Play Volleyball Smarter. Do You Think You’re Too Short? Tips For Shorter Players

We’ve all heard the old adage “Height is might.” But when it comes to volleyball, does this hold true? Does being tall give you an advantage in the sport? The truth is, no. Volleyball is a game of skill, strategy and teamwork. With the right approach, even shorter players can excel at the game.

If you’re a shorter player who has been told that your height will limit your success in volleyball, it’s time to challenge that notion and learn how to play smarter! In this article, we will explore some simple tips for shorter players that will help them become more competitive on the court. We will explain how understanding the importance of technique and positioning can make up for any perceived physical disadvantage in the sport.

In addition to exploring these tactics, we’ll also discuss how having confidence in yourself as a player can be just as important as any technical skill you may possess. So if you’re looking to take your game to the next level and don’t want your height to be an obstacle, read on! With these tips, you’ll be ready to dominate on the court no matter what size or shape you are.

Understand The Volleyball Court

The court. The place most volleyball players call home. It’s a vast stretch of hardwood with a net dividing it in two, and the potential to become an arena for great success or devastating failure. And if you’re a shorter player, it can seem like a daunting obstacle to overcome. But don’t worry – there are tips that can help you play smarter and more effectively so you can reach your goals.

To start, it’s important to understand the volleyball court and all its nuances. While it may appear as one large area to cover, the court is actually divided into zones where specific players are positioned depending on the type of attack. Knowing these areas and how they relate to height will allow shorter players to set up their opponents more easily. For example, backcourt players should stay near the 10-foot line – this helps them react quickly and make quick decisions when receiving the ball.

Additionally, shorter players should focus on positioning themselves closer to the net than taller opponents when attacking or blocking shots. This allows them to put pressure on their opponents by cutting off angles of attack and forcing them out of their comfort zone – something that can be especially useful with jump serves or jump attacks. Additionally, having good footwork is essential: being able to move quickly will allow you to outmaneuver taller opponents and gain an advantage during rallies. With practice and dedication, these skills will come naturally over time – just remember that mastering the fundamentals is key!

So whether you’re in front row or backrow, understanding the court is essential for any volleyball player – tall or short – if they want to be successful on the court. Taking these tips into consideration can help any player at any height improve their game in no time! Now let’s move onto learning how to read blockers…

Learn To Read The Blocker

Reading the blocker is a key skill for shorter players in volleyball. A blocker is the player who stands at the net, waiting to block an attack. Being able to read their movements and anticipate where they’ll be can help you succeed as a shorter player.

To become better at reading the blocker, pay attention to how they move around the court. Are they staying back near the net, or moving out of position while they’re in their defensive stance? Are they trying to cover multiple attackers, or are they primarily focused on one? Also take note of how quickly they react when an attack is made – if it’s slow, that means you can get away with launching your own attack without worrying about it being blocked.

Finally, focus on watching how and when the blockers jump up to block your attack. This will vary depending on what type of players are currently attacking – if there are experienced players making quick attacks, you may want to wait until after they’ve jumped before launching your own attack. On the other hand, if there are less experienced players making slower attacks, you can use this opportunity to capitalize by launching your own attack before the blockers have time to react. By learning these techniques and paying attention to the blockers’ movements, you can improve your chances of success as a shorter player in volleyball. With improved ball control and great anticipation skills, you’ll be able to outplay even taller opponents!

Improve Your Ball Control

Leveraging the tools of one’s body is paramount to success in any physical endeavor. This notion applies especially to volleyball, where players must use their height and reach to maximum effect. This is especially true for shorter players; they must refine their ball control to get the most out of their game.

For those of a more modest stature, having superior ball control can be a great equalizer on the court. Learning how to place the ball correctly and with good timing through the defense is essential for shorter players. Developing an understanding of where the best angles are for attack shots can help even out an otherwise uneven matchup.

Practicing arm swings, hand-eye coordination drills, and honing footwork are all essential elements of improving ball control. Taking time to hone these skills will pay dividends when it comes time to put them into action during games. With improved ball control, shorter players can maximize their potential on the court and become real game changers.

Utilize Your Reach

It’s estimated that the average volleyball player is just under 6 feet tall. So, for shorter players, the game can seem intimidating. However, with the right tips and strategies, anyone can become a great volleyball player. In this section, we’ll look at how to utilize your reach when playing volleyball as a shorter player.

The key to being successful in volleyball as a shorter player is learning how to use your reach advantageously. Despite being smaller than other players on the court, you have an advantage when it comes to diving and making quick motions. You can use these skills to help you get ahead of taller players and make up for any height difference.

In addition to using your reach effectively, you should also focus on quick footwork and agility drills during practice sessions. This will help you stay agile and be able to move quickly around the court – even if you’re competing against taller opponents. With consistent practice and dedication, shorter players can develop their skills and become just as adept as their taller counterparts on the court. Taking these steps will ensure that you can play smarter no matter what size or shape you are! Transitioning into proper footwork techniques is essential for all volleyball players – regardless of height – so let’s take a look at how to do it correctly next!

