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Volleyball Spike Techniques

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Key Techniques for Learning to Spike a Volleyball

The following strategies will help you be more successful at spiking. The key to a successful volleyball spike is the contact. You can train for hours and hours on your volleyball approach. Your approach is going to be useless if you don't develop a good ball contact. The following piking techniques will help you develop a good solid ball contact. 1. Contacting the ball with a vertical arm 2. Contacting the ball using an elbow to wrist arm action 3. Contacting the ball in a way that creates topspin

Vertical Arm

When contacting the ball, you want the arm to be vertical. You've probably heard a coach tell a player, "get your elbow up." This is what they are talking about. Your arm should be vertical from shoulder to wrist when making contact with the ball. A vertical arm is important in many ways... 1. You'll reach higher with a vertical arm. Many players spend hours trying to increase their vertical a couple inches. Often players would actually get a couple inches higher just by getting their arm vertical when making contact. 2. You can spike with more power. If your arm is vertical, you'll actually spike the ball with more power. When the arm is vertical, you'll use the right muscles to spike. Often when the elbow is bent, the wrong muscles are used. For example, often when the arm isn't straight, there is more of an internal rotation of the shoulder joint. This can lead to rotator cuff problems. 3. You'll have more ball control. When your arm is vertical, you'll be reaching higher and have more options for where to hit the ball into the court. It's easier to adjust the hit when you have a vertical arm.

See how the elbow is out and arm isn't vertical?

It's hard to spike down and with power without a vertical arm.

Key Drills for a Vertical Arm

The coach needs to watch each spiker to see if the arm is vertical. If the arm isn't vertical, then perform drills that focus on having a vertical arm when contacting the ball. A lot of times the player won't feel the arm not being vertical. This is where video tape can be important. Film the spiker and show them their arm isn't vertical. You can also

show them a video of what a vertical arm looks like so they know what we're trying to do. The best drill for learning to have a vertical arm is the platform spiking drill. Have your players stand on a platform at the net. Each player can self toss and spike the ball down into the court. Gradually work up to where you can set the player on the platform. Remember, the focus here is just on getting the arm vertical.

See how the arm "shoulder to elbow" is vertical?

See how this spiker is in the hammer position ready to go "elbow to wrist" hammering the ball?

Elbow to Wrist
The elbow to wrist action is an important concept. From the first time a volleyball player sets foot onto the court, the focus for spiking the ball should be elbow to wrist. The elbow to wrist action is basically like hammering a nail. When training elbow to wrist, focus on the movement from elbow to wrist. The shoulder to elbow shouldn't move much during this armswing. The movement is all elbow to wrist. Imagine hammering in a nail up overhead. This movement is all elbow to wrist. Also, you want to whip at the ball. Think of the snap of a whip. A whip makes a snapping action. You've likely heard a coach say, "snap your wrist." Think of putting force into the ball and whip it. Reasons elbow to wrist is important...

1. You'll be able to spike the ball down into the court. The spikers that are the best at elbow to wrist are the ones that are the best at spiking overpasses. Spiking an overpass straight down into the court can often look real easy by someone that does the elbow to wrist action really well. If you're good at spiking an overpass, the spike will look effortless and the movement is just elbow to wrist. 2. You'll spike with more power. There's basically two ways to spike a volleyball. One way is to pull the ball. The other way is to go elbow to wrist. Elbow to wrist you can put more force and power into the ball, thus spiking harder. The best spikers will do both, pull the ball and go elbow to wrist. 3. Arm is more likely to stay vertical if you go elbow to wrist. If you learn the technique of elbow to wrist, you'll likely be spiking with a vertical arm every time.

Key Volleyball Drills for Elbow to Wrist

Elbow to wrist should be a focus early on in your playing career. Develop this technique early and you'll avoid changing bad habits later. 1. A wall can be used to develop elbow to wrist. Have each player stand in front of a wall and spike the ball down using an elbow to wrist action. The goal is to spike the ball in a way that it rebounds back up so the player can spike continuously. Remember, the focus is just on elbow to wrist. The players shouldn't be following through on the spikes. Just keep the elbow up the entire time and focus on the elbow to wrist arm action. 2. Partner elbow to wrist drills should be part of practice warm up. 3. Elbow to wrist should be done on a platform. Platform spike drills are very important learning how to contact the ball.

