Volleyball Ready Position
Positions in Volleyball Explained

Volleyball ready position for preparing to make plays in volleyball. On this page you're going to learn the ready positions to move quick and make successful plays.

There are different ready positions because each player on the court has different responsibilities. For example, the setter ready position is different from a receivers ready position in that the receiver needs to be ready to pass a ball that's served. The setter needs to get in position to set a ball that is passed by the receiver.

Serve Receive - Volleyball Ready Position

For serve receive, the receiver needs to be ready to pass a serve. The serve could come quick, so the receiver needs to have the knees bent and feet ready to move. The receiver needs to be aware of the where they need to move.

For example, if the receiver is positioned deep in the court, then the receiver should be positioned ready to move quickly forward to get to the ball. If the receiver is positioned closer to the net, the receiver needs to be ready to move deep in the court to pass.

For receiving, it's usually best to start moving the feet before the contact for serve. For example, if the receiver does a pre-hop as the ball is being tossed for serve, the receiver can use this step to quickly make a step in the direction of where the ball is being served. 

It's easier to start low and go high. So, it's best to always start low and stay low until it's necessary to come up higher to pass the ball. 

Defensive - Volleyball Ready Position

Positioning on defense is similar to positioning for serve receive in that the defensive player needs to stay low.

One difference for the defender is that the defender needs to be ready to lean back on the heels to dig.

For hard driven balls, the defender will lean back and absorb the impact.

The defender needs to have the arms out ready to reach out to the sides to dig a hard hit.

The defender needs to read the hitter. Reading and anticipating will help the defender decide what position to get into to make the play.

Anticipation and quick reactions are important for digging hard driven balls. The defender needs special skills for digging awkwardly, such as when having a ball spiked towards the face.

The defender also needs to be ready to quickly move forward to chase down an off-speed shot. The hitter tipping the ball or the setter dumping the ball are situations where the defender needs to be ready to anticipate and react quickly. 

Best Position for Passing

The best ready position is staying low with weight on the balls of the feet. Arms should be out at the sides or out in front. 

Be sure to start on the balls of the feet and not get caught on the heels. If you get caught on the heels too soon and the hitter tips the ball short, it will be very difficult to change the position to make the play.

Volleyball Positions Explained

Blocking  - Volleyball Ready Position

The ready position for blocking it critical.

The blocker needs to be near the net, facing the net with the arms and hands up ready to reach above the net.

The blocker starts by standing facing the net ready to move laterally.

The middle blocker has a lot of area to cover. The middle blocker needs to anticipate where the ball will be set.

The middle blocker needs to block middle and needs to have the technique for the footwork to move laterally to help out with attacks coming from the right and left side.

The blocker should be positioned close enough to the net, so they can quickly jump straight up to block.

Always start in position with the knees bent and ready to move any direction.

The blocker needs to also anticipate the ball being sent over the net. If the ball comes over the net, the blocker needs to get off the net quickly to get in position to approach for an attack.

The blocker should also be ready for an attack on two be the opposing setter. 

Spiking  - Volleyball Ready Position

The front row hitters need to understand the ready position for approaching to spike.

In serve receive, as soon as a front row attacker knows they aren't playing the first ball, they need to get to the correct spot to approach.

The player gets in a position ready to approach.

In some situations, the front row player will play the first ball. A common strategy is for the opponent to serve the ball to the outside attacker.

This puts pressure on the player because the player will have to pass then quickly get in position to approach.

The sequence of passing the ball, getting to the correct spot for the approach, then approaching to spike is very demanding.

Front row attacker should practice this situation so they are prepared to do this in a real game. Good footwork, reading and anticipating the play are important skills for the front row attacker. 

Setter  - Volleyball Ready Position

The setter's ready position is similar to a defender. When the setter is front row in serve receive, the setter should start in a low position with the back to the net. The setter needs to be ready to run down a pass in any direction. 

The setter should watch the ball being served then quickly be facing the receiver. The setter will anticipate the ball coming from a teammate and react quickly to get in position to set. 

The setter receives the ball from the teammate and then makes an athletic move, turning to the right to set an attacker. 

In situations where the setter needs to transition to the net to set, the setter should be positioned low and ready to move quickly. 

The setter is unique in that when playing defense on the back row, the setter may need to make a defensive play or if the setter doesn't play the first ball, the setter must move quickly to get in position to set. 

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Volleyball Ready Positions