Volleyball Communication 101: Why Communication is Key to Success

Communication is key in any relationship, but especially on the volleyball court. Learn why we think clear communication is the key to success, and consider some of our useful tips to become a better volleyball player.

 

“A beach volleyball partner is like another marriage, so just like in a relationship, you have to have such a great line of communication,” says Irene Pollock, AVP player and Wilson Advisory Staff Member. 

Teammate communication is imperative– it helps establish what each volleyball partner wants from the other and how to move together on the court. One of the most important things to remember regarding partner communication is that you don’t need to find a partner who communicates exactly like you— keep an open mind! 

Success on the court comes from clear and honest communication. Learn to understand and accept your partner's preferred method of communication and compromise on any glaring differences. 

A lack of communication can lead to quick turnovers. Former AVP player, Michael Brunsting said, “If you do not communicate, easy momentum killing plays is what follows, and volleyball is such a momentum sport, you need to feel like you’re a well oiled machine to really get things going.”

Good communication happens both on and off the court, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Stay persistent— the best partner relationships take a lot of communication from both ends.

 

 

 

Here are 3 tips to better understand and compete with your partner:

1. Over Communicate.

If you feel a certain way about a play or have a warm-up preference, let your teammate know. Even if you think it’s something small, your partner can’t help you unless they know what’s going on.

 

2. Always be asking questions.

Make sure you understand what your teammate likes and doesn’t like– if you don’t know, ask them.

Here are some questions to consider: 

  • Do you want to call the ball in or out or do you expect me to know what your next move is going to be? 
  • What kind of set does your partner like? High and tight? Low? 
  • What time do you want to arrive to practice? And when you arrive, what is each partner's preferred warm-up? 
  • Who goes for the middle ball? 
  • How does your partner want to be addressed when they are down? Do they want encouragement? Stern or gentle? 
  • What is your partner like at practice vs. in a match? Are they the same person or different? 

 

3. Be clear and direct.

Cut to the chase. Don’t waste time and tell your partner what they need to hear– this will help you guys perform your best as a unit. Tell your volleyball partner where you are and where you want the ball to be as they prepare to set it.

To learn more about how to better your game, head to our Wilson Volleyball Channel and follow us on Instagram to find other volleyball tips from the best in the game.

Updated September 30, 2022