How to Bump a Volleyball
Getting ready for the bump
The bump is perhaps the most basic and most essential skill in volleyball. The bump is used to hit a ball that is below the head, and is typically used as the first touch to receive a serve or return. If you''re going to master volleyball, you''ll need to master the bump. Here''s how. Steps:
Get ready. Place your feet about shoulder-width apart, and bend your knees, keeping them in line with your toes. Be poised to move to the ball.
Get in position. Move to the ball so that it will come down squarely in front of you. You can bump the ball backwards, of course, but you still want to make sure that you make contact with the ball right in front of you (you may need to turn away from the net).
Make your forearms into a flat "platform" by holding your arms out straight in front of you, almost parallel to the ground. Clasp your hands in front of you, with your thumbs together, side-by-side. Don''t lace your fingers together. You can either make a fist with one hand and wrap the other around it, or you can bend one thumb down to its palm, and press the heel of that hand into the palm of the other. You can also hold your arms flat and together, palms open and up. Lock your pinky fingers together so your arms don''t come apart as easily. Remember to keep your elbows locked and your knees bent.
Keep your eye on the ball. Follow the trajectory of the ball as it comes down and even as you hit it.
Make contact with the ball at about waist-level. When the ball is right above your forearms, straighten your legs so that your arms move up to meet it. Try to contact the ball about a third of the way between your wrists and your elbows (closer to the wrists than to the elbows). At the same time, move your arms forward and up slightly, but keep in mind that the majority of the force should come from your legs.
Dip or twist your shoulder to aim the ball. You can''t really aim with your forearms, because you need to keep them flat in order to provide a good platform for the ball. Instead move from the shoulders so that both arms stay together and move as one unit. Ideally, you can square up with the ball so you can just hit it straight forward.
Follow through. Hit "through" the ball, but keep your "platform" flat and under control, even after the ball has left you.
Remember, keep your arms straight and level. If you tilt your arms a little, the ball will go in the direction perpendicular to the angle of your arms. This can be done purposefully in order to hit the ball towards a teammate. Make sure that you have the ability to hit a straight bump so you can better control where the ball goes when you have to hit it in a game.
While you can use the bump to hit the ball back over the net, in more advanced play it is usually used simply to get the ball under control and in position for the set and spike.
Practice is definitely necessary when learning the bump. A good way to practice is to bump a volleyball against a wall as many times as you can in a row.
Try not to "swing" your arms when passing a ball. This could cause a "wild" pass. Your arms should not come above shoulder-level. Instead, try to square up with the ball so you can hit it straight forward or, if that''s not possible, dip your shoulder to aim.
You can get more power in your bump by transferring your weight forward as you hit it.
If you''re playing with more than three people you may want to call the ball, by saying "MINE!" to avoid running into each other
Be sure not to cross your fingers. This could lead to injury if the ball accidentally hits your hands.
hit the ball with your hands. Many people say it hurts to play volleyball but it is usually because they are hitting the ball with their hands. In addition, the hands do notat platform, and you''re bump will likely go errant.
Don''t lift or "carry" the ball. The bump should be a quick hit. If the ball stays in contact with your body for too long, you could be called for a fault and lose a point.