What Is a Pancake in Volleyball

Do you want to flip your game to the next level?

Discover the secret weapon in volleyball known as the pancake! This technique, like a deft chef's spatula, allows you to save seemingly impossible balls from hitting the ground.

In this article, we'll delve into the origin, execution, and benefits of the pancake. Get ready to dig deep and master this essential move that will make you a defensive force on the court.

Let's get pancaking!

Key Takeaways

  • The pancake technique in volleyball originated from the early days of the sport and has evolved over time with variations in different styles.
  • Performing the pancake involves sliding the palm on the ground to prevent the ball from touching the floor, requiring quick reflexes and proper positioning.
  • Incorporating the pancake into the game improves defensive skills, increases court coverage, prevents injuries, boosts team morale, and enhances overall performance.
  • Common mistakes to avoid when executing a pancake include not getting low enough to the ground, not keeping the hand and arm firm, swinging the arm too forcefully, and forgetting to follow through with the pancake.

Origin of the Pancake Technique

To understand the origin of the pancake technique in volleyball, you need to know how it was developed and perfected by players over time.

The evolution of the pancake technique can be traced back to the early days of the sport when players started experimenting with different defensive techniques. The pancake technique emerged as a result of players wanting to prevent the ball from touching the ground by using their palm to slide under the ball and keep it in play.

As the sport evolved, the pancake technique also evolved, with variations being developed in different volleyball styles. For example, in beach volleyball, players often use a diving pancake technique, where they throw their body to the sand to make the save.

The pancake technique has now become an integral part of the game, allowing players to make incredible saves and keep the ball in play.

How to Perform the Pancake in Volleyball

To perform the pancake in volleyball, slide your palm on the ground to prevent the ball from touching the floor. This technique is used when the ball is too low to dig with your arms or when you need to make a quick save. The pancake technique requires quick reflexes and proper positioning. Here are some tips for mastering the pancake technique:

  1. Keep your eyes on the ball: Focus on the ball's trajectory to anticipate where it will land.
  2. Extend your arm: Reach out with your arm and flatten your hand to create a solid surface.
  3. Slide your hand: As the ball approaches, slide your hand along the ground to make contact with the ball.
  4. Keep your hand firm: Apply pressure with your hand to prevent the ball from bouncing off.
  5. Practice variations: Experiment with different angles and positions to find what works best for you.
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By mastering the pancake technique, you can make incredible saves and keep the ball in play. Practice regularly to improve your skills and become a reliable defensive player.

Tips for mastering the pancake technique
1. Keep your eyes on the ball
2. Extend your arm
3. Slide your hand
4. Keep your hand firm
5. Practice variations

Benefits of Incorporating the Pancake Into Your Game

Incorporating the pancake into your game can greatly enhance your defensive skills and improve your ability to make quick saves. Here are four key benefits of incorporating the pancake into your volleyball game:

  1. Improving defensive skills: The pancake technique allows you to dig low balls that are close to the floor, increasing your ability to defend against powerful spikes and tricky shots. It helps you to react quickly and effectively to keep the ball in play.
  2. Increasing court coverage: By mastering the pancake, you can cover a larger area of the court. This technique enables you to reach balls that are out of your reach, increasing your chances of saving the play and keeping the rally alive.
  3. Preventing injuries: The pancake technique protects your wrists and arms from impact. It provides a cushion between the ball and the floor, reducing the risk of jammed fingers, bruises, or sprained wrists.
  4. Boosting team morale: Successfully executing a pancake save can be a game-changer. It not only boosts your confidence but also energizes your teammates, creating a positive atmosphere and motivating everyone to give their best on the court.

Incorporating the pancake into your game is a valuable skill that can have a significant impact on your overall performance as a defensive player.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Executing a Pancake

Avoid these common mistakes when executing a pancake in volleyball. Proper technique is crucial to successfully perform a pancake and save a ball from hitting the ground.

One common mistake isn't getting low enough to the ground. To execute a pancake effectively, you need to drop to your knees and extend your arm, creating a flat surface for the ball to bounce off.

Another mistake isn't keeping your hand and arm firm. Your hand should be flat and rigid, ensuring the ball doesn't slip through your fingers. Additionally, avoid swinging your arm too forcefully. A controlled motion is key to accurately directing the ball upwards.

