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Pros offer tips on playing beach volleyball

August 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Drive down the coast of Southern California, you'll see volleyball nets just begging for you to come get your game on. But if it's been a decade or two since you've played, you might need a little volleyball 101.

Professional volleyball player Jessie Rambis is getting ready for a big tournament this weekend, but he says if getting back into volleyball is something you're interested in, it's actually yours for the asking.

"You can always go down to any court, any pier, and people are going to be playing over the weekend," Rambis said. "You can go up and challenge usually, or just say, 'Hey, can I get in the next game,' and people let you in."

Volleyball pro Adam Roberts says when making a pass, make sure your elbows touch and your wrist is out of the way.

The ball should hit both arms between your wrist and elbow, and keep in mind that setting for beach ball is not like the indoor game.

"With beach volleyball, you can actually grab it and throw it up, but it has to come out with no spin," Roberts said.

Think full grab and a push out - without spinning the ball.

So no twist and no spin, and then finally, serve it up.

"It's really only eight inches out of your hand, and then as you're doing that, you're leading through," Roberts said.

Lead with your elbow, and get your power from there, which, of course, is easier said than done.

"You're going to keep your hand open and strong, and you're just following through with it," Roberts said.

When you're ready, if challenging strangers in the sand seems scary, there are plenty of clubs to get you going.

"There's different leagues like Prank Monkey or VB Ventures you can check out, and they have all skill levels," said professional volleyball player Emily Day.

If you're looking for a little bit of inspiration, head down to Manhattan Beach this weekend for the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series, where the top pros meet, compete and make it look easy.

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