Strategies to Hit a Volleyball

All hitters love to hit a volleyball, so there’'s no reason why you shouldn'’t practice developing many attacking strategies.

Basics of the 4 step approach...

  1. Powerful accelerating run-up

  2. Leave the ground off both feet

  3. Left foot is in front (for right handed hitter)

  4. Contact the ball with a wide open hand and snap your wrist putting top-spin on the ball

Volleyball Strategies for Utilizing Explosive Energy

Approach at an increasing constant speed or with quick last steps?
Often when coaches teach players to hit all they worry about is the order of steps and moving fast. This may be ok if you are a beginner, but if you want to get up high off the ground you need a more explosive approach and jump.

There’s more to learning about an approach than just the order of steps.

The steps in the approach have different characteristics. Some steps are shorter than others and some are quicker and more explosive.

Coaches may feel the hitter is in a better rhythm when approaching at a constant speed and that it’s easier time the hit this way.

There are many volleyball strategies for hitting. Probably the hardest skill in volleyball to change is the approach. If what you are currently doing is working, it may be best not to change.

Hit a Volleyball

For an explosive approach... The steps before the last 2 can be fairly relaxed and short. The main thing is you don’t use a lot of leg strength on these steps.

The last 2 steps are explosive.

The 4 step approach is basically like this…

  1. A relaxed right and then left to adjust for timing

  2. BIG explosive right

  3. Followed by a quick left

  4. Quick explosive lift-off

It is extremely important the ground contact time of the last 2 steps (right foot, then left foot) is as short a time a possible.

It is good if the ground contact time of the left foot (before the last 2 steps) is minimal, but what’s important there is that you put a great amount of force into the ground for a big step.

A few advantages to explosive steps...

  1. You have more time to adjust your steps
    When you are attacking, where you jump off the ground from is very important. With a constant speed approach, it’s harder to make adjustments with your steps like you can with an explosive last couple steps. Since you are waiting longer before you start your approach, you have more time to get a good read on the set. The better read you get, the better choice you will make in where you take-off from.

  2. You will jump higher
    By going easy first and then exploding off your left foot and taking a big right-left, you will help maximize your jump height.

  3. You will confuse your opponents blocking
    The quicker you approach, the harder it will be for your opposition to block and dig you.

  4. You will always have the option to swing
    By approaching with quick explosive steps, you will always have the option to swing hard. If you approach quickly everytime, your opponents will have a much harder time reading your swing or shot.

  5. You will use energy more efficiently
    By taking quick explosive steps you will better utilized stored elastic energy. This essentially means that if you were to approach slowly, it would take more effort to jump to the same height and hit a volleyball as hard. So the key is don’t waste energy by approaching slow.


Volleyball Strategies for Attacking With Power

Develop a quick approach
Leave late and approach fast. A lot of attackers get stuck approaching at a constant speed because they approach early anticipating a set.

A lot of times this can be solved by waiting, forcing yourself to react quickly as if you’re going to be late getting there to hit.


Approach at an angle facing cross-court
As a right-handed attacker hitting on the left side, it’s best to be facing the cross-court angle when jumping to hit a volleyball.

A good way to get in the habit of this is to start your approach outside the court. Good volleyball strategies for hitting involve approaching at an angle because you have a mechanical advantage by turning your hitting shoulder towards the opponent’s court when hitting.

It’s also harder for your opponents to predict where you are going to hit a volleyball because you have the option of hitting hard angle or turning and hitting down the line.

Spiking a volleyball with power

Broad jump or jump more straight up?
It is usually best to broad jump when attacking far off the net. When jump serving or attacking beyond the 3 meter line, you want to approach so you jump up and forward carrying your momentum towards the net.

The extra momentum you have flying forward allows you to hit a volleyball with more power. On a tighter set, you may want to jump more straight up to avoid landing in the net.

strength and power for volleyball

Volleyball Strategies for Effective Hitting

Learn to see the court
Know who the better defenders are. Look at the defensive players before you approach to hit. Keep them in your peripheral vision as you approach.

Learn to see the block
Develop vision for seeing blockers.

Beginners usually first develop the ability to see blockers body at the net and work on hitting around it. More experienced players develop the ability to see the hands and arms of the blockers.

They then use this skill to hit a volleyball around or off of the blocker.

Better blockers get into position well and are more predictable. This makes developing vision even more important for successful attacks.

Develop many shots
By having a larger range of hits (hard swing, cut shot, short roll, open hand tip, etc.) you will make it more difficult for your opponents to play defense.

Also, your opponents blocking is more difficult because attacking with different shots at different speeds can mess up their timing.

Learn to Swing Hard

How fast you approach the ball and the speed of the arm swing determines how hard you can hit a volleyball.

Every attacker needs to develop the ability to swing hard. If you can hit hard, defenders often get caught on their heels ready for you to pound the ball.

Being able to swing can open up other hitting options and catch your opponents off guard.

Explosive volleyball hitting

Hit a Volleyball with Power


Listen to Your Teammates Calls

Every team should develop volleyball strategies for making calls.

Your teammates can look at the opponents court and call out where to hit the ball. Common court calls include “line”, “angle”, or “cross”. Teammates can also tell where to hit by looking at the blockers.

Common calls for hitting around a block include “hard angle”, “hard line”, or “nobody up”, or “hole”.


Always be Ready to Hit

It is easy to get in the habit of just standing and watching sometimes.

As an attacker, it is really important to always be ready to take an approach and hit. It’s best to be ready and expecting to be set every time the setter sets the ball.

By expecting to be set, you will develop a consistent approach and swing every time you hit a volleyball.

Volleyball strength explosive spikes

Use full arm extension when contacting the ball

Many players' volleyball strategies for increasing their touch height involve conditioning to increase their vertical jump.

Many players could increase their reach just by learning to fully extend their arm when they hit.

Becoming a successful attacker involves attacking skills in combination with effective volleyball strategies for hitting.


Hitting a Volleyball Related Pages

Learning to Spike

Attacking Terms

Attacking Drills
› Hit a Volleyball

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