Diving is a very important skill in volleyball. Many teams in the past managed to win big tournaments just because they’ve got players who are good at diving…
Nevertheless, to practice diving you might need to have some pre-requisites like being in the court with a partner who can send a hard to save ball before you can dive to save it from hitting the ground.
This training situation could not be available for everybody … That’s why I’ve chosen to put together this quick Post to help you practice diving at home with a minimum of equipment.
Hopefully you will find that useful!
Minimum equipment & environment you will need for diving
There are a few essential pieces of equipment that will help you slam and spike your way to the top.
- Ball: Here it is better to use a soft leather ball as this one is more appropriate and adapted for home conditions (This quality ball is a good example)
- Knee Pads and/or arm Sleeves: Diving involves generally a direct impact on your elbows and knees. That’s why it is very important to ensure a minimum of protection for these sensitive areas. Knee pads and arm sleeves can help in this regard. If you like, you can have a look at my favorite knee pads for volleyball.
- Volleyball shoes: They will help you accommodate the sport’s lateral mobility. The middle of the sole is usually foam, whereas the rear is more likely to have mesh or nylon. Shoes will give you a solid grip which will prevent slippery thus unnecessary injuries. For example, these quality volley shoes have got a reliable grip.
Now, when it comes to the environment, the best option is to have access to a backyard. However, just make sure you’ve got enough space … Something like 4 meters square space free from elements that could possibly break.
3 Volleyball diving drills to do at home by yourself
Knee jump drill
The biggest fear in players mind is getting injured while diving. Every beginner is naturally afraid from diving and saving the ball from touching the ground …
Obviously, this should be corrected as this costs the team a lot of points.
This drill will help you get over this fear. Stand straight and prepare your mind for a dive. Rather than going in for a complete dive, you’ll rather jump, lean, and forward on your feet.
This is an excellent drill to generate explosive strength in the body and push the body for a perfect dive. Continue this drill until you are comfortable with the whole process.
Finally, you can check those great tips to teach beginners volleyball! I think you will find those very interesting …
Hand position drill
Courage and strength are not the only things required to accomplish a good dive. You must also have the perfect hand position.
If you are not able to position your hands perfectly then almost all of your dives will go in vain. To ensure good hand positioning, grab a ball and practice this drill.
Lay a mattress in front of you so that you can dive without any fear. First, start by bumping the ball in your wrist to warm it up. Bump 100 times and start with the drill…
Throw the ball up and dive to save the ball. Don’t throw the ball too high as it won’t be much useful. Go for small throws and speedy reactions.
Make sure to bump up the ball well with a perfect hand positioning.
Jump and dive
This drill is the best for generating explosive strength. To start with this drill, you will need to get in the squat position.
Once you are in that position, you need to jump up high with maximum force. While getting down, push your body forward to initiate a dive.
Lay down a mattress to save you from any injuries. The benefits derived from this are multifold…
Firstly, you’ll be able to stimulate great dives. Secondly, your static jumps will increase. Continue this drill until you are comfortable with jumping high and diving with explosive strength.
3 Volleyball diving drills to do at home with a partner
Get a friend and get into a sit-up position with your feet together for an intense setup drill. When you’re in the “up” position of a sit-up, you’ll be facing each other.
Now, one person passes the ball to the other. As soon as the ball leaves your hands, you go down and do a sit-up.
The ball should be there for you to pass to your partner by the time you get back to the top. keep going back and forth, and you’ll have more control over your sets.
While still getting a wonderful ab workout!
In the next drill. Have your partner toss the ball to you and then pass it back. Remember to stay low and not swing your arms.
Try to use your legs instead and push the ball forward. For a challenging variation of this drill. Ask your partner to bowl the ball above your knees.
This will help you increase the speed of your bolt. If you still want to make it more challenging through the last variation. Try and bump back and forth with your partner. Try to get 100 continuous bumps.
Start with diving in proper form without the ball. If you are a beginner, be sure to wear kneepads. Once you’re comfortable diving.
Have your partner toss the ball a couple of meters in front of you and then try to dig in. Ensure that you lay a mattress down to avoid any injuries.
Also, push your body to its maximum strength and explosively dive to save the ball.
How often should you practice volleyball diving at home?
Well, here there are so many factors that we need to consider to answer this commonly asked question …
Indeed, there are some new players who literally fear diving for a ball in the court (which is, again, a normal thing). For those people, I highly recommend to practice those home drills as much as possible. Twice or even 3 times a day …
This will help them get though the fear and start getting comfortable while diving for a ball as fast as possible!
Once you get over this first and most important obstacle, then we need to consider other factors, mainly the period we are in …
In fact, during the season you will certainly have the opportunity to practice diving in real situations with your partners and under the supervision of your coach which is obviously the best practice. During that time, you can consider practicing diving at home probably once or maximum twice a week if you feel that you need more practice to sharpen this skill.
Otherwise, during the off season, there are some people who like to keep their skills sharp, if that’s your case too, then you may want to practice twice or max 3 times a week at home, not only diving, but also other skills, like blocking or even spiking.
Are those drills enough to be good at diving?
I would lie to you if I say that the drills I’ve shared here are enough to be great at diving in volleyball. However, I would say that it is a great start and even a great way, again, to get over the fear that comes with diving …
Obviously, the best way to make your diving skills as good as possible is to practice in real situations involving your teammates and partners in a court under the supervision of your beloved coach!
Finally, I highly invite you to learn about these home volleyball drills that covers other important skills!
Final Thoughts …
The drills and practices I’ve mentioned in this post should not be considered as your main focus when it comes to improving your diving skills. Instead you can use them as a complementary or secondary practice if you are struggling to access to a court or to training partners that can help you out …
You can also take full advantage of these practices in the off-season to help your body stay in shape and keep your diving skills at check.
Finally, I highly encourage you to check this article on how to turn into a professional volleyball player! You will learn a lot …