Perfecting the zipper pass

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Perfecting the zipper pass

Here's a drill to help perfect the "zipper pass." First, the reason for the name: ideally, every forearm pass should be made with the legs slightly wider than the shoulders, knees bent, one leg slightly in front of the other, hands together, arms locked at the elbows. The ball should be contacted at a spot directly in front of the zipper.

Thinking about it in that way helps beginners to gauge if they're contacting the ball in the proper place.

To teach the skill, we have a row of passers on one side of the net, coaches tossing on the other. As the coach tosses the ball across the net, the passer moves her feet to where she'll need to be in order to get into the exact position described above. Then, she reaches down, and instead of passing, catches the ball at exactly zipper level.

This helps train body and mind to get into proper position and pass from the correct spot in front of the body.

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