Skills Of Volleyball


The serve is the skill that initiates play. The ball must be contacted with only one hand. The right back player must serve from any spot behind the end line of the court. The server may not contact the court until the ball has been contacted. Only one attempt is allowed on the serve. Players may allow ONE tossed ball to drop to the floor provided it does not contact any body part.


  • Stand with shoulders facing the net
  • Hold ball in palm of non-dominant hand at chest level
  • Dominant elbow is held at 90-degrees behind body. Elbow remains at shoulder height or above throughout the entire serving motion.
  • Toss ball up and slightly in front of body.
    (A perfect toss lands just inside of the lead foot, in line with the hitting shoulder).
  • Step toward net with opposite foot
  • Arm is fully extended at point of contact
  • Hand is Ridged - Wrist is Locked
  • Accelerate arm toward ball and contact ball with heel of hand
  • Swing through middle back of ball using a punching motion (no fist) 

Common mistakes: Poor toss. Loose wrist/hand. Swing arm across body. Wrong foot in front. Slow arm swing.


Depending on the skill you anticipate having to perform, begin in one of the following postures:

High Posture (Blocking, Serving)

Feet shoulder width apart
Staggered feet (unless blocking when feet are side by side) 
Weight evenly distributed
Knees slightly bent

Medium Posture  (Serve Receive; Free ball; Setting) 

Feet shoulder width apart and staggered (balance)
Toes are angled slightly inward so knees are inside of the toes
Shoulders are in front of knees
Hands and arms are relaxed, above knees, and away from body
Hips are low; Back is straight
* Notice that hands are NOT JOINED in the ready position

Low Posture (Receiving a Spike) 

Similar to medium posture, except knees are bent more than 90-degrees
Weight is forward
On a dive - play ball from low posture and then hit the floor.


This is the most basic and the most used skill in volleyball.
Also referred to as "Bump" and "Forearm Pass"

Cues: Move - Stop - Wrists together; thumbs down - Long arms - Follow toward target

  • Begin in Medium Posture - Arms APART
  • Move quickly to the ball
  • Stop before playing the ball - shoulders squared to the target
  • As you stop, hands come together: |
    Arms are straight and away from the body
  • Place one hand in the other (palms up) 
  • Thumbs are parallel and facing down
  • Forearms are flat - form platform
  • Create appropriate angle with arms to direct ball to target
    (see below)
    • Contact the ball on the forearm (platform) out in front of (away from) the body
    • Body should move toward the target as you pass (follow-through)

    Come up under the ball - Relax the shoulders - Keep elbows close to each other - Hands never come higher than shoulders

    Common Mistakes: Standing upright. Getting ready too late. Not moving to ball. Not squaring shoulders to target. Excess arm swing. Bent elbows. Contacting ball with hands/wrists instead of forearms.

    The underhand pass should be a controlled deflection of the ball. The rebound path from the forearms is determined by the angle at which the ball is approaching and the angle the player holds the platform formed by the forearms. The amount of arm swing is determined by the speed of the incoming ball. The faster the ball is travelling, the less arm movement is necessary and vice versa. If the player is unable to face the target, he/she should dip the shoulder nearest the target to create the appropriate angle. In all cases, the player should move through ball in the direction of the targ