Topspin Jump Serve

Volleyball Skills
Volleyball Techniques for Attacking

Volleyball skills for attacking consists of 4 parts

1. The approach

The purpose of the approach is to position your body in the air ready to hit.

2. The take-off

Develop volleyball skills to quickly get off the ground using both legs to jump. The shorter the ground contact time is on the last two steps of the approach the more elastic energy you can utilize for exploding high.

3. The mid-air contact

You want to get positioned with your arm stretched upward about six inches behind the ball, then contact the ball at your highest point in the jump.

4. The landing

Cushion your landing by landing on the balls of your feet with your knees bent. Volleyball Skills for the 4 Step Approach This is the conventional 4 step approach jump for a right handed hitter. the order of steps are... right.left.right-left. Right step The first step is a small step with the right foot. This step gets you moving. Left step The second step is a bigger and quicker step. You should take this step towards where you think the ball is being set. Big right step and quick left This right step should be taken to place you at the best take-off spot. The left step is taken quickly to help your body transfer your momentum into an explosive jump. Take off spot Where you jump from the ground is critical to contacting the ball high and in front of the body. Swinging arms back Attackers should develop the ability to swing their arms down and back as they

approach. Attackers should swing their arms back as they are taking their big right step and then bring them up in front of their body as they are jumping. Volleyball Skills for the 3 Step Approach the order of steps are... left.right-left. The 3 step approach and 4 step approach are basically the same. The only difference is the 3 step approach doesnt have the extra step to help guide you in the right direction. So it may be best to use the 4 step approach if you have a great distance to travel when hitting. Middle hitters and other attackers that hit quick sets often use 3 step approaches. The placement for quick sets are more consistent and easier for a hitter to adjust their approaches to. Fundamentals of Spiking Volleyball Skills 1. Your arms and hands should be coming up in front of your body as you are jumping.

2. Continue to bring your hands up above your head as you are flying through the air. If you drop either arm you will lose vertical momentum and height.

3. With both arms up, bring your hitting hand back by bending at the elbow.

4. Swing your arm forward making contact with the ball with your arm fully extended.

Volleyball Skills for Effective Attacks You will often come up against tall players that have developed really good blocking skills. It is to your advantage to develop a variety of volleyball skills for hitting. Tipping over the block If the defense of the opposing

team position themselves well for digging your hard driven spikes, tipping the ball over, around, or through blockers may be a good option. Hitting off speed shots When hitting off speed shots, the arm swing is slower and you have more control of the ball. When approaching to hit an off speed shot, the approach should look the same as if you are going to hit hard. The better you are able to approach the same way each time you hit, the harder it will be for your opponents to defend because they will be unsure of whats coming. The more volleyball skills for shots you learn and perfect, the better hitter you can become. Tooling the block Players can develop volleyball skills for tooling or hitting off blockers hands and arms. Right handed hitters, attacking on the strong side 1. To tool blockers inside hand, finish your arm swing with your thumb pointed up.

2. To tool the outside hand, finish with your thumb pointed down.

Do the opposite if you are hitting left handed. This hand action makes it more difficult for blockers to block and good defensive players to make a play on the deflected ball. When tooling the block, its usually best to hit off the blockers outside hand or arm because this is the most vulnerable area of the block. Volleyball Skills for the Back Court Attack The back row attacker must jump to hit from beyond the attack line. Contact may be made with the ball in front of the attack line as long as the back court attacker is still in the air or part of the ball is below the top of the net. Broad jumping is very effective for back row attackers because a broad jump enables them to fly through the air contacting the ball closer to the net. Possessing great volleyball skills for attacking from the back court can often be an effective way to score because 1. It gives a setter another attacking option

2. It is often a more difficult hit to block because it's harder to time the jump to block

3. Opposing blockers may jump with the front row attackers which may leave more areas open for attacking

Volleyball Skills for the Slide Attack The slide approach (single leg take-off) allows an attacker to jump off one foot and hit the ball while flying through the air. Four parts to the slide approach... 1. chase the ball

2. line up with the ball on your hitting shoulder

3. jump off your left foot (if youre right handed)

4. drift through the air as you make contact with the ball

Two methods for a slide approach 1. Approach at a 45 degree angle to the setter or antennae. The footwork is similar to performing a lay up in basketball.

2. Approach running parallel to the net. If you go parallel the set must be quicker and more accurate because you are closer to the net.

