Starting Line – Base Skills and Where I’m At

We’re back with a week’s progress of Volleyball. Firstly, I knew that there were multiple different versions (court, beach, and grass) but I did not realize that the fine details to train for each individual one would be different (might delve into this later on in my journey). However, after researching each individual training method, the different balls they use, and certain techniques, I realized that there were still the fundamental moves that I needed to work on because I have a baseline knowledge of them.

Bumping/Passing – the core part of this is your ‘platform’, the flat base for the ball to hit to go in the direction you want, making sure that the ball hits your forearms as you want it to hit the flattest part of your arms to get the most control. I watched this video and tried to figure out what my preferred platform was, as I’m still experimenting, I’m not sure which one I like the best yet. Another thing I needed to get out of my head (that was mentioned in the video) was that when you pass, you’re not supposed to swing your arms. Even if I was consciously trying not to swing when passing, I was still doing it a little bit and will need to work on that further, trying to focus instead on using my whole body to get the momentum to the ball.

This is me trying my best to keep my platform flat while also trying to focus on getting the ball where I want to go without swinging my arms.
My beginners platform and me passing to the side of my house and continue to do that till I dropped the ball.

Setting – I am super excited to learn more about this area because I think that it is the second most interesting position to play in (in my opinion – Libero being the first, but I DO NOT have the skills to do that right now). I haven’t really researched this one that much yet because I read that passing and serving in the beginning stages are probably one of the most important skills to get down before continuing, however, I do practice ‘setting form’ from time to time.

Me setting the ball to a designated point on the wall, form might not be good as I haven’t researched it quite yet.

Serving – Serving has been one of the most difficult things to get into so far because I have not played a ball sport in a VERY long time, so the coordination to get a serve right is extremely hard for me, but watching Koko Volley on YouTube (this specific video) has been extremely helpful. She breaks it down into parts to practice each stage of the serve and then finally connect it all together. Since I do not have a net and am primarily practicing at home, I got the height of a normal Volleyball net and measured that out in relation to my house and figured out where I have to hit when I serve to know if I made it ‘over the net’ or not. It’s also been helpful for setting and passing because most of those require going over the net as well.

As for this week, I am going to try and practice everyday and focus on one skill during that hour+ of training, while sprinkling in a little of the other skills if I want something different. Right now I have a really cool drill for passing where my brother stands behind me and throws the ball at the wall and I have to try and pass it to the designated spot on the wall as a sort of hitter coverage drill (if our hitter gets blocked and it comes back to our side of the court). This makes me focus on reaction timing to figure out where the ball is going to go once it gets ‘blocked’ and how fast I can get into position to pass the ball back. Something else I was really interested in doing is the drill of ‘Bump, set, spike‘, and seeing how many times you can do that over and over again, as I have only been able to do 1 successfully, hopefully by the end of the week I can do 2 or more consistently!

This week for research I am going to try and look up more passing drills and more ways to serve! Overall, I’m super excited to continue practicing and getting outside since it’s been really nice lately. Thanks for joining me this week! もう 一回!

Out of the House and onto the Court

I am going to start this by saying that I used to be fit and into sports, but as high school went on and I lost interest in most fitness-related things, I grew to like more sedentary activities, video games for example. However, during this pandemic, one of those sedentary hobbies (watching Anime) has led me to a new interest that I am very excited to start and to learn – which is playing Volleyball! I am not going to lie, I definitely did not think or even consider playing volleyball before watching this anime (Haikyuu!!), but it has sparked that kid in me that used to like sports, games, and the thrill of competition. The show is actually really inspirational because it teaches that not giving up and playing to the best of your own ability is really beneficial. The main character is often found saying もう 一回 (mou ikkai) while he practices, which in English, is “One more” or “Again”. He shows how perseverance (practicing on his own after required practice has already happened) is required to truly learn a sport.

For this project, I would like to learn how to play every position that is usually on a volleyball team to a basic level, decide a specific position I like playing, and then get better at said position. Since it is now nice outside, I get to get out of my house and sedentary lifestyle and start this sort of ‘fitness’ journey while also having fun and learning a new sport. I am very excited to start and have already purchased a ball for myself that I’ve kind of used briefly in learning how to bump, set, and serve.

Red Volleyball
My starting volleyball I bought for myself when I wanted to start playing (in January).

When I was thinking about doing this for the project, I knew it was a perfect time, because I would get to watch the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and be able to understand what was going on in an Olympic level volleyball game, even if my knowledge of the game is low compared to that, it’d be much farther than it would be if I watched it without doing research and playing on my own. I also have an array of YouTube videos and tutorials that I can watch to get myself acquainted with the sport, one specific channel being Victoria Garrick, a former Division I volleyball player. Since the start of the pandemic, she has released a bunch of videos aimed at new players and how to train for Volleyball from home, which I thought was right up my alley!

Welcome to my journey into the sport of Volleyball! もう 一回 !