Practice Proper Footwork

According to the American Volleyball Coaches Association, 70% of short players report feeling athletically disadvantaged on the court. So, it’s important for shorter players to develop particular skills in order to play smarter volleyball. One key skill is proper footwork, which can make up for a lack of height and reach.

In order to practice proper footwork, shorter players must focus on planting their feet firmly before making contact with the ball. This will help them maintain balance and control as they move around the court. Additionally, having good agility and quickness can be beneficial for shorter players, as this will allow them to react quickly and make adjustments during a rally.

Finally, smaller players should also practice using their arms when playing defense or attacking. By using their arms effectively, they can extend their reach and increase their chances of getting a touch on the ball. With these tips in mind, shorter players can be better prepared to outmaneuver taller opponents on the court. As they work on developing these skills, they’ll be able to transition into honing their serve reception abilities next.

Develop Your Serve Reception

While it may seem like being short puts you at a disadvantage when playing volleyball, developing your serve reception can actually help you play smarter. As a shorter player, you may not be able to jump as high as taller players; however, by honing your serve reception skills, you can still be competitive and make the most of your physical abilities.

You can start by focusing on timing and footwork. Timing is important in serve reception because it allows you to move into position quickly and anticipate where the ball will drop. Additionally, proper footwork ensures that you’re always balanced and ready to respond to the ball. Practice catching passes with different types of serves as well—from hard-driven floaters to deep dinks—so that no matter what type of serve comes your way, you’ll be prepared to react.

Moreover, don’t forget that practice makes perfect! Dedicate time each week to developing your serve reception so that once you’re on the court, everything flows naturally without having to think too much about what comes next or how to respond. With practice and dedication, your serve receptions will improve drastically!

Improve Your Serving

Serving is an essential skill for all volleyball players, regardless of their height. It allows them to maintain control of the game and put points on the board. As a shorter player, perfecting your serving could give you a huge edge against taller opponents. Here are some tips to help you improve your skills.

First, practice with different types of serves. A powerful float serve or hard topspin can be effective in certain situations and can surprise taller players who may not expect it from someone of your size. Also, practice serving within the court so that you can increase accuracy and consistency when delivering the ball to the other side of the net.

Finally, work on your approach technique and footwork. This will help you make quick adjustments as needed when playing against taller opponents. Developing a strong approach will also allow you to hit different angles with your serve and move around faster on the court than someone who is taller than you. With these tips and some practice, you’ll be able to become a stronger server in no time!

With improved serving skills in hand, becoming a master at setting is up next for any volleyball player looking to elevate their game – regardless of their height or physical attributes!

Become A Master At Setting

Have you ever had the feeling that your volleyball game could use a bit of polishing? If you’re a shorter player, becoming a master at setting might be just what you need. Surprisingly, it’s not as difficult as it sounds — with practice and dedication, anyone can do it!

You’d be surprised by the number of times a great set can change the course of a game. It takes precision and finesse to execute — two things that are often overlooked when talking about volleyball. The good news is that players of any height can learn how to do it effectively.

First, focus on controlling the ball’s speed and trajectory. Ensure that your hands are in the right position when receiving the ball from your teammate — make sure to keep them close together so you have control over both sets of fingertips. Practice getting into the correct posture for setting: knees bent, arms extended above your head, chest facing outward toward your target. And most importantly, take enough time to get comfortable with each technique before attempting to combine multiple skills into one movement. With these tips in mind and plenty of practice, you’ll soon become a master at setting!

Strengthen Your Arm Swing

Strengthening your arm swing is an important skill for shorter players in volleyball. This can be done through drills that focus on power and accuracy, such as using a medicine ball or weighted ball. Developing your arm swing will help you hit the ball with more force, while also improving accuracy in your shots.

It’s important to remember that having a strong arm swing requires proper form and technique. To do this, make sure you practice keeping your forearm and wrist straight when swinging at the ball. Additionally, focus on bringing your elbow back as far as possible before releasing the shot—this will create more power which will help you hit the ball further and with more control.

Lastly, aim to keep your body in line with the target when preparing your swing. This will ensure that all of the force from your arm swing is being directed towards the target instead of being lost during the motion. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to improving your arm swing and becoming a better volleyball player!

Improve Your Arm Direction

Improving your arm direction is an essential skill for any volleyball player, regardless of their height. To accomplish this, you need to practice and focus on the accuracy of the throw. Developing a good arm swing can help you to achieve that, as can developing a consistent release point when throwing.

When practicing your arm direction, pay attention to where your arm is pointed and how it affects the accuracy of the ball’s trajectory. Make sure that your arm is always pointing at your intended target when releasing the ball. This will help ensure that the ball reaches its destination in the most efficient way possible. Additionally, practice throwing with both arms simultaneously so that you develop good coordination between them.

Finally, focus on improving your timing during throws. The more consistent and accurate timing you have, the more likely it is that you’ll hit your mark every time. Improving your timing also helps to improve ball control and power in each throw, which can be especially beneficial for shorter players looking to increase their vertical jump and reach higher targets on the court. Transitioning into increased vertical jump requires diligent practice with proper technique and form.