Volleyball skills for hitting slides can be very effective because its often much easier to adjust your steps and timing than taking an approach jump off two feet. A slide attack is difficult to defend because 1. The attacker can hit the ball at various heights and speeds.

2. It can be difficult to tell where the hitter is going to be set.

3. The hitter can run parallel to the net when approaching which makes it more difficult for blockers and defenders to get in the best position to make a play.

4. Blockers may drift in the direction the hitter is flying which tends to open up holes in the block.

Learning to topspin jump serve is a great way to learn good ball contact, creating massive topspin.

Spike with Topspin

The most important part of the spike is making the ball spin.Topspin is probably the most important spiking technique not being taught. Topspin is very important for two main reasons... 1. Accuracy. Watch any high level volleyball and you'll notice that the best spikers will create topspin on the ball every time they spike. This is because there's a correlation between spin and how well the ball is contacted. In lower level volleyball, you'll have players miss hit the ball. The miss hits are because of the poor contacts. 2. Ball control. Generally, the better you are at making the ball do what you want it to (topspin when spiking), then the more ball control you'll have spiking. Don't be a spiker that just jumps up and focuses on hitting the ball hard. You've got to develop consistent topspin in order to be a great spiker.

Key Volleyball Drills for Spiking with Topspin

Spin is a very important concept in spiking. If you understand spin, you'll likely a very good spiker. Players should focus on creating spin every time they spike the ball. Spin = Control If the ball isn't spinning the way you want it to, then you don't have good ball control for spiking. 1. Topspin serving. Serving with topspin can be a very effective way to serve. Also, you have more control when serving with topspin. Learning to serve with topspin can really help you understand how to put spin on the ball. 2. Platform spiking. You can work on all 3 spiking skills. Vertical arm, elbow to wrist, and spiking with topspin can all be focused on when platform spiking. Every time you spike on a platform, be sure to be putting spin on the ball. Very often just by focusing on spin you'll contact the ball correctly.

Drills Hitting volleyball drills are some of the most fun drills players can do to become better at playing volleyball. When first learning how to play volleyball, it's a good idea to train players the correct way to approach, jump, and hit because it's much harder to change habit once it's developed. Reach and Snap - Hitting Volleyball Drills The purpose of this volleyball drill is to work on the volleyball skills for the technique in hitting a volleyball.

Players partner up. Players warm up shoulders by throwing the ball back and forth to one another. After the shoulder warm up, players start tossing the ball up to themselves and hit to each other. Players focus on reaching high and snapping their wrist when contacting the ball. Variations Players can first start by just reaching high and snapping. Dont use a follow through arm swing at first. Just work on reaching high and snapping the wrist. Once players become more comfortable snapping the wrist, they can add in the arm swing. Also, players can work on bringing both arms up in the air when tossing the ball. So now the player is in more of an attacking position, ready to swing. Benefits All hitters need to learn to reach high when they hit. If their elbow is bent, they wont hit as high and will be more likely to get blocked. Also, reaching high allows for the hitter to hit more easily around the block. Many players spend hours and hours training to increase their volleyball vertical jump height a couple inches when they could have got those inches by simply changing their arm swing (reaching high). All hitters should develop a good wrist snap. Perfecting the volleyball spike by snapping the wrist, not only does a hitter hit harder but they also have more court to hit into because they can hit at sharper angles into the court. Team Approach Jumps - Hitting Volleyball Drills The purpose of this volleyball drill is to work on the technique for the volleyball spike approach. No volleyballs are needed for this drill. Have the team form a line along a sideline. The first player in line takes an approach to the net. After the approach, the player backs off the net and then takes another approach. This time, the approach starts from a little farther inside the court. The player repeats this until they reach the other sideline. After the first player volleyball approaches to the net, the next player follows. This continues until all the player reach the other sideline. Variations Players can emphasize proper footwork. For example, players can work on a 4 step volleyball approach. Players can also work on creativity (experiment with steps, for example 3 steps vs. 4 steps) to discover possible volleyball strategies for hitting. Players can also work on swinging their arms back during each approach. Benefits This can be done in practice for when coaches want to look at each players footwork while at the same time running a volleyball drill.

