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The Dig Podcast
8 minutes | Jan 15, 2015
Who Is Karch Kiraly? – The Dig Episode 025
Listen to this episode of the dig to learn a few things about the best volleyball player of all time. "I only prepared to win the next day.” --Karch Kiraly
8 minutes | Jan 15, 2015
Who is Karch Kiraly? The Dig Episode 025
Karch stinking rocks, listen to this episode of the dig to learn why.
10 minutes | Jan 13, 2015
Is it OK to be Competitive? The Dig Episode 024
The post Is it OK to be Competitive? The Dig Episode 024 appeared first on My Little Athlete.
7 minutes | Jan 8, 2015
Should I Play Volleyball When I’m Sick? The Dig Episode 023
The real question is, are you sick, or are you injured? Listen to this episode of The Dig to hear the answer.
8 minutes | Jan 6, 2015
What You Don’t Know About Volleyball Court Dimensions – The Dig Episode 022
Things you might know: The indoor volleyball court is 30 feet by 30 feet on your side of the net, which makes the entire court 30' x 60'. The beach volleyball court is 26'3" x 52'6". Things you might not know about volleyball court dimensions: From corner to corner, the court is 42.43'. Soooo what does that mean? When you hit angle from the outside hitter position, you gain an extra 12' of court. That's a lot more room for error than hitting down the line. (Same is true if you're hitting from the right side.) Likewise, serving from corner to corner, will gain you an additional 7' of court. If you are a server who tends to miss deep, consider serving from area 1 towards area 1 or from area 5 into area 5. Listen to this episode of the dig to hear how court dimensions affect you
17 minutes | Jan 1, 2015
Where Should Play Volleyball In College? The Dig Episode 021
Do you want to play volleyball in college? In this episode of the dig, we discuss the various levels you can play at. This won't pick your college for you, but it will give you a good idea of which level you'd fit into. NCAA Divisions Division 1 volleyball is highly competitive. Athletes are expected to place a large amount of emphasis on their sport with workouts throughout the entire year. Full ride scholarships are available. Division 2 volleyball puts a much larger emphasis on being a student-athlete. This is still a highly competitive division and you'll be expected to be very focused on your sport. Division 2 athletes, in any sport, are usually not looking to play at a professional level, and getting a good education is a major factor in choosing their school. Athletic scholarships can be handed out, and even split between athletes. Division 3 volleyball puts the emphasis on the classroom before the sport. There are still good volleyball programs at this level, but students often choose division 3 colleges for the degree they are seeking, and competitive volleyball is an added bonus. No scholarships can be awarded for athletics, but scholarships for academics are available. Full and partial scholarships are available. NJCAA - National Junior College Athletic Association Junior college volleyball offers an alternative method for playing competitive volleyball in college. These are two year programs and many athletes feed into NCAA colleges after their 2 year junior college commitment is up. This is a good path to take to gain more exposure and give yourself more time to develop, and then transfer into a D1 or D2 program. Scholarships are available in full or particle increments. Junior colleges place a large emphasis on the student and academic life although there are still very competitive schools at the junior college level. Community College If you're not interested in playing volleyball as a primary means to pay for your college, why not look at a local community college? If you don't get a scholarship, college is expensive. Local community colleges will offer you in-state tuition which is significantly cheaper than out of state tuition. If they have a volleyball program, they are likely looking for athletes who are already planning to attend their college. College Club Volleyball Many colleges offer a club volleyball program where students who already attend the college can form a team and go play opposing schools. This
5 minutes | Oct 24, 2014
How Do I Get Started Coaching Volleyball? The Dig Episode 020
Are you thinking about becoming a volleyball coach? Listen to this brief episode of the dig for tips on how to get started.
14 minutes | Oct 21, 2014
What’s The Deal With The Different Colored Jersey? The Dig Episode 019
The Position of Libero In Volleyball Have you ever wondered why one player on the volleyball court is in a different colored jersey? Well, that position is the libero. They are a defensive specialist who can play the entire game in the back row. Listen to today's episode to hear all about the position, what it entails and why on earth they are wearing a different color.
8 minutes | Oct 14, 2014
Which is Harder, Beach Volleyball or Indoor Volleyball? The Dig Episode 018
Which is Harder, Beach Volleyball or Indoor Volleyball? The Dig Episode 018 Listen to this weeks answer, right here on The Dig!
9 minutes | Oct 7, 2014
Why Should or Shouldn’t I play the Ball Overhand? The Dig Episode 017
Listen 2 days a week to the podcast dedicated entirely to volleyball. If you have got a question, leave a voicemail and your question and my answer could be the next episode! As always, you can email me questions at email@example.com.