Increase Your Vertical Jump

Soaring skyward, increasing your vertical jump is an essential skill for shorter players of volleyball. To make sure you are playing smarter and not just harder, here are some tips on how to maximize your potential with a high vertical jump.

First and foremost, focus on strengthening the muscles in your legs. This includes squats and lunges to build strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Additionally, practice calf raises to improve the power of your Achilles tendon and strengthen the calves. Secondly, utilize plyometric exercises like box jumps and jump squats to rapidly increase the force generated from your legs when jumping. You can also add ankle weights while performing these jumps to challenge your muscles even further.

Thirdly, practice and perfect proper technique when jumping. Start by standing tall with feet shoulder-width apart; then bend your knees slightly before powering off the ground with both feet at the same time. Land softly but quickly as soon as possible after takeoff – this will help increase momentum for a higher jump during each repetition.

By focusing on developing leg strength through various exercises and mastering proper technique for jumping, you can make significant gains in improving your vertical jump height as a shorter player of volleyball. With this newfound ability to reach greater heights, you can now focus on agility and speed to become a more complete player overall.

Focus On Agility And Speed

Shorter players, such as 5-foot-5 volleyball star Laura Jones, often use the advantages of their height to increase their on-court effectiveness. Focusing on agility and speed is an important way for shorter players to play smarter and more competitively. Here are four tips that can help:

  1. Develop your footwork by learning proper technique and practicing drills regularly.
  2. Increase your court awareness and reaction time so you know where to move quickly when the ball is coming your way.
  3. Utilize your quickness to quickly jump up and down, as well as side-to-side, in order to reach balls or set up a powerful attack.
  4. Work on core strength exercises that will help you maintain balance while jumping or shifting directions quickly during a match.

By honing these skills, shorter players can build strong fundamentals that will give them an edge during games. With improved agility and speed, they’ll be able to better anticipate opponents’ shots, react more quickly, and get in position for successful plays even with their smaller stature.

Utilize Your Quickness

The court is like a battlefield, and shorter players must be prepared to show strategic agility in order to conquer it. Utilizing quickness can give them an edge that towers over their opponents. With the right moves, even the littlest of players can stand tall.

Rather than focusing on height or power, shorter players should hone their agility and speed across the court. Working on jumping quickly, changing direction quickly, and being able to adjust to different playing styles will help them gain the advantage. Developing these skills requires practice and dedication – but when done correctly, they can provide a huge advantage.

Having a fast reaction time can make all the difference in a match. Quickly analyzing opponent’s moves to anticipate their next move allows for timely reactions that might surprise taller opponents. This also gives an opportunity for shorter players to take control of the game and dictate play rather than just reacting or defending constantly. With the right technique and timing, even the smallest players can make a big impact!

Practice Mental Toughness

When it comes to playing volleyball, being short doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. With the right strategies, shorter players can use their quickness and agility to give them an edge on the court. One such strategy is developing mental toughness.

Mental toughness is all about staying focused and keeping your emotions in check when you’re under pressure. It’s important to stay strong even when your team is down, or when the other team seems unbeatable. Visualization techniques can help you focus on the game and keep your confidence high. You should also practice controlling your breathing, so that you stay calm and keep fighting even during intense moments of competition.

In order for any player to become successful at volleyball, it’s essential that they learn how to develop a winning mindset. This means keeping positive thoughts in mind, setting realistic goals for yourself, and believing in yourself even when things don’t go as planned. Knowing how to stay motivated even after tough losses will help you become a better volleyball player in the long run. By focusing on strengthening both your physical skills and mental approach to the game, shorter players can hold their own against taller opponents on the court.

Develop A Winning Mindset

Are you too short to play volleyball successfully? If so, fear not! Height doesn’t have to be a hindrance—with the right mindset, any player can become a star. Here’s how to develop a winning mentality, regardless of your stature:

Aptly coined by legendary basketball coach John Wooden, “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out”. This quote elucidates the importance of having a positive outlook in order to reach success. To adopt this winning mindset:

  • Embrace your height – don’t dwell on being shorter than everyone else. Instead, focus on all of your unique abilities and use them to your advantage.
  • Believe in yourself – it’s essential for success that you cultivate confidence in yourself and your skills.
  • Develop mental toughness – if you expect yourself to win then you will be more likely to do so.

The key takeaway is that attitude is just as important as skill when it comes to conquering the court—so take these steps and someday you’ll look back and marvel at what you’ve achieved!


Volleyball is a great sport for players of all sizes, including shorter players. With the right techniques and strategies, shorter players can be just as successful as their taller counterparts. Utilizing your reach, agility, speed, and mental toughness are key elements to playing smarter volleyball.

One interesting statistic to consider: 95% of professional volleyball players are 6 feet or taller. While this might seem intimidating for smaller players, it’s important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” approach to playing volleyball. Developing fundamental skills and implementing strategies designed for shorter players will help you become a successful player regardless of your height.

The key takeaway from this article is that proper technique and strategy can make up for any physical disadvantages when playing volleyball. No matter how tall or short you are, with the right skills and mindset anyone can become an effective volleyball player. With practice and dedication, you too can learn to play smarter and make an impact on the court!