Approach Jumps are also good volleyball drills for team warm up for volleyball practices or games. Game Simulated Hitting - Hitting Volleyball Drills The purpose of this volleyball hitting drill is to help players improve their hitting by simulating hitting in game situations. This drill for volleyball needs six or more players. The coach tosses the ball over the net to a passer. While the coach is tossing the ball, the players at the net transition off, and the setter penetrates towards the net. The setter then sets the passed ball to any of the three attackers, who then attack the ball. Players rotate positions after every rally. The hitters and setter must return to defensive position after every hit. Benefits This volleyball hitting drill can be used during pre-practice warm up and even part of pre-game warm up. This volleyball drill is great for setters working on footwork when releasing to the net. This hitter drill is also great for attackers to work on their footwork for transitioning off the volleyball net.

Terminology for Attacking

Volleyball Terms for the Volleyball Hit

Volleyball Terms for hitting - sending the ball over the net with intention to score a point. A basic volleyball strategy for scoring points is attacking the ball by hitting an offensive shot attempting to hit the ball in such a manner opponents cant return it. This is normally done by an attacker jumping up into the air and then hitting the ball in a downward direction towards the opponents floor.

Basic Terminology - Volleyball Terms for Attacking Attacker A volleyball attacker is also called a hitter or spiker. An attacker is a player who

attempts to hit a ball towards the opponents court with the purpose of finishing the volley and scoring a point for his/her team. Attack Hit An attack is any ball that is sent over the net to the opponent. An attack is an offensive action of hitting the ball, attempting to terminate the play by hitting the ball to the floor on the opponent's side or off the opponents blockers. Back Row Attack Hit A back row attack is when a back row player attacks the ball by jumping from beyond the attack line. If the back row player steps on or in front of attack line during take-off and the ball is contacted when the ball is completely above the height of the net, the attack is illegal as soon as it is completely crosses the net or is contacted by the opponent. Spike Hitting the ball at a strong downward angle into the opponents court is called a spike. Hard-driven Spike A hard-driven spike is a hard hit ball that travels forcefully down towards the opponents court. Off-speed Spike An off-speed spike is a controlled spike ball placed in an open area of the court. Standing Spike A standing spike is attacking a ball from a standing position. A standing spike is also referred to as a down ball. Open Hand Tip Open hand tipping is directing the ball with the fingers when attacking.

Hitting with Finesse - Volleyball Terms for Attacking Slide Attack A volleyball approach that involves a one leg take-off similar to a basketball lay up. Cross-Court Shot An individual attack directed across the net at an angle from one side (left side) of the court to the other side (right side) of the court. This is also referred to as hitting angle. Line Shot A line shot is attacking the ball down an opponent's sideline. The ball is usually hit down the line just outside the outside blocker or over the top of the outside blocker. Off-Speed Hit A ball that is spiked with less force is an off-speed hit. Off-speed hits are a popular

option for attacking if a player is just trying to place the ball or just trying to keep the ball in play. Cut Shot A cut shot is a spike thats hit from the hitter's strong side and travels at a sharp angle across the net. A cut shot is like a cross-court hit except that the ball is hit at a much sharper angle. Cut shots are also a much softer hit ball.

Tipping - Volleyball Terms for Attacking Dink A dink is attacking the ball by legally pushing the ball around, through or over blockers. A dink is a soft shot done by the fingertips used to fake out the opponents. A dink is also called an open hand tip. Power Tip A power tip is attacking the ball by pushing or directing the ball with the finger tips. With power tips you have more control over the ball and therefore are more likely to be called for a lift because of the prolonged contact.

Volleyball Skills the Basics of Volleyball Spike

This volleyball spike section of basic volleyball skills focuses on few the most important aspects of hitting. Discover few the most important factors in spiking.

Definition of Volleyball Spike

A player approaches the ball using basic four (or three) step approach to generate high forward speed. A player redirects that speed into the upward energy by jumping up to the air. Created speed, arm action of the jump and powerful jump are important factors in lifting the player up. On the top of the reach player performs an arm swing and uses her middle body power (abs crunch) to add power to her swing. She swings the ball over the net to desired target by hitting the ball with the palm of her hand. When? Why? A spike is usually performed on the third contact after the setter, the playmaker of your team has set up the ball. The purpose of spike is to score a point for your team and

finish the ongoing rally, or at least to make other teams playmaking as difficult as possible. A spike could be also called a hit, a swing or a shot. How? A spike is a very complex skill and it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to master in it. A volleyball spike requires quickness, agility, explosive power, strength, hand-eye coordination and whole- body coordination.

