How to Up Your Volleyball Game

Improve your volleyball skills by learning the art of quick feet and building explosive power.

Girl practicing volleyball in gym

Whether you’re spiking, digging, or diving, volleyball is all about power, speed, and coordination. Practice these fundamentals, and you can enjoy the full-body — and social — benefits of the sport.

“The beauty of volleyball is it uses all the movements,” says former professional beach player Curtis Jackson, author of Strength Training for Volleyball. “It’s a great sport for improving athletic ability that will cross over into many other sports.”

“It’s also stimulating for our brains, to be moving so dynami­cally,” he adds. “This improves proprioception and overall in­creases our quality of life.”

The game is a fun way to get and stay fit year-round, whether you play in the sand or on a court, indoors or outdoors. It has beginner-friendly simple rules and can be adapted to varying levels of skill and competitiveness.

The sport’s popularity has birthed intramural and recreational teams nationwide, mean­ing that if you’re not already playing with a group, like-minded teammates won’t be hard to find.

“Volleyball is the quintes­sential team sport,” says Olym­pic gold medalist Karch Kiraly, head coach of the U.S. women’s national volleyball team. “You can’t hold on to the ball. You can’t dribble it all the way from one basket to the other or run all the way down the field as soon as it comes to you. You have to move it to a teammate.”

Experts agree that finding a practice partner is the top way to up your volleyball game.

“General fitness is more important than being able to say, ‘Hey, I can squat 200 pounds,’ or ‘I can power clean 150 pounds,’” says University of Colorado head volleyball coach Jesse Mahoney. “And getting out and playing is probably the best drill any volleyball player can do.”

Still, doing drills on the court, at the beach, or in the gym can help you build an even stronger foundation for moving faster, jumping higher, and spiking harder.

is a Colorado-based outdoors, health, fitness, and nutrition writer.

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