13 minutes | Oct 2, 2014
8 Volleyball Rules for the Absolute Beginner
This episode of The Dig doesn't answer a direct question, but instead, it focuses on 8 rules that every new volleyball player needs to know. Each rule is broken down in more depth on the podcast, but here is the list. Stay tuned to future episodes to get rules geared towards every aspect of the game. (You must have a podcast player to use this link.) Volleyball Rules for Beginners 1. Don’t touch the net. Don't ever touch the net, it's not wise. 2. Three contacts When the ball is on your side of the net, you only get 3 touches. This does not include the blocker if they happen to touch the ball. 3. No double touches. You cannot contact the ball two times in a row, unless the first contact was a block. You can play the ball two times before it goes over, but not two times in a row. 4. You cannot touch the line on a serve. Your foot may not touch or cross over the end line before you contact the ball for your serve. 5. If the serve hits the net, it’s playable. The ball is allowed to touch the net and remain in play. 6. The line is in. If the ball touches any part of the line, it is considered in. The libero has to wear a different colored jersey. The libero has their own set of rules, therefore they have their own jersey color. (We will go into more depth on liberos in a later episode.) 8. You must stay in a circle to rotate. This means you must have 3 front row and 3 back row players at all times. Once you rotate to the back row, you have special rules you have to follow so it is important to know if you are front row or back row. That is a quick outline of the first rules you should learn in volleyball. To hear more, and get more advanced rules, be sure to subscribe to the podcast, and then go leave a review in iTunes. As always, leave a voicemail by clicking the button below:
6 minutes | Sep 30, 2014
How Important Is Serve Receive? The Dig Episode 015
Thanks for checking out this episode of The Dig. Today we feature Alexandria, a 6th grade volleyball player who has a question about serve receive. Alexandria wants to know, how important is serve receive? If you have a question to ask, leave me a voicemail and I might just answer it on the podcast! You can also send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org and I will still be happy to answer you on the podcast. If you are a primary passer like Alexandria, and you want 5 tips for better serve receive passing, check out The Dig Episode 014. The Libero In this episode we talk a little about the libero position. Liberos are the girls on the people on the court wearing different colored jerseys. They specialize in passing and defense and they are not allowed to play front row, but they can play back row the entire game. Liberos are not allowed to serve at the international level, but they are allowed to serve at every other level. If you're watching a volleyball game, you'll notice that the libero can sub freely, meaning she can run on and off the court without actually subbing in. There are many rules surrounding the libero position about what they can and cannot do. Liberos are not allowed to attack (hit) the ball above the height of the net, and they are not allowed to set in front of the 10' when the hitter attacks above the height of the net. Even with the weird setting rules, many liberos are the second setter on the team. When the primary setter plays the first ball, the libero will step in and set or bump set the ball to a hitter. That's a brief overview of the libero position. We will go in depth in another episode of The Dig. Another thing I mention briefly is the name Karch Kiraly. If you have not heard of him, go read his wiki page. He is a legend in volleyball, and if you think you're a volleyball player, you better know Karch. :)
8 minutes | Sep 23, 2014
How Can I Improve My Serve Receive? Volleyball Passing Tips – The Dig Episode 014
If you play volleyball, you probably want to improve your passing. Luckily, no matter how good you are, or aren't, your passing can likely be improve. Here are my 5 best tips to be a better passer: Volleyball Passing Tips 1. Get into a good ready position. This position shouldn't be too low, and it shouldn't be standing upright either. Start medium high, in an athletic position, ready to move. 2. Form a solid, well balanced platform. Start by putting your hands together and looking at your thumbs. Are your thumbnails next to each other? Are your thumb joints even and next to each other? Now make sure your arms are fully extended and close together. You want a large surface for the ball to contact. 3. Contact the ball on your forearms. You want to precisely play the ball above your wrists and below your elbows. You have forearm muscle in that area that the ball should contact. 4. Hold your platform still. I'm not entirely sure why everyone wants to swing their arms around at the ball, but you hear coaches say "hold still" over and over and over. Why do they say this? Because it works! When you attempt to pass the ball, put your arms out without any additional movement, and then hold them there, or freeze them. When you play against harder serving teams, you will begin to retract your arms slightly, but even then, don't swing into the ball at all. Think about baseball for a second. You step up to bat, and a pitcher throws the ball your direction. The faster and harder you swing the bat, the further the ball goes. Now back to volleyball, the same rules apply. If you swing your platform up into the ball, the ball will launch off and we don't want that. Keep your platform still and you will improve your passing. 5. Move your feet. No matter how your coach wants you to pass, almost every coach is going to tell you to move your gosh darn feet. You need to get your body in position to play the ball and servers aren't going to serve directly at you. Bonus tip: Know who is serving at you. This one seems less important, but if you know someone serves short, and can't serve deep, scoot up. If you know someone only serves deep, move back. Do you know if they serve a tough topspin? Be prepared to pass a topspin serve instead of a floater. You can gain an advantage if you know your opponent'a tendencies and you will adjust where you start. That's it for now, I could do multiple passing and serve receive episodes, (and I probably
