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5 Passing Mistakes in Volleyball (Bump Pass)

Erros de Manchete no Vôlei

Main Passing Mistakes in Volleyball

See the main Passing Mistakes in Volleyball and learn how to avoid them.

1) Bending the Elbows

Bending the elbows during the Bump Pass is a very common mistake made by beginners when doing the Bump in Volleyball.

The right Bump technique consists of keeping the hands together and the elbows steadily stretched.

See in the image below the correct positioning of the hands and arms during the Bump Pass in Volleyball.

Main Passing Mistakes in Volleyball


2) Using the hands to Bump Pass

Another very common mistake made by beginners is to think that the Bump is performed with the hands. No! A million times, no!

The right Bump technique consists of touching the ball with the forearms, close to the wrist joint.

The main reason to avoid using the hands when performing the Bump is the fact that they do not provide a flat surface. This is due to the fact that they are full of joints. The ball may, therefore, be misdirected.

Notice in the image below that the ball touches the forearms, not the hands.

Bump pass errors

3) Hitting the ball

Hitting the ball instead of damping it is another beginner’s mistake when bumping.

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In almost all of the situations during the Volleyball game, the ball is sent by the opponent with just enough force to be damped and redirected by the Bump Pass.

If the ball comes with great force and you hit the ball when doing the Bump Pass, the ball will be sent far away, that is, the pass or defense will not be effective.

During the Bump action, you should damp the ball and direct it to a fellow player. This action should be made gently and without any abrupt movements.

Note: Sometimes during the Volleyball game, it will be necessary to hit the ball back during the Bump. Sending the ball back to the opponent’s court or using the Bump to set the ball are examples of such situations.

4) Using the Bump at the wrong time

Performing a Bump Pass requires the ball to be lower than the chest level. Bumping the ball when it comes at chest level drastically increases the chance of making a mistake.

What to do when the ball comes too high?

When the ball comes too high, you have two options:

  1. Using another technique to pass or defend, such as the Dink or the Martelo (Hammer). Check out our article about Defensive Techniques in Volleyball.
  2. Stepping back, if possible, in order to allow the ball to lose height, and then bumping it appropriately.

5) Losing Focus

In Volleyball, the Bump Pass is a skill used primarily for passing and defending. You will not be able to adjust the Bump to the situation at hand and do a good pass or defense without a high amount of focus in the game.

Before a pass or a defense using the Bump, you should stay in an “expecting position”, that is, a position in which you have full attention and focus on the game.

See in the image below the “expecting position” used before passing or defending in Volleyball.

Pass mistakes in volleyball

Positioning yourself in the “expecting position” requires:

  • keeping the feet apart so as to maintain balance;
  • slightly bending the knees;
  • keeping the eyes on the ball;

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