After running a water volleyball class for some time now, I have seen some interesting tactics take place. First, let us start with ways of hitting the ball over.
The most common is to throw it up with your non-dominant hand and smack it over; AKA ‘The Shannon.’ This brings up some challenges, however. The biggest is that if you don’t get perfect back spin on the ball, it will go haywire on you! Back spin helps the ball travel farther, just like in golf and baseball, and also helps keep it going straight.
Other ways of throwing the ball are the two handed overhead throw—just like you do in soccer—AKA ‘The Marylyn’. You can also hit it over in the air with one hand as it is coming at you. Lastly you can throw it over with one hand like a baseball.
Now, these are all the different ways of throwing the ball over, but perhaps the biggest thing is knowing when and where to throw the ball. I have seen many games lost or won because the ball was placed perfectly (or not) at just the right time. Some people pause to look around and see exactly where to place the ball on the other side—AKA ‘The Pat.’ This is great if the balls are flying around, but not great if the other team is about ready to hit the last ball on your side.
Also, given there are some big hitters in the game (and the occasional deep throw by yours truly) knowing how to throw the ball to the front is important too. A lot of people will just turn and huck the balls as far forward as they can, many times landing the ball far from their teammates, thus giving the other team time to get their balls over the line for the win. It is important to hit balls forward towards your teammates so they can get them over the line.
Lastly, there has been some ‘interesting’ play lately where players will hold on to the ball until someone on the other side of the line is about ready to hit the ball. When the other person throws the ball up to hit it, the first person will knock it out of the air, keeping both balls on the other side—AKA ‘The Robert.’
Other good game play is throwing a ball out of bounds when you are about to lose. This will keep the game going and gives your team a chance to regroup.
All in all, Water Volleyball has been a fun and exciting class; and the game play has grown by leaps and bounds in recent months leading to exciting games. Water Volleyball is on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 11:30AM. Hope to see you there!
by John Grainger
Fitness Coordinator and Experienced Personal Trainer
B.A. Biology, Keene State College
M.S. Exercise Physiology, University of Utah
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Matter of Balance Master Trainer
NeuroKinetic Therapy Level 1