Beach Volleyball Tips
Volleyball Magazine June 1998

Use Your Forearm

To make a good, one handed dig on a short shot, you want to work hard and get yourself in position to contact the ball with the middle of your forearm. The key is to break your wrist and your elbow and scoop the ball back. By doing this, you'll keep it a little farther off the net and make it easier for your partner to set you.

  Stuck in the Middle

When your opponent's serve comes down the middle, it can be tricky for you and your partner to figure out who's taking the ball and who's setting. When this happens, both players have to adjust. The passer should put the ball more straight up and down and not try to send it to the normal passing zone close to the net. The setter should set the ball towards the middle of the net so the hitter won't have to scramble to the normal hitting spot. By being realistic about what you can do on a bad play, you'll increase your odds of getting out of a jam.

Challenge the defense

Players often focus too much on analyzing the defense and not enough on just crunching the ball. Don't spend all of your time worried about what the players on the other side of the net are doing. If the digger is camped right where you are planning to hit, give your spike a little extra juice and try to knock his sunglasses off! Hey, there's nothing illegal about that. Remember never be afraid to pound a ball at the defender and force them to make a great dig.

  Master the Poke

Good footwork is a big part of executing "The Poke" If you take the "lazy" approach to a poke your body will be perpindicular to the net which severely limits your shooting options. The better way is to have your body parallel to the net. this gives you far more control and creates an opportunity to put the ball almost anywhere you want.