes of a right-side
player. Gradually you will feel more
comfortable and soon you will notice your progress.
On a positive note, a right-side
player normally gets more balls in the match than the
It is unlikely that you will always
receive the perfect set (no matter how good the setter),
however, I find it helpful in attack when I use my left hand
to find the ball before hitting it with my right. My
right hand that follows the same path as my left hand, is in
full extension and hits the ball in front of my head.
This helps to create a more constant contact on the ball
(more or less the same each time) and also helps the hitter
see when there is a block in front of them.
Defence: After learning the
basic skills of defense, I believe that the difference
between defending and not defending the ball is mostly
in your attitude. You'd be surprised how many
people who play at a high level are still afraid of the
ball! Sometimes when I am waiting for a ball
that I know is coming really hard, I yell to give me the
courage to stay behind it and defend. I believe
that if you expect the ball to come to you and are ready to
defend it, 90 percent of the time the ball will not HIT you,
but YOU the ball.
Serve: Unfortunately injuries
are also a part of volleyball. I hope that you take
care of your knee so that you can return to your spike-serve
soon. Now that you must float serve, remember that
your contact must be behind and straight through the ball
and once you have mastered your contact, don't be afraid to
hit it. Just like in attack, to avoid hitting the ball
in the net aim for deep in the court when serving. It
is more difficult for the other team to pass and defend
balls that are hit deep when you make them move.
I hope that I didn't give you too
much information at one time. Try to pick one or
at maximum two things to work on at a time. That way
you won't be overwhelmed. At first it may be difficult,
which is normal when we try to change something, but with
hard work and patience you will soon see progress. Be
determined and don't give up! Good Luck.