VIBE Tribe Tip - The Natural Break Passing Technique

FROM Trainer CAM GREEN

The purpose of the natural break passing technique is simple.  The idea is to create as much flat surface area as possible facing your target when contacting the ball.  

When we hold our arms together the way we have our whole volleyball lives, it leaves the long narrow bones (the radius) on top of our platform contacting the ball.  The problem with that is that there is no room for error.  If we don't contact the ball perfectly...it's shank city.  If you're a passer like me, you probably know that all too well.  If it doesn't contact those bones perfectly, that ball is in the stands somewhere.

So, the main idea of the natural break, is to get those narrow bones out of the way as we finish our pass.  The way we do this is by rotating our thumbs outward right as you contact the ball so that you leave the flat inside part of your forearms facing your target.  It's ok at this point if your arms even separate a little. This creates as much flat surface area as possible on which to contact the ball.   The trick is, however, not to open your platform too early.  If you open your arms before you contact the ball your platform will be unstable and it will be difficult to get the ball to your target.  

 
 

If you are a player or a coach I know this sounds crazy.  I'm a former player and a coach of over 20 years and believe me...I thought it was crazy too.  Then I tried it and watched it work with the college team I was coaching.  In my opinion...it's a game changer.  Not only does it help eliminate shanking balls, it also helps cushion your pass on those really tough serves.  

So I encourage you to think outside the box a little.  It's worth a shot and putting in some time.  I don't think it's for everyone and I don't make all of my players do it but I do teach it to all of them.  In fact one of the outside hitters on my girls team went from passing a 1.4 (and coming out in the back row) to a 2.3 and never coming out last season.  

If you can pass well you're going to be on the court.  So give it a try...you just might love it.