7 minutes | Sep 18, 2014
What if I Want To Participate in Two Sports? The Dig Episode 013
I received a question recently via Instagram (@straightfromdehart) and although I briefly answered it already, I wanted to address it on the podcast as well. That question came from @ _katlynn21_ and the question was about her being a cheerleader and a volleyball player at the same time. Katlynn said that she made cheer captain, yet she still wants to play volleyball. It sounds like she enjoys both sports, and doesn't 'want to give one up. So, how do you go about competing in two sports at once? Here is a nice little infographic to go along with this week's podcast:
12 minutes | Sep 16, 2014
What Are The Best Volleyball Shoes? A Volleyball Shoe Review. The Dig Episode 012
This episode of The Dig discusses the different brands of volleyball shoes. Before we begin, I want to strongly encourage you to buy a pair of volleyball shoes if you're planning on playing a lot. Volleyball shoes are designed to combat the specific spots of wear and tear that are common amongst volleyball player's shoes. For instance, most volleyball shoes will have a harder piece in front and on top of the toe. This is because the majority of volleyball players are taught to drag their toe when they serve. Without that extra protection, your shoes become ruined in a hurry. Volleyball shoes are also designed for lateral (side to side) movement more than running shoes are. Running shoes are designed to go forward, not side to side. Finally, volleyball shoes are built light weight and with cushioning to absorb the shock of repetitive jumping. This is an added benefit because it will keep your knees, hips and back healthier if your shoes are designed for the sport you intend to use them for. I want to show you my absolute favorite pair of shoes... I'm slightly embarrassed about this, but not really. I still wear them from time to time, because they are super comfy after so much use. :) I wore these running shoes as my primary volleyball shoes for a couple months. That was a mistake. The lateral movement destroyed these $140.00 shoes. Don't make the same mistake I did. Now I buy volleyball shoes if I'm planning on playing volleyball in them. I would encourage you to look online if you don't have a lot of choices locally. Finding a good shoe can make all the difference in your performance. What are the best volleyball shoes? I'm glad you asked! I'll give you a rundown of the 4 primary brands which carry volleyball shoes, and briefly discuss each volleyball shoe within that brand. At the bottom of this post, you can see a basic table to compare and contrast the specifics of each shoe. Mizuno Volleyball Shoe Review Mizuno volleyball shoes are well constructed and very durable. They are a leader in the industry and relied upon by many volleyball players. The majority of people claim these shoes run a little small, so if you're between two sizes, go with the smaller size. Wave Tornado 8 These are are the top of the line volleyball shoes from Mizuno. Priced as low as $70 on Amazon, these could be the perfect shoe for you. They weight 10.6 ounces and are a bit heavier than most of the other volleyball shoes on the market, but they
7 minutes | Sep 4, 2014
What Should I Carry In My Volleyball Bag? The Dig Episode 011
You've made the team, you're off to your first tournament, but what the heck should you take?? In this episode of The Dig, we will discuss the essentials, along with non-essentials to carry with you throughout the season. Be advised, these pictures are links to products which I am an affiliate for. If you choose to purchase them, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance if you choose to purchase through these links. Mostly though, this is just a simple checklist for you! Pick a Bag That Fits Your Needs Backpacks are great because they are easy to carry and don't put pressure on the wrong joints and muscles. However, backpacks are usually smaller than duffle bags, so you can't carry as much stuff. Duffle bags work well when you want to carry a lot of stuff but they are bulkier because of this. Drawstring bags are great for practices or games where you don't need to carry much. If you are already dressed out, you can throw your shoes, kneepads, and ankle braces in here and have a small, lightweight option. Volleyball Bag Essentials Bring your shoes! And make sure you bring both shoes, not just one! I'm not joking when I say that there are plenty of times when someone shows up with just one shoe. If you don't have volleyball shoes yet, check out the shoe review I did on my other website. Bring kneepads, and again, I want to stress that you should double check you have BOTH kneepads. I like Mizuno, Nike are great too. Both are heavy duty and will last a long time. Nfinity is doing something pretty cool, where you can buy the kneepad and replacement sleeves. They also have shock absorption technology that is new to the market. I haven't used them, so I can't speak first hand, but I've heard a lot of good things about them. *If you wear nfinity, maybe you could leave a comment to help us out!