Mastering the Art of Bumping in Volleyball: Learn Perfecting the Bump

Whether you’re a beginner stepping onto the court for the first time or an intermediate player looking to sharpen your skills, mastering the fundamental techniques of volleyball is crucial. One of the most essential skills in volleyball is the bump, also known as the forearm pass.

It is the backbone of defense and sets the stage for offensive plays. In this detailed guide, we’ll delve deep into the technique, share practice drills, and provide tips to elevate your bumping skills.

Understanding the Basics

1. Importance of Bumping:

Bumping is often the first contact a team makes with the ball, aiming to control it and set up for the next play. Effective bumping is key to maintaining possession and creating opportunities for attacks.

It’s not just about keeping the ball in play; it’s about positioning it strategically for your teammates.

2. Essential Equipment:

Before you start, ensure you have the right equipment. A standard volleyball and proper sportswear, including shoes with good grip and support, are essential. These not only enhance performance but also prevent injuries during play.

How to Bump a Volleyball?

1. Starting Position:

  • Feet Placement: Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart for balance. Position yourself so that you’re balanced and can move quickly in any direction.
  • Knee Bend: Slightly bend your knees to stay agile. This ‘athletic stance’ is crucial for quick movements.
  • Arm Readiness: Extend your arms in front of your body, about waist-high, ready to form the bumping platform.

2. Forming the Platform:

  • Hand Positioning: Place one hand open, palm facing upward. Lay the other hand over it, interlocking the thumbs so they form a straight line. This creates a flat surface on your forearms.
  • Arm Alignment: Keep your arms straight and close together, with elbows locked. This firmness is necessary to control the ball’s trajectory.

3. The Bump Action:

  • Eye Coordination: Keep your eyes on the coming ball at all times. Tracking its path allows you to anticipate its landing spot.
  • Body Adjustment: Use quick footwork to align your body under the ball. Always move your feet rather than reaching with your arms.
  • Shoulder Alignment: Position your shoulders toward your target, which is typically your setter or the area where you want the ball to go.
  • Contact and Follow-through: When the ball contacts your forearms, push up with your legs to generate power, keeping your platform stable. Follow through by directing the ball upward and toward your target.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

1. Improper Hand Use:

Avoid using your palms or fingers to hit the ball, as this can lead to fouls and less control. Always use your forearms.

2. Swinging Arms:

Maintain a solid and steady arm platform instead of swinging your arms. Swinging leads to unpredictable ball paths.

3. Static Play:

Don’t wait for the ball to come to you. Always be proactive and move towards the ball, adjusting your position as needed.

Practice Drills for Perfecting Your Bump

1. Wall Bumping Drill:

Find a wall and stand approximately two feet away. Bump the ball against the wall repeatedly, focusing on maintaining a consistent height and hitting the same spot on the wall. This drill improves your control and accuracy.

2. Partner Bumping Drill:

Pair up with a teammate and stand about 10 feet apart. Practice bumping the ball back and forth, aiming to keep the ball controlled and within easy reach of your partner. This helps in developing teamwork and spatial awareness.

3. Net Bumping Drill:

Set up a practice area with a volleyball net. Practice bumping the ball from one side of the net to the other, aiming to get the ball just over the net each time. This simulates game conditions and helps in judging the strength needed in actual play.

Read Also: How to Get Better at Volleyball: 5 Tips from an Experienced Coach


Bumping is a vital skill in volleyball that requires practice and patience to master. By understanding the correct techniques, avoiding common mistakes, and engaging in targeted practice drills, you can significantly improve your bumping skills. Remember, consistency is key. Regular practice with focus on technique will make you a valuable asset to any volleyball team. Keep pushing your limits, and most importantly, enjoy the game as you learn and grow in your volleyball journey.

About The Author

Leave a Comment