Volleyball Skills - Main Points in Volleyball Spike

1. To develop a 4- step approach. A right handed player takes a step with a right foot (step 1), then another step with a left foot (step 2) and finally the plant (step 3 and 4) to perform a jump.

2. Timing. Start your approach by placing your right foot (step 1) to the ground when setter touches the ball. (This is a general rule for hitting outside ball; it is depending on the speed of the set!!!

3. When spiking the ball player should hit on the top of the ball to create a top spin, which naturally curves the ball down to the court.

Volleyball Skills Important Volleyball Spike Tips

The purpose of the first two steps is to create you forward speed. The speed is very important factor pulling you higher up when you jump. Work on developing your steps into a very smooth approach.

The second step, in other words the step before the plant, is CRUCIAL to develop the speed. You should really push it to generate the maximum speed.

Timing is usually very challenging for starting volleyball players. Especially in the beginning, it is difficult to know what is the right moment to start approach. It might be frustrating because sometimes you leave too early, sometimes too late.

A good general rule to get a correct timing is to place your right foot on the ground when the setter touches the ball. After that you just take you step 2 with your left foot, and set up the plant (steps 3 and 4 next to each other) and take off to the air. (This general rule is depending on the speed of the set!! On faster sets set up your left foot on the ground when setter touches the ball.)

In the air focus on reaching high and making a good contact to the ball. Control beats the power when learning volleyball spike. Repeating one controlled swing after another makes your spike more and more natural. More natural it is, the more you have speed and power behind it.

To get a top spin, you have to place your hand on the top of the ball. If you place it to the middle of the ball, it will float. If you place it on the bottom, it creates a down-spin. Place it on the top, you will create a top-spin.

Basics of the Volleyball Spike

Volleyball approach techniques, hitting skills, and attack strategies

A volleyball spike or attack is the strategy used to send the ball over the net to the opponent in such a manner that ball is not returnable. The spike is performed by moving the arm in a way such that you angle the ball to land on the ground of your opponent's side of the court. Usually a volleyball spike is hit with great force at a downward angle. However, more skilled spikers use other volleyball strategies for attacking to trick the opponent while positioned to receive the ball. One way to catch the opponents off guard is to tip or dink the ball. A tip or dink is performed by contacting the ball in a controlled manner with the fingers. With this open hand playing action, the ball is then quickly directed to the opponents court. Tipping the ball with the fingers can often be deceptive if the volleyball spiker has a reputation of hitting the ball hard.

Which players on the team perform the volleyball attack? To legally spike the ball when positioned at the net, you must be a front row player. So usually its just the front row players on the team that spike the ball. Back row players can legally spike the ball from behind the 10 foot (3 meter) line. This is a much more difficult type of volleyball attack and is used only by more experienced volleyball players. The Volleyball Spike Approach The basic classical spike is made by jumping off of both feet. A volleyball spiker usually takes a series of steps to attack the ball. These steps are called a volleyball approach. The goal of the volleyball approach is to get in the best position possible to attack the ball. When teaching a player to approach and hit a volleyball, you might start with learning the last 2 steps. Once the last 2 steps are learned, you can move on to perfecting a 3 step or a 4 step volleyball approach.
Last 2 Steps

When first learning to volleyball spike, concentrate on just these last two steps and work on timing the hit.

For a right handed hitter, the last 2 steps are right foot then left foot.

For a left handed hitter, the last 2 steps are left foot then right foot.

3 Step Approach

For a right handed hitter, the 3 step approach is left foot, right foot, then left foot.

For a left handed hitter, the 3 step approach is right foot, left foot, then right foot.

4 Step Approach

For a right handed hitter, the 4 step approach is right foot, left foot, right foot, then left foot.

For a left handed hitter, the 4 step approach is left foot, right foot, left foot, then right foot.

Point of Contact

The ball should be contacted reaching up high with the arm straight, elbow extended. The contact should be made reaching directly above or slightly in front of the body. The ball is contacted by the hand using a wrist snapping type motion to direct the ball downward into the opponents court.
Trajectory of the Set

The approach for the volleyball spike can also be different depending on the trajectory of the set. When attacking a ball thats set to the outside, the volleyball attacker can approach to hit at an angle coming from outside the court. This volleyball approach at an angle prepares the attacker to effectively hit the ball hard angle or turn and hit the ball down the line.