* I'd stay away from under armor because they don't provide as much protection and end up damaged. You will need to bring/wear spandex or shorts, depending on if you are attending practice or a game. Nike pros a are a safe bet, but please, cover your butt! If you wear ankle braces, make sure you pack them. There are 2 common types. Lace up, and active ankle. It is not a bad idea to pack around an additional t-shirt. If you're headed to a game, be sure you bring your jersey. If you have more than one jersey, bring them both! Every time. Pack a water bottle full of w
7 minutes | Sep 2, 2014
What is the Difference Between Traditional and Swing Blocking? The Dig Episode 010
Today we will discuss the various types of blocking. We won't be covering how to block, but instead focusing on the differences between swing blocking and traditional blocking and which blocking scheme you should use. What is Traditional Blocking? Traditional blocking is the most common blocking scheme you'll see used. It has been used for years and is the easier of the two team blocking patterns. How to execute the traditional block: All 3 front row players should be facing the net. One player on each end of the net, and one in the middle. (Technically each "wing" blocker should be around an arms length from the sideline.) The wing blockers stay where they are and only block the hitter that is across the net from them. There is very little movement. Simply a side step to get in front of the hitter, and a jump to block. The middle blocker is responsible for blocking every opposing attack, no matter where along the net it comes from. To get out to the sides of the court to assist the wing blockers, the middle will keep their hands up and do middle blocker footwork. (Step, crossover, hop or Step, crossover, close.) When the middle arrives, ready to jump and block, both blockers, the middle and wing, will jump in unison straight up. That's about it when it comes to traditional blocking. This is the most common form and you have likely seen it done even if you didn't know you were watching it. What is Swing Blocking? Swing blocking has been added to the game in recent years. It is common amongst college and international teams, but much less common at the high school and club levels. How to execute a swing block: There are a lot more moving parts to swing block, but to start, the blockers need to be positioned in a tighter formation. All 3 blockers face the net. The middle should start in the middle, and the wing blockers should start slightly further than an arms distance from the middle, on both sides. To block middle, the middle simply jumps to block. There is no change here. To block hitters on the outsides of the court, the middle takes a step towards their teammate wing blocker, and they both perform the same steps in the same direction and jump at the same time. To execute the swing block steps, think about doing a hitting approach, except do it sideways. If you're going left, do the steps: left, right, left, jump. To go right, step right, left, right, jump. Your arms will drop down by your side, and back behind you, then
12 minutes | Aug 28, 2014
What are the Volleyball Positions? – The Dig Episode 009
Hey guys!! Hope everyone is enjoying the new school year. :) Today we will talk about all the volleyball positions. I wouldn't be surprised if you know all the positions already, but stay tuned anyway, because maybe you didn't know all the different names for positions. Let's get started! The Volleyball Positions: Setter Middle Hitter Middle Blocker Outside Hitter Left Side Right Side Weak Side Strong Side Opposite Libero Defensive Specialist Setter Buy The Setter T-Shirt: Let's start out with the best position. :) Ok, maybe it's not the best, but it's my favorite! Setters are the ones who set the ball to the hitters, who can then attack and score. Setters are often referred to as the quarterback of the volleyball team, but I think of them more as the point guard of the volleyball team. You see, quarterbacks tend to get a lot of attention. At the end of the game, reporters love talking to quarterbacks. Reporters don't seek out setters after volleyball matches, reporters usually seek out hitters. Setters should not be overlooked though. They are often one of the top athletes on the team and counted on to be leaders on the court. The offense travels through the setter, so it's important that they have a solid knowledge of the game. Setter Skill Set Back Row Setters: Setting, Serving, Defense, Communication, Leadership Front Row Setters: Setting, Blocking, dumping/tipping/hitting the 2nd ball, defense Outside Hitters Buy the Outside Tshirt Outside hitters can also be referred to as left side hitters or strong side hitters. They are usually well rounded athletes who play in the front row and the back row. This position tends to get a lot of glory. Outside hitters tend to get the most sets during the game, and they often rack up the second most digs (behind the libero). They are involved in a lot of the action, especially the really exciting action, so they get noticed right away. Some of the biggest digs come from outside hitters, as well assume of the best hits. It's not wonder that outsides are more often ego-driven than the other positions. It isn't all glory for outsides though, they will likely do most of the serve receive passing, and that is no easy task. They are expected to begin the play with a good pass, and the team counts on them for this. Outside Skill Set Serving, Serve Receive Passing, Hitting, Digging, Blocking Middle Blocker Buy the Middle Blocker Tshirt Middle blockers can be called middle hitters inter
