Ask @jmaier26:

im a 14 year old girl that wants to try out for volleyball but im not sure what position would be best. im 158 cm and 40 kg and an 18" vertical jump

First you should try out many positions to find out what you like best. I assume you're a starter in Volleyball. Your height and athletic abilities only matter when you leave the beginner level.
My thoughts about choosing position is easy: A player will never be able to rise to his/her full potential playing a position they do not really like, or they actually would like to play something else. Keep that in mind. Do what you like best!
What really can make the difference is that player that is keen on playing and practicing. ... willing to push the limits he/she might have. So, go after every ball, never give up. Do not accept limits. That will bring you far! Good luck! :)

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How do you teach arm swings to younger athletes. I use open close, bow and arrow, snap middle finger over ball, and swing tall. Any other factors you would add? Also do you care if I share some of your instagram post on mine? I think it would really help the athletes I work with?

- Feel free to share any of the tips with your athletes. I'd be honored.
- in addition to your things regarding the arm swing, I use throwing good old tennis balls for technique preparation a lot and tools like BAM Video delay on ipad for instant reviewing of the players themselves.
Showing them what their swing looks like from the outsideoften makes _the_ difference in making progress.
Coach hard! :)

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How do I improve my hitting? It doesn't go over the net.

From your question I cannot tell what exactly the issue is about.
If you like, send me a video of your attack as an instagram direct message. I might be able to give you tips.
http://instagram.com/jmaier26

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My timing is not good when I try to spike a ball. What can I do to make my timing right?

For the three standard volleyball scenarios here are some tips when to jump or start your approach accordingly:
1st tempo attack
https://www.instagram.com/p/_5UsZQM0LD/
2nd tempo attack
https://www.instagram.com/p/m1zF8Ts0KN/
3rd tempo attack (high ball)
https://www.instagram.com/p/m0J7B7M0MH/
Send me a video of your approch/jump as instagram direct messages if you like. I might be able to give you even more tips.

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How can i improve my digging and passing? Any tips?

I've been doing overhand serves, I actually got used to it. But whenever I serve overhand now my arm hurts. Whenever I'm in the middle of hitting the ball, I feel pain in my arm. Any tips?

All medical issues you need to speak to someone specialized on that topic. A doctor! Especially your arm/shoulder is a very complex topic, where problems can become chronic easily, so you should not wait long to consult a doctor. Best of luck to you! :)

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I'm one of the smaller hitters on the team, and when I jump I can only get my hands above the net, so when I hit often the ball goes out. How do I hit so the ball travels down but not into the net?

Hitting low is a very difficult task to accomplish. Most if the smaller hitters master a much more higher level of hitting that taller ones throughout they volleyball career., because they simply have to. A good topsping in your hits helps with that.(flic your wrist)
Have you ever thought of using the block to score? Get your setter to set deliberately tight balls to practice getting a touch from the block and going out of bounds afterwards. This way, you don't even give your opponents an chance to defend.

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How can i improve that i can jump higher? :)

Increasing your vertical consists of several parts: Body weight, technique/speed/aggressiveness of your approach, intra muscular coordination and profile of you muscles(size).
Without seeing you approach and hit, ask your coach what'd make sense the most in your case.

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I'm quite short, but I play outside. I need to improve my blocking. Do you know any excrecises for the jump height? Ones that won't affect my knees

I am sorry. An health knee is nearly the most important thing before getting into heavy jump training.
You can do speed ladders for intra muscular coordination that will help with your vertical without actually jumping.
But seriously, you need your knees for maybe another 80 years... take good care of it, even though Volleyball seems so important for you now.

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Can a short side of average size player still play setter?

Sorry, but I really don't understand the question? Can someone still play setter when being very small? It vastly depends of the level of play you're in, but even there it simply depends on how good you are.
If you are good enough in all others elements of the game, the missing might not be strong enough to put you on the bench.

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Last year at tryouts I had an injury and didn't make the team. I haven't played much since then and I'm not sure I'll be able to stand up against girls that played the season nor do I have a practice partner. What kind of things can I do by myself to improve?