Lastly, don't forget to follow through with your pancake. Keep your eyes on the ball, and make sure it travels in the desired direction. By avoiding these common mistakes and focusing on proper technique, you can master the pancake and become a valuable asset to your volleyball team.

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Training Drills to Improve Your Pancake Skills

Improve your pancake skills with these three effective training drills.

  1. The Pancake Wall Drill: Set up a wall using mats or pads and practice pancaking against it. Focus on getting your hand under the ball and extending your arm fully to create a solid pancake. This drill helps improve your reaction time and technique.
  2. The Blindfolded Pancake Drill: Blindfold yourself and have a partner toss balls randomly towards you. Without being able to see the ball, rely on your instincts and feel to execute a successful pancake. This drill enhances your ability to rely on touch and reflexes.
  3. The Pancake Partner Drill: Pair up with a teammate and take turns tossing balls at each other. The goal is to successfully pancake the ball back and forth. This drill helps simulate game-like situations and improves communication and teamwork.
  4. The Advanced Pancake Technique Drill: Once you have mastered the basic pancake, challenge yourself with advanced techniques. Practice pancaking from different angles, with one hand, or while diving. This drill enhances your versatility and overall pancake skills.

When to Use the Pancake Technique in a Game

To effectively use the pancake technique in a game, you must anticipate and react quickly to low, fast balls that are difficult to dig. The pancake technique is a defensive technique used in volleyball to save a ball from hitting the ground by using the back of your hand to slide under the ball and keep it off the floor.

This technique is particularly useful when the ball is close to the ground and diving isn't an option. The pancake technique requires good timing and hand-eye coordination. It's important to communicate with your teammates when using the pancake technique to avoid confusion and ensure that the ball is properly covered.

Other defensive techniques in volleyball include blocking, digging, and diving. Each technique has its own purpose and should be used based on the specific situation in the game.

Famous Players Known for Their Pancake Abilities

As you continue reading about the pancake technique in volleyball, you'll discover famous players who are renowned for their exceptional pancake abilities. These players haven't only mastered the art of executing a flawless pancake, but they've also made a significant impact on defensive strategy.

Here are four notable players who are often compared for their remarkable pancake skills:

  1. Libero, Dustin Watten – Known for his lightning-fast reflexes and impeccable timing, Watten's pancake saves have become legendary in the volleyball world.
  2. Libero, Erik Shoji – Shoji's exceptional pancake abilities have allowed him to make seemingly impossible saves, earning him a reputation as one of the best defensive players in the game.
  3. Libero, Brenda Castillo – Castillo's athleticism and agility make her a force to be reckoned with on the court. Her pancake saves have often turned the tide in critical moments.
  4. Libero, Nootsara Tomkom – Tomkom's ability to read the game and anticipate her opponent's moves gives her an edge in executing flawless pancake saves, making her an invaluable asset to her team.
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These players haven't only elevated the pancake technique to an art form but have also revolutionized defensive strategy, inspiring aspiring players to master this crucial skill.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Different Variations of the Pancake Technique in Volleyball?

There are different variations of the pancake technique in volleyball. Proper body positioning is crucial for successful dives. The technique allows players to save a ball from hitting the ground by sliding their hand under it.

Can the Pancake Technique Be Used in Beach Volleyball?

In beach volleyball, you can definitely use the pancake technique. It offers advantages like saving the ball from hitting the ground. However, there are differences in how it's executed compared to indoor volleyball.

What Are Some Tips for Mastering the Pancake Technique?

To master the pancake technique, focus on technique and body positioning. Keep your hand flat and low to the ground. Avoid lifting your hand too early or not getting low enough. Practice will improve your skills.

Is the Pancake Technique Legal in All Levels of Volleyball?

In volleyball, the pancake technique is a legal move that can save your team. It's like a superhero's shield, allowing you to dive and keep the ball off the ground. It's a key part of defensive strategy at all levels.

Can the Pancake Technique Be Used to Save a Ball That Is Going Out of Bounds?

To save a ball going out of bounds, use the pancake technique. It involves diving with your hand extended flat on the floor, so the ball bounces off your hand and stays in play. Avoid lifting your hand or arm off the ground.


In conclusion, the pancake technique in volleyball is a skill that requires practice and precision. By mastering this technique, players can effectively save the ball from hitting the ground and keep the rally alive.

It's a valuable skill that can make a significant impact on the game. So, keep practicing and perfecting your pancake skills to become a formidable player on the court.