Bump control
Discovering the hitting surface

Trow - control - catch

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1 ball for 2 players

Aim of the task:

Control the ball with a bump and catch it


Throw the ball then control it with a bump in order to catch it


Throw higher and further away

Serve - reception - control


1 ball for 2 players

Aim of the task:

Control with a bump a ball sent by a partner and catch it


  • for the thrower: throw or serve in direction of the partner but do not lob him
  • for the receiver: receive with a bump and catch the ball then serve to the partner


The player must adapt to the trajectory. If the ball presents itself at a height suitable for an overhand hit he mist favour this technique.

Bump hits enable to increase the player's hitting space downwards.

This supposes:

  • Refraining from controlling with the hands, a spontaneous behaviour.
  • Identifying a new surface of contact with the ball, enabling control.
  • A very specific and unusual use of the forearms, parallel and facing up.
  • A change in the hitting distance and adaptation of the supports to suit, by opening the angle formed by the arms and the upper body (close to 90°).
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See the video

For receiving with a bump, we use the term "TRAY" probably because we present a flat arm surface to the ball, and maybe also because we can then offer special service to our partners "on a tray" with a ball that's easily playable…

Let's remember this word, which brings some ideas on which we will focus:

  • The arms are extended and we use the first half of the forearms while looking to turn their inside faces up to widen the contact surface.
  • The hands are kept in contact with each-other to adjust their position and control the lateral orientation of the tray.
  • The up/down tilt of the tray is controlled by the angle between the arms and the upper body (shoulders) which changes very little. (remains close to 90°).
  • We think "bounce on the ray" or "carry" and not looking to hit the ball.
  • It is the legs that adjust the position and which can give an impulse while the arm/torso angle remains stable.

The intention of "placing a stable and oriented tray under the ball" brings rapid progress to the pupils. Most errors come from the intention to hit. Trajectories then become random and shoot forward, to the sides and often behind the player.

We will remember that bumps a meant to intervene on powerful, or high and long trajectories, or even in conditions when the player is late on the ball. The idea of control is therefore always essential.

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