If playing sand doubles to get experience is not an option, then the only thing you can do before tryouts start is conditioning and weight training to have a head start compared to the others. Fight your way back! :)

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Tips for overhand serve?

lets start with this one:
http://instagram.com/p/kBrw09s0Hp/

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I play varsity libero and I have a lot of trouble with footwork. I usually never have this problem but lately I can't seem to approach the ball correctly. Is there a specific foot I should step with first? How should I get ready? I'm only 15 and I'm very small.

All the 'defense' and 'serve reception' tips I posted on Instagram may help you to improve your game. I'd check especially on these:
Beginners tip #13: http://instagram.com/p/fLpLEXM0Ah/
Beginners tip #11: http://instagram.com/p/fCE1WQM0Fz/
Beginners tip #6: http://instagram.com/p/es1wyiM0E3/
Hope that helps, sorry for taking so long to answer. Keep me updated.

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Which position in vball does the most bumping in a play?

Normally the players playing serve reception are the ones forarm passing (bumping) the most. Most of the times these are the outside hitters and the libero. Hope that helps.

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Can a middle position player still bump and set? Or are they only aloud to block?

yes a middle is allowed to bump and set. It kinda depends on the system your coach is playing with the team, but the rules do allow it.

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Im a beginner at Volleyball but I know how to play and I have tryouts tomorrow and we have to spike the balls but i cant like spike it really hard. Help!?

...hitting harder is not something you can change from now until next day. Speed AND control is very important. So focus on control tomorrow!
In tryouts coaches surely look for the abilities you have on theses exact days, but showing the right attitude, commitment and will to succeed often make the difference when comparing young players. Best of luck in tryouts! :)

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how are liberos usually chosen?

A Libero is a defensive and/or passing specialist and thats exactly what a coach looks for. The quality of those is the most important thing.

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What is an all star team

Normally an all star team are the best players of a season regardless of their club/schoolteam membership. The best players of the conference/league form the all star team that most of the times never plays actually. :)

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how do i avoid leaning back when i bump the ball. even when the ball id in front of me i find myself running up to it but leaning back and the ball goes straight up

You might try standing too far away from the ball on purpose once. Thus you might get a better feeling for the distance to the ball.
Another thing. Your knees should be in front of your feet while passing, so you can always drop to your knees(knee pads!) So, bring your knees in front of your feet while passing. Keep me up to date on your progress.:)

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I can get my neck above the varsity level height of the net, but my coaches never developed me to hit. I'm really coordinated but my timing on my approach is off due to inexperience. Any tips?

According to the speed/height of the set each appoach has a different timing.
If you normally call for 'high' sets, (a 10) try to start your aggressive approach when the ball is at it's highest point.

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how do i have the most control when passing?

Good positioning, proper balance and skills are keys to a perfect pass. They make it easier to control the ball.
This might help you:
Beginners tip #2 --> http://instagram.com/p/ergtSIM0HQ/
Beginners tip #9 --> http://instagram.com/p/e2UgmHM0EP/
Beginners tip #11 --> http://instagram.com/p/fCE1WQM0Fz/
Beginners tip #13 --> http://instagram.com/p/fLpLEXM0Ah/

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I throw the ball up and then underhand serve it up. I tend to hit the ball either to short or (sometimes) out of the court. Any tips on helping me have better aiming and more power in my arms? Thanks! I have tryouts soon!!

Throwing the ball up to underhand serve makes it harder to get the ball over. Try to simply drop the ball out of your hand just before you hit it. Aiming is easier then.

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What are the hights of each set ?

What are some exercises I can do to enable myself to jump higher for attacking?

Athletics is a seperate ball game. I won't interfere with your coaches athletic schedule.
Always tell/ask you coach about additional strengh/jump excercises you do, so he/she can avoid athletic overloading.

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Can you play with two jammed fingers? How if you can.

Very simple, but you might not want to her it: If you're injured. Do not play!

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About Jan Maier:

More than twenty years of Volleyball madness

Hamburg, Germany