How to Pass or Bump a Volleyball

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A pass, also called a bump or an underhand pass, is usually the first of three contacts allowed per side of the court. Learn how to pass a volleyball in this free educational sports video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play Volleyball
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Video Transcript

In this clip, we're going to be looking at how to pass a volleyball. Passing is usually the first touch of three contacts on a side. It can also be called an under-hand pass or a bump. To be in a ready position to accept the pass, you want to keep your arms apart, your knees bent, you feet about shoulder-width apart, your weight slightly forward, and one foot just slightly in front of the other. As you move toward the ball, you want to bring your hands together. So you're keeping your hands open until you get closer to the ball. This way you can run and get to the ball and you don't waste time. It could be really awkward to run to the ball with your hands together. It can be much slower, and you can be much faster if you keep your arms apart while you run. When you bring your hands together, you want to do one of two things: you want to use the cup method or the ball in hand method. The cup method is when you basically cup your hand and put it inside the other one. The ball in hand, you ball your right hand (if you're right-handed), and you cup your other hand around the ball. In both of these methods, you want to make sure you line up your thumbs and you keep a flat platform on your arms. It's very important that you keep this platform flat because it'll allow you to be way more accurate in you passing. If one of your arms is above the other, chances are it's going to hit one arm and bounce off at a strange angle. But if it hits both of your arms at the same time it's flat, and you can be much more accurate at where you want to place the ball. A common misconception when you're passing is that you swing your arms up. This is not the case. Almost all your power is coming from your legs. You get low as soon as you need to pass the ball, and you let your legs spring you up, holding your platform straight the whole time. Your arms will be moving, but not because you're swinging them; but because you're raising them up through your legs. This will give you enough power to reach you target. If you can't get to the ball in time to square up to your target, you can still pass the ball. In this case, we're going to have to keep our arms out to the side. In this you still want to make sure that you're not swinging your arms. You want to use your body to rotate and hit the ball, keeping your arms locked out in front of you. The power is going to come from you hip rotation. When you're passing to the setter, your target is always going to be just over head-level of the setter.

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