7 minutes | Aug 26, 2014
What is a hitting percentage and what’s good? – The Dig Episode 008
Today's episode is a fast one. The question is "What is a hitting percentage and what is considered a good number?" A hitting percentage is the number which calculates your hitting efficiency. The number shows if you score more points for your own team or the other team. How To Caluclate Hitting Percentage Are you good at math? Here is the formula: (Kills-errors)/total attaches Add up all your kills, then subtract all your errors. Once you have that number, divide it by the total number of swings you took. Example: 000+0-++0+ Zeros are swings taken when the ball remains in play. + is a kill - is an error So kills- errors is: 4-1=3 Divide by total attempts: 3/10=.300 We call this number 300, not "point 300." Now, it is entirely possible to be a negative hitter. That may look something like this: -00++-00-0 2-3=-1 -1/10= -.100 Essentially, you are scoring more points for the other team than you are for your own team, and that's no bueno (no good). What's A Good Hitting Percentage? A great hitting percentage is up in the 300 and above range. If you can hit over 300 as an average over the course of a season, you're kicking but at any level. The 200 range is still a good hitter, the 100 range is still scoring a couple more points for your team than the other team. A 0 hitter is someone who is a statistical wash when it comes to hitting. They are not scoring points, but they are not losing them either. A bad hitting percentage is anything negative. Negative hitters score more for the other team than they do for their own. Like a lot of questions I answer, this question can vary by age and level of play. You wouldn't expect a young, beginning volleyball player to hit 300. In fact, a lot of young players are going to hit negative. If you have a beginner level team, tracking their hitting percentage might not give you a lot of information. Statistically you could have a player who is very negative but with some work, will be the best player on the team. Then again, it can be very easy to score against young teams. If you have a hitter who hits a lot of backspin, or sidespin, or miss hits, but it lands in the court, it could score fairly consistently just because the competition cannot play it. A hitting percentage is a guide and tool to measure hitters. As with all stats, it's a great way to gain knowledge, but they are not the only factor to consider when sizing up a player, so don't put all your faith in the numbers. Keep
14 minutes | Aug 21, 2014
Am I Too Short To Play Volleyball? The Dig Episode 007
Today's Podcast is a little shorter than normal, but one of my favorite topics. Am I too short to play volleyball? The brief answer is no. So there you have it, if you're short on time, you don't have to read any further. However, I have time, so I'll expand my answer. It's Not How Tall You Are, It's How Tall You Play. I firmly believe that at every single level, you should be evaluated based on your abilities more than you're height. This is just my opinion, but I think oftentimes coaches put too much emphasis on height. Don't get me wrong, height is beneficial, I'm well aware of that! But, you also must be able to perform at a decent level. Height is great, but it isn't everything. An awesome short player is going to do way more for a team than a really bad tall player. Always keep that in mind. Beginning Playing When you first start out, you're likely young and still growing. Height as it pertains to volleyball should not even be on your mind. Everyone grows at different rates, it's hard to tell who will be tall or not, and therefore I think everyone should play volleyball at an early age. As a beginner, no one is too short to play volleyball. Competitive club or High School Height starts to become a factor when teams start to get competitive. If you want to win, the team needs to put the best players on the court. Teams start to look at specializing, keeping tall players in the front row and short players in the back row. The specialization topic could be discussed at length some other time, for now we will just say that it happens. Now, if you're short, do not assume you'll be stuck in the back row, competing for the libero spot. Every team needs 6 players on the court, instead of whining about playing time, get so good the coach can't take you off the court. Be the player that is a rock for the team. Be inspirational. Be great at defense. Be great at hitting multiple shots. There are many short players who can work over opponents because of their volleyball IQ. You don't have to be a big brute, you can be smart. Do You Have To Be Tall To Play Volleyball In College? Nope. You have to be good. If you're a good player, there's a very strong chance you can find a college that fits you. If you're not tall, smaller colleges may be easier to get into, and may be more willing to offer you a scholarship. (BTW, if you can get a scholarship, you should take it.) You don't have to be tall, but there is a lot of emphasis p
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