Dig in Volleyball: Explained (Quick)

Volleyball is an exhilarating and fast-paced sport and a dig is the most important technique for defence. Here’s what is a dig in volleyball…

What is a Dig in Volleyball?

The dig is a defensive play used to receive a spiked or high-velocity ball from the opposing team, and it is mainly executed with the forearm passing technique. This technique involves passing the ball using the arms with a flat platform, and players use their leg and body position to aim the ball.

Volleyball player digging for the ball

To execute a dig, the player must be in an athletic position with his feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. He then positions himself parallel to the ball using only their arms to pass it.

This defensive move is one of the most important skills for volleyball players to master, as it can help them keep the rally alive and prevent the ball from going out of bounds.

Types of Digs in Volleyball:

There are different types of dig techniques used in volleyball: traditional digs, slide digs, and platform pass. Each one comes with its own unique approach and variations.

Here are the different types of digs:

Traditional Dig:

This involves using the arms and wrists to cushion the ball. The player must get into an athletic position and extend his arms towards the ball with a flat platform. You can practice this move using a wall or a net to gain more control.

Plus, you can also use a foam ball to practice and develop your skills. This will help you get used to the technique and understand the mechanics behind it.

Slide Dig:

This type of dig requires the player to slide in order to reach the ball. The player must quickly move his feet while keeping an athletic stance and use his arms to cushion the ball. It is important to keep the body low and to move feet closer together in order to reach the ball faster.

Platform Pass:

This type of dig requires the player to pass the ball with a flat platform. The player must jump and stretch his arms towards the ball in order to cushion it. It is important to keep an athletic stance and maintain a flat platform in order for the pass to be successful.

Overhead Dig:

This is a one-handed dig usually executed with the non-dominant hand for high-lofted balls. The player must move his feet quickly while jumping towards the ball and use an overhand pass to cushion it. This type of dig requires more control and practice to master.

Related Article: Volleyball Positions: The Beginner Guide

How to Improve your Dig?

Volleyball player digging

To perform an excellent dig, players must be agile, fast, and have the right technique.

Firstly, players need to ensure they use their legs, position their bodies correctly and create a platform with locked wrists. This will help them maximize their reach and control the ball more easily.

Moreover, players must practice regularly in order to gain confidence and momentum. Drills such as wall tosses or net tosses can be used to improve accuracy and power while performing a dig. Additionally, playing with friends can also help enhance your skills since you can practice different scenarios.

Tips to Improve Your Dig:

  • Position your body correctly and get into an athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Maintain a flat platform by keeping the wrists locked in order to cushion the ball successfully.
  • Move quickly while keeping your body low.
  • Focus on the ball’s trajectory and adjust your body position accordingly.
  • Practice drills regularly with a partner to help you master the technique.
  • Use a foam ball or volleyball for more realistic practice sessions.

Finally, it is important to remain focused and be aware of the court at all times. This will help you anticipate a spike or attack and react quickly with a successful dig.

Best Drills for Dig:

Girl digging for ball

When it comes to drills, a good starting point is to work on footwork, mainly shuffling and positioning your body based on the ball’s projected trajectory. Next, players should practice digging from different angles, speeds, positions, and heights.

Drills can be done with one or two players. A partner drill that helps improve a player’s dig technique is the “bump, set, and volley” drill: each player takes turns in setting and volleying the ball to their partner while they practice their digs.

Here are some of the best drills to help improve your volleyball dig:

1. Wall Tosses:

Wall tosses are one of the best drills for volleyball players. Start off by throwing a foam ball against the wall and practicing digging using only your arms. This drill will help you develop your forearm passing technique as well as footwork. Plus, you can also practice your balance and control since the ball will come back at different speeds.

2. Net Tosses:

Net tosses involve throwing a foam ball or a regular volleyball against the net and practicing digging from there. You can challenge yourself by tossing it higher, using different levels of power, or trying to dig more than one ball. This drill will help you refine your reflexes and agility on the court.

3. Partner Drills:

Partner drills are a great way to practice digging with a partner or teammate. The “bump, set, and volley” drill is perfect for this purpose since it involves both partners practising their digs while volleying the ball back and forth. This drill will help you gain control of the ball, as well as maintain an effective position on the court.

4. Scissor Kicks:

Scissor kicks are another great drill to practice your dig. Start off by lying on the ground and extend both legs towards the ball before bringing them back together in a scissor motion. This will help you develop your footwork and agility while improving your control of the ball.

5. Jump, Dig and Pass Drill:

This drill involves using your legs to jump and pass the ball back. Start off by standing close to your partner and tossing a foam ball in the air. Then, quickly move your feet towards the ball while jumping up and cushion it with both arms before passing it back to your partner. This drill will help you develop your control and accuracy when performing a dig.


In conclusion, a dig is a critical defensive skill that every volleyball player should know how to perform. It requires proper technique, agility, and quick reflexes, but it is essential to master it to help save the ball from hitting the floor. Knowing the different types of digs, techniques, and drills to improve will make you a better player, and with practice, you will become a valuable asset to your team.

How do you get a dig in volleyball?

To get a dig in volleyball, you need to use your forearms to control and direct an attacked ball from the opposing team, preventing it from hitting the ground.

What is passing by digging in volleyball?

Passing by digging in volleyball refers to using a forearm technique to control and redirect an attacked ball from the opponent, enabling it to be set for a teammate’s attack.

Is dig and receive the same in volleyball?

In volleyball, “dig” and “receive” are often used interchangeably to refer to the same action of using the forearms to control and direct an attacked ball from the opposing team.

What counts as a dig?

A dig is counted when a player successfully uses their forearms to control and redirect an attacked ball from the opponent, keeping it in play and preventing it from hitting the ground.

How can I improve my dig?

To improve your dig, focus on proper body positioning, keep your eyes on the ball, move quickly to the anticipated contact point, and maintain a solid platform with your forearms. Regular practice and drills that simulate game-like situations will also help enhance your digging skills.