Volleyball Defense: Digging

Does your libero do what the best libero’s do when they are digging a volleyball. Where do you teach your defenders to hold their hands when preparing to dig? How can you train your libero to dig more balls?

In the video clip below Coach Griff Joyce, owner of Ment 2 Acheive, discusses some teaching points and his philosophy of digging and passing at a recent Glazier Volleyball Clinic.

Coach Joyner believes that you should teach your libero’s to begin by having their hands in a neutral position with their fingers up. In other words, they should position their hands as if they were trying to catch the ball. He feels that by beginning with their hands down (he calls this clapping), that they will be great with low balls, bu worse the futher the ball is from their knees.

If they begin with their hands around their chest with their fingers up, then if the ball is up they can quickly thrust their hips forwards, hands up and push. If the ball is to the side the can quickly turn their shoulders and if it si down they will have no trouble “clapping”.

He also discusses court position. He states that there are three choices:

  1. Play back – If you do this then they will not need to worry about high balls (they will be out). However, they will have to be amazing with their reads, speed and ball control to get the ball on the setters head.
  2. Play up and take away the tip
  3. Split the difference – This is is what he prefers. He believes that if you train them to keep their hands up that they can play from this position on the court.

He also discusses passing the ball high and to the side of the player. By teaching players to move their arms independent of their body, that you can help them get their arms behind balls that are high and to the side.  Too often players keep their upper arms touching their torso and this causes them to be under balls that are to the side.

This is just a clip from Coach Joyce’s presentation entitled Libero Defensive Specialist:Secrets of success. For information about how to gain access to Coach Joyce’s entire presentation, as well as hundreds of other great clinic presentations click the link Glazier Volleyball Clinics.

The YouTube video below has audio, so please make sure that your volume is turned up and that you have access to the site. Note that some schools block access to YouTube.


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