How to Dive in Volleyball Without Hurting Yourself? (Tips)

how to dive in volleyball without hurting yourself

Diving is a critical volleyball move that can save your team many points and win you actual games. However, this is literally one of the hardest moves out there, not to mention that it could sometimes be a little bit dangerous if done wrong …

In this article I breakdown how you can properly dive without little to no risk of hurting yourself whatsoever.

If you get manage to do so, then be sure that your overall volleyball game will get to the next level.

Protect yourself before you dive!

volleyball knee pads

To dive safely it is very important to consider wearing protective gear. This includes mainly knee pads and arm sleeves.

Knee pads (Check this example Here) and shin pads play a major role in the protection of the knees and the shin, because these body parts are the most impacted within a dive. Indeed, a dive can cause bruises and cuts.

Arm sleeves enable you to slide more smoothly on the surface of the court, while simultaneously giving you protection against burns, cuts and bruises.

Not all arm sleeves will enable you to slide smoothly in the court surface. You will need a model with specific material to do so.

Diving for a volleyball without hurting yourself (Step-by-Step)

Here is a step by step guide on how you should dive safely …

1. The superman – The superman is an easy move that allows you to get comfortable throwing yourself on the floor.

Basically, all you need to do is throw yourself on the floor in a superman pose, bending your knees while your mass is concentrated forwards. One foot should be slightly in front of the other.

You can do it on a mat if you are afraid to do it on the floor at first.

2. One step superman – after getting cozy with the regular superman, you will advance to the next level and do the one step superman.

The one step superman is performed with more momentum, than the previous one.

Basically, all you need to do is to make one step and do the superman as previously described. Your knees should be bent and your mass should be at the front, this step will add more momentum to the dive.

3. One arm superman – This is the third level of the dive practice. The goal here is to combine the first step with just one arm, in order to play the ball, and to be able to land on your arms, once you play the ball.

Nothing too complicated. Do the first superman, and try playing the ball with just one arm, that should be it.

4. One arm, one step superman – One arm, one step superman is the combination of the second and third levels on our list. The goal here is to use one arm as previously described and to do the one step when playing the ball, in order to get momentum, while trying to land on your arms.

5. Superman with volleyball – After you have mastered the first four practices without a ball, the next level will be practiced with a ball.

Adding a ball to the superman is essential because you will have to learn how to play the ball with the superman.

All steps are the same, just with the ball added.

6. One step superman with the ball – This is the last step in our step to step guide, for a dive practice.

It is also, just like before a combination of a superman, one step and a ball. Practice the one step superman with a ball.

7. 10 free dives – This is not a step in the step by step, but rather an individual practice. It is done when you have mastered the superman and one step superman with the ball.

The goal is to let go of the fear, the dive should be performed without a mat, when you do the dive without a mat, you can say that you have mastered the dive.

When should you dive in Volleyball?

When it comes to diving in volleyball there are certain situations where you can dive for the ball with no worries whether it will be successful or not, however, there are certain situations where you will have to think twice before you make the dive.

Making a successful dive depends on your ability to see whether the situation is right for the dive. It basically depends on your ability of judgment.

Situation 1

You can do a dive in the situation when you are at the back row and one of your teammates has missed the pass. Or it was simply a bad pass.

When a situation like that occurs, a dive can really save your team. However, if the dive is the third contact, you will have to be very precise and powerful in order to give the opponent back the ball.

Situation 2

The second situation is similar to the first one, that is, if you are at the back row and the opponents hit the ball hard, and the situation is looking dire, you can do the dive, but you must first be on the lookout where the ball will be going and you will have to be very precise in judging the situation.

If you do the dive successfully the contact with the ball will be the first one and it is up to your teammates to do the rest.

Situation 3

Imagine that one of your blockers blocked an opponent ball successfully, but the ball bounced on direction going out of the court and you do not know if your blocker or the opponent blocker was the last one to touch the ball.

You make a decisive dive, saving the ball, keeping it into the game and also you are saving your team or your opponent from losing a point. No matter who you saved, the point is that your judgment was that you need to save the ball, and not risk it.

Does diving in volleyball actually hurt?

A volleyball dive can hurt and it can be as cozy as a walk in the park.

If the player is not skilled enough and is not protected (pads, sleeves …), the player is at risk of getting hurt.

If a skilled player is diving, and if he has mastered the dive, it definitely won’t hurt, not even a bit.

How do you get over the fear of diving in volleyball?

Diving for a ball is just like diving in a swimming pool. There is some fear that you have to overcome to get the job done.

That’s why you have to practice a lot experiencing those fearful. The more you practice, the more you will get over it. (There is no secret sauce)

A little tip I want to share here is to practice diving for the ball in surfaces when you know you won’t get hurt … These surfaces could be sand, grass and even swimming pool.

Tips to practice diving by yourself …

Practicing diving by yourself is totally possible. All you need are knee pads, the shin pads, arm sleeves, a ball and a practicing mat.

If you follow the instructions that are given in this article on how to practice diving step by step you should be able to practice diving with no problems.

The only thing that might be an obstacle in the beginning is the ball. You will have to throw the ball to yourself. If you are on the first steps of diving, the ball is not needed.

Also you can practice diving in your back yard, in your room, in your hallway etc.

If you have any amount of fear, it would be easier for you to overcome it alone, than with other people around, we all need to face our fears alone first.

I highly invite you to learn these volleyball diving drills you can practice at home! These are helpful in you don’t have access to a court …

Final Thoughts …

For some people who are wondering whether they can practice that at home. Indeed, there is nothing wrong doing so …

Yet, if you live in a flat, that is probably not a good idea. But if you are in a house, and have a yard, then you are totally good to go.

Finally, it is worth mentionning that diving is just one volleyball skill among many others! That’s why I invite you to learn about those as well …

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

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