Have you ever heard of the expression – “Defense wins championships”? Although attacking is equally as important in volleyball, keeping the ball alive after a team attacks could be the difference between winning or losing a game. The purpose of a dig is to simply keep the ball alive or up on your side of the court. From there your team can transition into attack mode.
Here are THE KEYS to a successful dig:
When making a dig you want to aim for the Center of the attack line and high. This will give yourself some margin for error. Keeping the ball alive and on your side of the court is your main objective. By doing so, your setter will still have all or most hitting options, instead of giving the other team another chance to attack because of a bump over or tight pass.
Things you want to keep in mind for your DIGGING TECHNIQUE:
– Staying low, especially on a hard driven shot, but athletic to make a move.
– Legs a little wider than shoulder width apart
– Weight on the balls of your feet
– Hands out in neutral position, but ready to be extended at belly button height
– Body turned towards the court
Remember : Hands must not be locked in digging position in case the ball is hit high at your head. The ready stance, with neutral hands is your best option for you to choose a low forearm dig or high hands dig.
Some tips while you learn to focus in on the hitter:
– If you see that the player drops there shoulder and is not going to take a hard swing, get ready to move your feet for a tip or a roll shot. If they do take a hard swing you will only have a couple seconds to react. Keep you’re elbows locked, platform high, and try to move your legs keeping your body behind the ball and make contact with your arms in between your shoulders. J motion should be done when some pace has to be take off the ball. Only in emergencies should you reach outside your body. Attempt to stay on your feet as best as you can so you will stay a good threat for the next play(s) and can get back to coverage and your home digging position faster.
These key factors will increase your chances of making great efficient digs and become one of the top defensive players on the court.